Aaron Palermo, Artist in Ocean City NJ.
We did a quick interview with Aaron Palermo, local musician and artist in Ocean City, NJ. He just released his first CD called “Faces, Color & Song“. He describes his music as grassroots surf groove. Here are a few questions and interesting thoughts about life, music, and being an artist in Ocean City NJ from Aaron Palermo.
What inspired you to write songs?
The first songs I ever wrote were very simple worship songs. I had never thought writing songs before and when I did, the first couple came very easily and it felt really good. I think especially because they were worship songs to God, they were very connected to my heart.
Living near Ocean City and growing up here was great! Having access to the beach and ocean, and the lifestyle that it provides is awesome. I’ve always found the ocean to be a great source of peace and inspiration, whether I’m out there surfing, or just reflecting on the beach. I also like the changing seasons and how it goes from being very quiet and empty to suddenly being crowded and packed with action….then back to being quiet in the Fall. Sept-Oct are my favorite months here.
What other hobbies do you have?
Besides playing music, I really enjoy surfing and spending time with my family. Right now my son, August is really into Nerf guns, so that’s been a lot of fun.
Which mainstream artists do you admire and why?
I really admire the Avett Brothers. I really like their songs and music style, particularly how they write songs from a personal perspective and reflect their Christian beliefs without coming right out and hitting you over the head with it.
What instruments do you play?
I mainly play guitar. I fiddle around with chords on mandolin and ukulele too.
What is your fondest musical memory?
My fondest musical memory was the release party of my last cd. We set up a stage made of pallets in the woods behind my friends house, had the fire going and all our friends and family there. It was a special night for me that I’ll never forget.
Were you influenced by old records & tapes? Which ones?
I was definitely influenced by the music my parents listened to when I was a kid. It was mostly all Christian music from the 80’s. Keith Green, Phil Keaggy, Steve Taylor.
Who are your favorite musicians/ Groups/CD’s?
Right now my favorite musicians are Josh Garrels, the Avett Brothers, Jack Johnson and All Sons and Daughters, Drew Holcomb and Shakey Graves.
You play for church and play public concerts, what do you like better and how is it different?
Good question! The main difference I think might be in your audience. In a church setting, most of the people are there in the context of wanting to worship God together.
When you are playing for the general public, you have no idea where everyone might be at. So when we play in public, we want people to have a good time enjoying the music, and try to influence in more subtle ways, which I find very challenging and fulfilling.
But then I also love playing in a church setting when I am free to tap into the deeper/spiritual side and give God the glory He is worthy of. I’m really thankful that I get the opportunity to play in both settings.
How do you balance being an artist in Ocean City NJ with other obligations – wife, children, job?
Keeping things balanced is a challenge, which has gotten harder over the years. I’ve really had to make some changes to how I was prioritizing music. There have been times where I really had to put things with music completely on hold because it was conflicting with the more important things in my life, like time with my wife and kids. We (as a band) recently changed the structure of being called a “band”, to just coming under my own name, which has really simplified managing what I am able to do with the music, and helped make it more flexible and work better for my life.
Another thing that has helped is setting up a basic recording studio in my house, which has allowed me to work on recording songs at night after the kids are in bed. Honestly though, it’s always a struggle, as with everything else in life to keep things balanced. It requires communication and flexibility. Learning how to take it seriously, without taking myself seriously is what I’m striving for.
You can find more info on Aaron Palermo, artist in Ocean City NJ, here on his facebook page. Make sure you keep an eye out for local places he will be performing.