Charley Orlando is a gifted talent. Molded by the Central New York music scene, this nationally recognized artist has 15 albums to his name and a career in the music industry spanning over 25 years. In his time of development and discovery he has transformed from musical journeyman to a wisdom imparting sage. He shares his next offering of music and enlightenment on December 9, with the release of StarSeed, the final chapter of the Organica trilogy.
The album’s title comes from the term used to describe a multidimensional being that came from the stars to earth, adopting human form to make a difference, healing and helping the planet to a mind awakening enlightenment so everyone may ascended again to the place we all originate from. This title feels aptly suited. Orlando’s style and range has changed and developed over the years, never shying from experimentation and incorporating new ideas into his work. This latest offering combines soulful earthy acoustic riffs, uplifting and encouraging lyrics, with elements of electronica to create a shamanistic dreamscape that draws the listener in and takes us to a place of transcendent peace.
The week before StarSeed’s release, Orlando took a moment with me to reflect and share his musical journey, musing on the completion of the Organica trilogy and his plans for the future:
What drew you to music in the first place?
When I was 8 years old I saw Jimi Hendrix play and it just blew my mind. You could see the music just flow and move through him. I knew right then and there that is what I wanted to do. I wanted to make music and have it flow through me like I saw it flow through him.
How has your music changed over the arc of your career?
In some ways it has changed a lot. I get bored easily and I like to challenge myself by exploring new sounds and genres. But what has always been essential to me is that I always let the song serve the situation. I let the song lead me; I don’t try to force to be something it’s not. And I create from what I experience in my life. As I change, in a way what I sing about does too, as I’m altered, so is the music. I’m grateful for this because it allows me to create music that is not stagnant.
It came about almost by accident. Back in 2003 when I was working on an album, I had some songs that I loved but just didn’t fit. I continued to work on albums and write more songs and there were ones that just didn’t seem to fit fully with what I was doing. When going back to look at some of these songs again, I realized that these “extra” songs were actually all really connected to each other. I put the lyrics of all the songs together in order and when reading them from beginning to end in order together, I saw what I really had was the story of the journey of a starseed. It just seemed fitting to call the album StarSeed.
How did StarSeed become part of a trilogy?
The trilogy (Organica Trilogy- albums Roots, Organica and StarSeed) just fell in to place as well. In the Organica trilogy it was the first time I started experimenting with elements electronica, altering my sound form into a more dreamy ethereal quality. I used a new program called the Ableton Live, which allowed me to create these new interesting layers that floated on top of each other, weaving this really atmospheric sound.
This album has a sense of closure and a feeling that you are imparting some spiritual life lessons or wisdom. Can you elaborate on that?
It really just organically all came about to feel that way. I feel like I’ve come to a culmination of the style that I have been working with. In this phase I really wanted to just simplify things with me and my goals but, now that phase feels like it is coming to an end. I feel all music is healing and this process has changed me, if I can impart that change in my writing that is great. My favorite song is “Rise”; I keep listening to it because I really like the message in it, about true ascension.
What do you hope people get from this album?
Anything good, anything that works for them in a positive way.
What’s next for you?
I think 2015 is about taking a pause and seeing where the music is going to lead me next. Now that I have finished this phase with the Organica Trilogy and StarSeed, I want to take some time to really explore and feel when my next step will lead me on my musical journey.
Above Photo: Juan Junco
To purchase StarSeed, see Orlando’s website for the different downloadable options at http://charleyorlando.com/merchandise
Or you can pick up one of his limited number of CDs at his Release Party at Sparkytown on Saturday, December 13 at 7pm.