Satchy is a Pasadena-based songwriter, singer, and guitarist.
With his top inspirations being D’Angelo, Frank Ocean, and King Krule the 21 year old college student Satchy makes guitar oriented indie R&B love songs that soothe the soul. Backed up with his band of jazz musicians, Satchy puts smooth guitar chords and sprinkles of jazz saxophone over J Dilla rhythms to create his moody, sensual soundscapes. He has a new album called Brown Lotus coming August 2019.
Interview with Satchy
By Ryan Magnole of EveryDejaVu
I must have been 15-ish, around when I started playing guitar. It was at this place called Amplify in Hollywood. It was a pay to play gig. It was us and two other bands, and we actually had the same drummer, Niko Embry, who plays in the Satchy band. We were making like punk music and that’s what we were performing the entire set. Just straight angsty teenage punk rock. Kind of garage, Ty Segall type stuff.
What got you into guitar?
Ty Segall, Jack White, and all that stuff. Really heavy garage stuff got me into it. I was always listening to the soul stuff and I’d love the soul guitar and bass stuff that was happening. It was always felt so far away from me, like how good and all that technicality. Not like I lowered my expectations, but Ty Segall seemed like something I could do.
Did you have a passion in music before guitar?
I did. I was a rapper. I was obsessed with B.o.B. Probably around when I 13, 14. I really wanted to him so I had this whole rapping thing called SLB, which were my initials. It’s not even I was recording or putting the music out anywhere. I was just writing rhymes. I even had this really crazy journal which was just about writing raps. Like I wrote about rhythms and I was really obsessed with it. Kind of just faded out when I got into Ty Segall and all of that. But even before that, I had piano lessons.
Have you ever rapped on your own beats?
i actually put out a whole rap album out last year. I just didn’t tell anyone about it. I just put it out and I don’t want to say what it is. Rapping for me, since I’ve done it since I was so young, it’s like a weird thing that I keep kind of personal and sacred to myself. I also feel like I’m not good at rapping to the point where I could show it to people. But like I want to put it out. I want people to hear it if they care.
Rapper, then punk rocker. What’s a Satchy show like now?
It’s kind of a blend of all those things. I will rap at some shows. If it that’s kind of vibe where it’s like me and the band are kind of free and the crowd is inviting of us, we’ll express ourselves, we’ll get a little bit louder. Not rock, but we’ll definitely get a bit more aggressive. Usually at the end of a set, I’ll bust out a bar on “Compatibility.” We’ll play a different version since Sophia Phillips is featured on there, so instead of her part, I rap it. Sometimes it’s cool and sometimes people like it. It is kind of like a blend of everything. Usually it’s funk, it’s just us kind of feeling it. It’s a lot more improvisational, less than playing with the recordings and what we know. We kind of like to branch out a little bit more and invite people to be themselves since we’re just being ourselves on stage. We want everyone else to get in that vibe, just relax and chill, dance, whatever you want to do. Very free, very open for everything.
Most exciting show so far?
Probably when we opened for TEMPOREX. A lot of those kids were really into us. We were the first band and we were down for playing, but we didn’t think we’d have such an impact like we did. So many people were dancing, it was really loud. We could barely even ourselves on stage. Every single time we tried to play something, I couldn’t even hear what I was playing or couldn’t even talk to any of the band members on stage.
Did you grow up in Pasadena?
I was born in Kentucky then around when I was 5-ish, I moved to Morristown, NJ. Then my dad and my mom split and he was over in New York and so I would go back and forth between there and New Jersey. I was mostly going to school and doing things in New Jersey until I was 9 until I moved out here. I was in Eagle Rock in LA for a while and after a few years I moved over to Pasadena. It’s been a travel—a long one.
You’re in New York often still?
Yeah, my dad and girlfriend are there. I love New York. I always wanted to live over there so I try to be over there as much as I can.
Do you see a difference in the scenes?
The biggest vibe I see is that people in New York really go in. LA is great and there are a lot of interesting acts and people, but in New York there are so many people and so many bands. They’re forced to make their own sound and be super unique so they can stand out through all the people who are over there. In LA, it’s very similar, like there’s a lot unique bands, but it’s a little more laid-back. In New York, if you’re going to do this, you can’t fuck around. Or else, you’re just wasting your time. It’s definitely more like you snooze, you lose. Over here, you can still be chilling for a while and still get a show or two.
Has this influenced your work ethic?
Yeah, definitely. With my work ethic, it’s definitely a lot more calmer and anything goes. If I have this idea, I just throw it in there. I get to experiment more out here and that’s a lot more welcomed. LA is a lot more laid back, I get the laid back feel. That’s why the songs are slower. I use a lot of major chords so it makes it very sunshine-y because the suns always out over here. I do get a lot of influence from being here.
What is your guitar?
I’m using a Les Paul Gibson Deluxe. It’s actually Sean’s. He’s a huge Les Paul guy and he gave me his old guitar. It’s amazing. I don’t really use that many pedal. I like to go clean and then maybe put a little reverb on my amp. Especially when I’m recording. Maybe some chorus. Besides that, it’s like wah. Straight wah all the way. There’s nothing chiller than some wah. Not only can you get the rhythm out, you can get the chords to really lush out. I definitely settle around that and clean tones.
Are you self taught?
Yeah, just Youtube videos for hours. My friend kind of taught me some guitar when I was younger. We had bands and I would say I know how to play bass because I watched Scott Pilgrim like 5 billion times. I would play with them and then realize that I don’t and they’d teach me some a little bit of guitar and stuff. I never really understood how to bring it home until I started really taking it seriously and started watching YouTube videos.