|Mark Westberg has just released their entrancing new track ‘Ghost’. Let’s get to know the artist a little more…|
Firstly, who is Mark Westberg? Tell us more!
I am quite a few things beyond only the music artist and performer. I am also a traveling, horror-film/haunted destination-obsessed, international cuisine-gobbling, thrift store shopping, cat and dog-loving, gender fluid, proudly queer, and mentally divergent enigma who “sees” notes, sounds, and tastes in color, religiously celebrates Halloween, and spends a lot of time working with their community’s organization called the Santa Fe Human Rights Alliance, as a director. I graduated in spring 2014 with a degree in theatre performance from the Santa Fe University of Art & Design, and hold a certificate from a summer intensive at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London (2014 as well). I am also a card-carrying member of the Screen Actors Guild union, am a strong advocate/proponent for cannabis and psychedelic usage, enjoy getting out in and exploring nature (as well as doing my part to help protect it), enjoy my family and close friends, love stargazing, have an interest in exploring both the more scientific and more spiritual parts of life, and find myself fascinated by the concept of exploring different versions of one’s self and learning how to constructively embrace and become content with that. Simply put, I’m just myself. And I often prefer *not* knowing what comes next. It’s a more riveting and absorbing way to live sometimes, I feel.
What’s the inspiration behind your new single ‘Ghost’?
‘Ghost’ is a metaphorical and personal reflection of internal struggle, and it touches on how gradually healing from pain and past conflict is not always the easiest of journeys. This tune is one of my ways of facing that.
What’s the music scene like where you’re based?
Much like Washington State, where I am originally from, New Mexico can be extremely eclectic in its vehicles of musical expression. There are forms of music and musical performance that are very particular to the cultures of the state, including Hispanic/Mexican music and the Native American music of the various tribes and reservations. But then you also have more of a metal scene in certain parts of the state, hip-hop/rap artists, country/bluegrass artists, blues artists, folk artists, people who perform musical theatre, bands who perform predominantly covers, a rave/electronic scene, indie rock groups of whom I grew up with when I was attending college in Santa Fe, and even a pretty substantial influx of groups/artists of varying genres and generations coming to perform here from other states in the U.S. Looking forward to getting back onstage myself again as things incrementally open up more!
Your music is quite poetic in its themes right…
A lot of the tunes that I have written in the past actually began as poetry. I would absolutely consider myself a naturally “poetic” lyricist, in that things like imagery, color, nuances, places, people, evoking human emotion, etc are all extremely important to my own writing. Even if the specific tune happens to be about something more personal, I want to be able to play the story like a vivid, colorful, musical episode in the dark movie theaters of people’s minds, and have them really “see” it as opposed to *just* hearing something. I also want them to connect with the relatable sentiments expressed throughout that particular song’s arc, and perhaps even have them experience what they’re listening to inside for a brief moment.
Your music doesn’t fit neatly in a box does it?
Not particularly, no. I’m influenced by a fairly wide array of different artists/groups from a plethora of different genres and sub genres. I create based on how the experience/subject/etc in the tune calls on me to express it.
So have you written many songs?
I have! Many that have been professionally recorded, quite a few others unreleased, some released as demos, some in the works, and even songs which are original renditions of other people’s work. I stick *primarily* to writing original music, however.
Is music your therapy?
Definitely one of my main forms of it, as far as what could be categorized under the “art therapy” umbrella is concerned. That being said, I also enjoy theatre, film, drawing and painting, and editing photographs, and they all go hand-in-hand in some way, especially with music!
Who’s your favourite artist, living or dead?
I will give you three artists of whom I would love to work with who are alive and three of whom I wish I could work with who have since passed. Three artists who are alive today that I would love to work with are Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys, Rachael Price of Lake Street Dive, and Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam. My three deceased artists of choice would be Richie Havens, David Bowie, and Jeff Buckley. Each of these incredible artist and performers are people who have helped inspire or influence my musical style/nuance in some way, and have each helped give me something when I thought I had very little to nothing during particular points in my life. To work with either of them in some way, at some capacity, would truly be one incredible experience of which I would be immensely fortunate for! I would also like to add that I very much miss my band mates, Alex Miles (Emcee A-Mile) and Zachary Bainter, from Seattle. I look forward to jamming with these absolutely incredible human beings and friends once live music transpires back on the stage once again. Black Jupiter & The Raven forever!!
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