You can hear a bit of Jamie Lidell and even Bruno Mars in Mack Keane's soul-pop sound, but it's clear from his debut effort he's carving out a sound all his own.
Mack Keane's upbeat and feel-good can be directly traced to a lineage of soul-pop crooners who were themselves influenced by a whole separate generation of notable soul-pop crooners. Inspiration begets inspiration. While pop music can at times be extremely whim- or trend-driven, soul music is part of a tradition, and one that the 20-year-old Keane felt the need to subscribe to.
Once the irresistible earworm of that staccato key pattern comes in during "I Would", one of the many dance-ready burners off Keane's debut 2107 EP, it's impossible not to hear a touch of Jamie Lidell and Bruno Mars mixed up into his sound. It's proudly traditional and also undeniably contemporary.
"The creation of my EP 2107 started my freshman year of college," Keane tells us. "2107 was my dorm room number, and actually ended up being where I wrote and produced most of the demos for the EP. However, it wasn't until the end of the year when I showed the rough version of 'Model Behavior' to some people, that I decided to go forward with this project.
"I compiled a list of seven songs I had demos for and took them back to a studio in L.A. where I began the final production process with my co-producers, Tom Keane (my father) and Nathan East. I spent my summer breaks of my freshman and sophomore years re-mixing, adding live instrumentation (Nathan East: Bass, Vine Street Horns: Brass, Rafael Padilla: Percussion), and redoing the vocals on each track. At the same time, I was also creating visuals and videos with friends of mine to tackle this EP as a full multimedia project."
"The inspiration behind this EP came from both a relationship I was in at the time as well as psychological changes I was going through as a result of getting older and adjusting to adulthood," Keane continues. "I was having trouble conveying my thoughts and feelings. It was these songs that enabled me to say the things I needed to say. All the songs draw on real life experiences as well as from my internal thoughts. "
Keane also notes that he was "musically inspired by Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson's Off the Wall, Justin Timberlake, Pharrell, Jai Paul, and D'Angelo." "If I had to pick a favorite song," he continues" I'd choose 'Remember Me'. 'Remember Me' is a song I wrote during a time when I was struggling mentally. The song essentially asks the question, 'When I die, will anyone care or remember me?' Personally, it means a lot and truly strikes home. Moreover, the chords are some of my favorites on the EP."
2107 will be available digitially on 05 May 2017.