Sometimes a deeply committed musician finds ways to stay inspired no matter what the hot trends, while remaining true to their craft and sometimes venturing outside their musical box. In a recent internet radio interview, singer/songwriter/musician Sebastian Dior explained that creativity is an extension of that individual who takes risks along the way.
The Gospel/R&B shaded debut, God Complex, not only exercises his sincere passion for various genres, it joins a small group of Contemporary Gospel's left-of-center excursions, such as shining new star Mike Ferris' traditional and contemporary blues slant, or veteran Sounds of Blackness' unique blend of classical, spirituals, and popular urban flavors. The Chicago nativeâ€˜s fascination for music in general is demonstrated by an I-pod containing a master mix featuring world music superstar Peter Gabriel to the indescribable Frank Zappa to pop singer Seal.
Dior also shares a huge affection for music of sonic color, whether techno wizards Nine Inch Nails or guitar geniuses Prince and Jimi Hendrix. Even the artwork for God Complex, designed by Dior's sister, reflects an appreciation of paintings and other avenues of creativity. The two constants are the soft, lead vocals mirroring Kenny â€˜Babyface' Edmonds, and a modern R&B slant. However, since Dior is not under major record label pressure, which he clearly appreciates and revels in, several creative liberties are in order, some which are not exactly the norm on modern day Gospel recordings. The spirit of Prince and Hendrix accompanies "Whispers" and the "I Know Who You Are." In an interesting musical segue, a country/pop infused "Everyone Notices" precedes the moog synthesized and electronically-enhanced vocals on the closing track, "Sun." The most daring move is the popular, calming scripture "peace be still," repeated several times under a distorted guitar and keyboard storm, in this case during the climax of "Euroclydon."
God Complex has a few hiccups, mostly with the cheesy synthesizers from time to time, but Dior is willing to go against the grain, especially balancing his musical dexterity with Gospel messages. This is just the beginning for this very promising, unsigned artist.
By Peggy Oliver