Mustard had the pleasure of speaking with Texas’s Deniz Love. Together we discussed their time as a Division One college soccer player, their creative process, their influences, their newest album “ALL WAVES PASS”, and so much more.
1. Mustard would like to thank you for joining them. How are you doing today?
Hello Mustard! I’m doing sensational today. Got pulled over and the cop only gave me a warning so can’t complain too much.
2. Before becoming a musician, you were a top ranked Division One college soccer player. How did your years on the field help inspire or influence you as a musician?
Yeah sports and music actually translated a lot of ways I do things pretty seamlessly. My favorite differences are that I don’t have to listen to a coach when I’m in the studio as opposed to when I’m playing on the field with soccer. For me music was kind of an escape from a very high intensity sport so once I started to focus on it a little more i feel like a lot of creativity started to come out.
3. If you could turn any soccer play into a song, what play would it be? Why?
I love this question haha. I would probably turn the nutmeg into a song because it’s the move where you pass the ball between the defenders legs and run around them. It embodies that element of surprise where they don’t expect what you’re going to do. and I’d like the incorporate that a little more into my songs.
4. How did it feel to be described as the “Texas Favorite” by MTV?
Those are very kind words from them but Texas is a big state so I hope they meant I’m the favorite in a certain category or something like that. I do like to joke and say that we’re everyone’s favorite opener because we do open for a lot of people while they tour through town.
5. What is your creative (and songwriting) process?
a lot of times I start with guitar or drums lately. Then I mumble some melodies and usually words come out. Sometimes I start with a feeling that’s been lingering in me lately or throughout my day I’ll jot a thought down in my notes to expand on later. Sometimes I’m not even trying to write a song I’ll just be practicing guitar then fiddling around turns into something I like.
6. Who (or what) influences you?
I had a pretty strong Dominic Fike phase this past year. Love his music. My friends inspire a lot though I try to surround myself with positive people and that usually brings the best out of me. Steve Lacy is a huge inspiration to me too. but shoutout all the homies in Houston making dope music like Hotel Ugly, Strawberry Milk Cult, Max Diaz, Slime Pilgrim, everyone in Virtual Trash, and shama the human, and many more.
7. How would you describe your sound?
This is always the hardest question to answer. Or any question like this. I like to think every song of mine sounds different so that’s the other thing that makes this hard. but if I were to put it into words I’d say it’s nostalgic, and energetic. I put a lot of modern elements in my instrumentation but my lyrics are kind reflective and introspective most of the time. People often times compare me to The 1975 even though I’m not sure if I can actually name one of their songs off the top of my head. I’m sure they’re dope though so I take it as a compliment.
8. Could you describe your experience opening for Hotel Ugly?
Those guys are awesome. Opening for them on tour was really fun and the type of people they bring out are really a representation of what kind of people the brothers are. I had known them for a while before they even release music so it’s just so cool to see how they’ve blossomed into their careers and I can’t wait to see where they take it. They bring the lightheartedness and care free perspective back into music and that’s what I love about them. I remember taking moments away from the merch table to look on stage and see them playing rock paper scissors with fans on stage in the middle of their set. stuff like that was hilarious to me and definitely something that left an impression on my performance ideas going forward.
9. In late 2021 you released your debut EP “Between The Tides.” which explored topics such as love and identity. What role does the ocean/water play in your life? How did this EP come together?
Yeah so with my first projects I wanted to kind of bring the influence home and with my first name being Deniz, which means the ocean in Turkish, it made sense for me to use that as a reference point. Especially since the ocean and beach was one of my favorite places growing up I feel like it taught me a lot of indirect lessons and parallels to how life works. I always told my family I wanted to live by a beach when I’m older so maybe one day I will.
10. Your love of the ocean does not stop there. You recently released “ALL WAVES PASS.” Was this planned in advance to connect with your EP? Will the ocean continue to be a motif throughout your music?
If anything “Between The Tides” was kind of a foreshadowing to the album. It was a story that began with the EP and ended with the Album. I don’t expect to use the same elements and inspiration in my future music but I’m sure it will be hard to stay away from eventually. Just wanted to bring it home for a moment and tell my story as it came to me. Really had fun with that album though I truly feel like there’s at least 1 song for everyone on it.
11. ALL WAVES sounds like it could be a potential event or tour. With the album being a pass to it. Is there any weight to that?
That’s clever haha yeah maybe so actually. We’d love to go on another tour after the one we did in July we’re kind of looking for something farther and maybe more extensive. At this point it’s just a matter of how we do that like whether we decide to do that on our own or open for another band. I could totally see that as a name for a festival though too. Maybe you’re onto something!
12. What is next for Deniz Love?
Next I’d like to release more collaborations with other artists and experiment with my sound again. I’ve been in the studio lately with Sinoda, Max Diaz, and worked on song ideas with friends like Strawberry Milk Cult too. Would love to work with my Turkish friend Selin at some point too if anything it’s just a matter of when and where.
13. Where can readers listen to your music?
Listeners can hear me anywhere they listen to music just search Deniz Love and you’ll find me 🙂 Thank you guys for having me!