Edalo: “If you can, DO IT YOURSELF”

If you can, DO IT YOURSELF — Things don’t come easy, but if you work smart enough you can do more than you think. Doing it yourself in the end is the most beneficial, however may take the most time. In today’s society, people want things immediately, but like they say, patience is a virtue. The SmartLess […]

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If you can, DO IT YOURSELF — Things don’t come easy, but if you work smart enough you can do more than you think. Doing it yourself in the end is the most beneficial, however may take the most time. In today’s society, people want things immediately, but like they say, patience is a virtue. The SmartLess podcast said something that stuck with me: “It takes 12 years to be an overnight success.”


As a part of our series about rising music stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Edalo.

Edalo is a Buffalo, NY born and raised musician, composer, and producer. His savvy is evidenced by numerous accomplishments and impressive early-career partnerships that started in 2012 when he teamed up with Robby Takac (Goo Goo Dolls), Kenny Hawkins (Rick James, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige), and Jerry Livingston (Rick James) to write the track “Mariposa,” at the esteemed GCR Audio Recording Studios. He relocated to Los Angeles in late 2013 where he was enlisted by the estate of Ray Charles to write and produce a tribute album with Charles’ grandson, Robert Robinson, known as RobTwyce. The project’s single, “You,” was released by All Access Music Group in 2015.

Edalo’s first full-length album, Faith, released in 2015, embodies instrumental melodic sounds meant to capture a listener’s heart and soul. This album made it into the iTunes Top Instrumental Music Albums Chart in its release year.

After relocating home in 2017, Edalo completed his second album, California Rush, his sophomore project with independent label Castle Music Group, the artist development partner of Sensu Music. A project two years in the making, California Rush was produced in its entirety by Edalo himself. California Rush displays Edalo’s growth and prowess as a producer by combining vocals, guitar, saxophone, jam band, and electronic dance elements to present his fresh take on Live Electronic. He debuted this album at the SXSW Music Festival in Austin, TX, performing alongside acts such as Kent Jones, ROZES, Michael Blume, and G.O.O.D. Music’s Malik Yusef.

In 2020, Edalo released Driftin’ and headlined his first tour in March — kicking off in his hometown, Buffalo, NY at The 9th Ward/Babeville, to New York, NY at The Bowery Electric, Youngstown, OH at Westside Bowl, and rounding out in Canton, OH at Buzzbin. Ending the year of a pandemic, he totaled over 310,000 streams and a quarter-million listeners in 90 countries across the globe. In 2021, Edalo will release collaborations with Super Bowl Champion, Demone Harris and Pop/EDM Recording Artist and Topliner, Salvo.


Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?

I was born and raised in Buffalo, NY. I moved away junior year of college to Los Angeles, CA. Being able to grow up on the East Coast and move to the West Coast in my early/mid-twenties shaped me to be the person I am today. Being able to experience two different coasts showed me there was more to life. I love my hometown, but I also love traveling just as much. I’ve always been curious in finding new ways to express my vision.

Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?

When I was 2-years old, my father brought me a drum set. Him and I used to play cover tunes to The Beatles. My entire family at the time didn’t understand the method to his method, however, it lead me to be a composer and producer to this day. I learned that playing drums puts you in the back, so I realized I had to teach myself other instruments and skills to be more versatile. I’ve always loved music and its always been my passion so it was always just a process of learning and getting better. I’m addicted to sound. I can definitely say it’s an obsession of mine.

Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

Meeting Ken Scott, one of the five main engineers of The Beatles and engineer for David Bowie and Elton John was an extremely magical moment, not only in my career but in my life. I was out in Malibu, CA filming video for composer Richard Gibbs at the “Woodshed Studios” and after filming, I was able to meet and talk to Ken Scott. He asked me where I was from and I mentioned Buffalo, NY. Low & behold that’s where he said his wife was from! The Beatles have been my first love for as long as I can remember so being able to meet Ken Scott was more than a dream come true for me. Also, the closest I’ve gotten to meeting the Beatles.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

When I was living in LA, trying to make ends meet, I figured I’d be a smart decision to drive for Uber. The amount of people I encountered and let alone, drove around in my car was quite eccentric to say the least. I ended up learning the entire county of LA pretty well but at the end of the day, I ended up getting kicked off the Uber platform because I was .1 below the required five-star rating to stay on as a driver. Oh well, looks like being a driver wasn’t meant for me anyways.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

I’ll be releasing a single on May 21, 2021 called, “Break Free” with topline writer and EDM vocalist, Salvo AKA @salvosongs. This particular single is very special to me because of how it was written and the experience with working with Salvo remotely during a pandemic. In 2019, I opened my privately owned and operated boutique-recording studio, the Hertel SoundLab. Being able to have my own studio as well as a space that others can come and create, gives me the ability to focus on my craft. Also, I haven’t really shared this yet but I’m sitting on an entire album of material. I’m debating if I should release it as a whole, release an EP or just continue to release singles…I guess you’ll have to find out.

We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?

  1. Diversity gives everyone a chance. Not everyone wants to see the same things over and over again. I think it’s important to give other messages, people and stories the spotlight as well.
  2. Without diversity, it’s more like communism. Segregation isn’t cool. Being able to accept and love can be an extremely beneficial and is a win-win for all parties. No reason to leave people, ideas, or stories, out.
  3. Diversity brings in more success, promotes acceptance and attracts a bigger audience. Diversity teaches us that everyone has a story.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

  1. Get up & show up…regardless of how you feel — You’re not always going to feel the best everyday but if you wake up and show up, you’re ultimately putting your best foot forward. Never try and let your emotions get in the way of getting work done.
  2. Remember self-care — Your job will most likely find a new employee. It’s important to take care of yourself. Put yourself first in order to succeed. If you let your body, mind and spirit slip you won’t be the best person you can be.
  3. If you can, DO IT YOURSELF — Things don’t come easy, but if you work smart enough you can do more than you think. Doing it yourself in the end is the most beneficial, however may take the most time. In today’s society, people want things immediately, but like they say, patience is a virtue. The SmartLess podcast said something that stuck with me: “It takes 12 years to be an overnight success.”
  4. Go at your own pace — This is your life. No-one is responsible for you but you. Going at your own pace is extremely important because rushing can distract your attention from hazards you would normally recognize. When you rush things, you build on some expectations in order to satisfy your needs. Do less. Have fewer meetings. Practice being comfortable with yourself.
  5. It’s not a competition — Listen to your inner wisdom. Try not to listen to people too much of the time. Everyone sets their own metric of success. When your find inner peace, the feeling of competition goes away.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Self- care! It’s really everything. It’s important to not only take care of your body, but take care of your mind. The industry isn’t going anywhere and work will always be there tomorrow. If you aren’t taking care of yourself everything else slips. You don’t have to be working all day every day to be successful. My approach to success is slow and steady. Everyone usually wants a hand out, but what they don’t realize is that over time if they put the hard work they can reap similar benefits, maybe even greater ones. What I’m encouraging is self-driven marketing and the power of being independent. Being told what to be and how to live would most definitely burn me out. Being able to fully create and have the freedom to do so, gives me more creativity and in the end, it’s better for me.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I would further inspire the mediation movement. Meditation has been something that has always helped me. Many other people may have not understood the benefits however, even 30-minutes a day really helps you overall. Our day-to-day lives are so over packed, stressful, and flat out un-relaxing. If I could inspire one thing, it would be peace. There is such tranquility in silence and sometimes I often crave the sound of nothingness. It gives you such a peace of mind. A lot of the time when I’m overwhelmed, all I really need is moment of peace and quiet to organize my thoughts and act accordingly. I feel if people take the time to clearly think, they’d have better and more thought-out execution for their actions.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I one-hundred-percent agree with that. In my journey, I’m blessed to have a good amount of “angels”. There’s not one in particular because without any of the “angels” that I have I would not be doing what I am doing today. I am more than fortunate to wake up every day and to do what I love. I feel extremely grateful for the guidance and support I’ve received. I think along the way there’s always been a few people that I’ve had in my corner and I that says a lot. My view is definitely quality over quantity.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

I believe you are a product of your own thoughts and “What you think, you become.” — M.K. Gandhi.” This quote has and always will be relevant to my life. Your mindset is everything. You can and are the controller of your own destiny. If you are mentally feeling some type of way it is crucial to take of yourself in any way possible. In our society, we are constantly given the choice to either rise or fall. When faced with challenging moments, we have the option to suffer or grow from it. If your thoughts are poor, more than likely your actions will follow. To be successful, I believe it’s imperative to never give up. Consistency at the end of the day, is what will make or break you. I’ve been in a lot of different moments in my life where I’ve had to pick myself up off the ground and with that, I’ve learned some of my most rewarding life lessons.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

I’d love to have a private breakfast with Martin Scorsese. Growing up I’ve watched a lot of his films and his work has always been incredibly fascinating. I would love to talk to him about what it was like producing and filming his movies. Being that he’s one of the major figures of New Hollywood era, I would want to ask where he thinks film is going and his plans for future projects.

How can our readers follow you online?

All my music is accessible on iTunes, Spotify, iHeartRadio, Amazon and all major music platforms. My Instagram and Facebook is @edalomusic. www.edalomusic.com is my website.

This was very meaningful, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!

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