“Tether”

 

Nitesh: Tell us about yourself.

Calvin Lamothe: I am a 17-year-old singer, song-writer from Manchester, Massachusetts, and I am currently studying at Vassar College. I’ve been away from the Boston area for a few months now. I released my debut album back in May and I’m currently working on some new stuff to put out in the near future.

Nitesh: Without using genre names, how would you describe your music?

Calvin: I would say minimalistic and sad.

Nitesh: Tell me about your album name, “Last Words of an Empty Bedroom.”

Calvin: So that sort of came about—I was lying in bed one night thinking I need a title for my new album, and I was just thinking how in a few months, everything in my room would be packed in the boxes and I would be moving into a completely different place. My bedroom sort of represents me and everything I do. So that’s my last words as me being in that place.

Nitesh: When it came out, you wrote that your album was about the fear, excitement and anxiety going into college. Has the album changed meaning for you now that you are in college?

Calvin: It definitely feels like a lot of my anxiety was unfounded. [laughs] I’m having a really good time. At the same time, I look back on it and, looking back on high school now, I can see how I have made this huge leap already just being here for two months. So, I think looking back on the album, it’s very reflective of me. And I think half of that still stands.

Nitesh: What was it like growing up in Boston, or just north of Boston?

Calvin: It was cool. I love it. Manchester is like a tiny little town that nobody has ever even heard of. It’s very sheltered. I think that’s contributed to my music in a way. I’ve always wanted to branch out as much as possible but haven’t been able to and that’s one of the conflicts I try to work on in my songs.

Nitesh: What were your favorite places in Manchester?

Calvin: Definitely the beach. We also have a little secondhand bookstore that I would always go down and sit down and relish the shelves. It was really quaint and quiet and they would play classical music and I just felt really at peace there. It’s called Manchester By The Book.

Nitesh: What’s your songwriting process like?

Calvin: My album is a mix of piano and guitar but since then I’ve been writing more on the piano. In general I’ll sit down and improvise for a while, and then I’ll come up with a chord progression I like or a little riff that I like. And from there, I’ll add vocals. I try to come up with one line out of the blue because I think that’s sort of reflective of my unconscious thoughts at the time. And then I sort of build from there on that concept of whatever first comes out of my mouth.

Nitesh: Earlier, you described your music as minimalist and sad. And that’s how I’d describe your music video , “Leap.” Can you describe your process of making the video?

Calvin: So “Leap” is my favorite song that I’ve written. I was like I need to make a music video, and so that was definitely the song that jumped out at me. I already had the lightning clips because I had filmed this really cool thunderstorm from my back porch a year before or so. So I already had that to work with. And I felt like it really just fit with the feel of the song. And then, I—basically, it was all compiled as old clips because that song is about moving on. Going to college has been like a leap and that’s what the song is about. It’s sort of feeling like my formal childhood is coming to an end. So I tried to use all these old clips of my family members and friends as a sort of compilation of what I’m leaping from.

Nitesh: What’s the most beautiful thing you’ve ever witnessed?

Calvin: Last December, my great grandmother turned 100. And one relative gave her a picture of her late husband. And at first, she didn’t recognize him but then when she was told who it was, she just gave the frame this huge hug and kissed it. And it was just this really powerful moment for me. So I’d say that’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve witnessed.

Nitesh: Last question. What are three things most people don’t know about you?

Calvin: I fully intend to be a crazy old cat person. I don’t see why that’s so stigmatized, because I think it would be really cool to have a ton of cats when I’m old. Also, I’m really into film photography. So I’ve been collecting old cameras and just sort of experimenting with that. It’s almost a companion to my music in a way. I express the same ideas, I think. And then, one thing people generally don’t notice about me is that one of my ears is pointed and one isn’t. I have one elf ear and one normal ear.

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