Solarrio has proven that he can create a diary-like EP that makes you want to get up and dance. Berlin-based electro-pop crooner, Solarrio, uses 80s influences and contemporary electronic components in the creation of his self-titled EP.
It’s clear that musical talent comes naturally for Solarrio, who was born in Paris in 1983 to notorious musician parents. His father is distinguished conductor and pianist, Daniel Barenboim, and his mother is Elena Bashkirova, a pianist and music director. The family have lived in France, Germany and around the United States.
Describing himself as the ‘adult third culture kid’ (A third culture kid is when children are raised in a culture other than their parents). Solarrio’s globe-trotting childhood has developed an eclectic musical taste, where he uses his musical connections across the globe to encourage people to listen to this impressive EP.
After leaving the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Solarrio returned to Berlin where his family were living. It was here that he embarked on a music production career, whilst also focusing on being a songwriter and touring musician. During his time producing music for Raf 3.0, he created a drum and bass track for the National Basketball Association (NBA) promo for the 2013 NBA Finals.
The EP, released in January by Believe Digital, mixes sounds of synthpop, electronic hip hop and house. Solarrio, also known as David Barenboim, wrote and produced all the songs and played all of the instruments.
Although there is a strong 80s influence on this EP, you can also hear the classical influences that Solarrio grew up listening to. However, his current musical inspirations include artists such as Kanye West, Tame Impala, Childish Gambino, Daft Punk and Radiohead.
Solarrio said in his press release, “In high school in Berlin, you had to be a part of this group, or that group. You couldn’t listen to rock and rap. You had to choose. I was more of a ‘free-spirit’, I played in rock bands and made rap beats.”
Solarrio has cleverly created an EP that combines all of his music influences, and with his first single, Drops, there is a contemporary electronic beat with a governing bass throughout. However, the melancholic lyrics (“Trying to make the pain stop but it’s not that simple”) and upbeat rhythm, including a continuous laughing sound effect, are incredibly confusing to understand. Am I supposed to feel sad listening to this song, or am I supposed to feel upbeat and happy? I am not quite sure.
Solarrio explained that Treadmill was written after he felt like he was helping so many other people with their music that he wasn’t getting anywhere, nor dedicating enough time, to develop his own music. Treadmill is a song built to inspire and motivate people to better their life. As well as having motivating lyrics, the house-inspired track features and catchy vocals make for an optimistic and engaging listen. And with lyrics like, “come and get me off the treadmill”, it’s something we all know and understand too well, right? Is this going on my gym playlist? Quite possibly.
Hopeless continues the signature Solarrio raspy vocals but instead features a retro-80s analog that flourishes throughout the track. With artists such as Phil Collins, Prince and Madonna as music influences, you can hear how the blend of contemporary electro beats and 80s influences mix incredibly well.
Head Over Feet contains a glow originating only from that of modern electronic beats. However, the electronic muffle at the start of the song is somewhat off-putting. Although, as the song progresses you hear the classic Solarrio sound once again. With lyrics including, “I was a fool to think I could find happiness” and “cupid set me up to fail and stabbed me right in the back” there is an element of heartbreak to this song, and the deep and husky vocals only influence this state even more.
Safety of a Mob starts with a dark and heavy bass, but it soon evolves into classic electronic hip hop. Similar to Drops, the bass continues throughout and becomes heavier as the song builds up. The bass seems to sit incredibly well with the dark mood created with this song. Overall, Safety of a Mob fits perfectly into the track list, it’s nice to have a slower song to conclude this incredible EP.
It is clear that Solarrio has this ability to climax a song to its best ability and it just proves how much of a strong songwriter and music producer he is. The mix of genres displayed throughout this EP once again prove that it’s not only an exciting listen but it confirms that David Barenboim is a one talented guy. I can’t wait to hear more music from Solarrio.
EP link here: