Life lessons & insights according to El Mar

El Mar has emerged triumphant in the fabric of our current day pop art landscape. The artifice and outfit of music industry leader Joey Primero; the debut EP Walking with Dogs offers modern day meditations about new stages, personal reckonings and thought strolling statements about solitude, togetherness, wisdom and the developing evolutions of desire. A four song cycle inspired by Primero's experiences as dog walker where wrangling canine crews about NYC would lay the groundwork for the inaugural El Mar release.

Walking with Dogs commences with reckonings of the past and embracing the future of now. "New Life" waves goodbye to former bonds with benedictions and well wishes that addresses the complications and intricacies of growing apart, moving onward and the unwinding roads ahead. The balladry elements gets turned all the way up on "The Best One" where Primero presents the feeling of falling head over heels for a special someone in a power hymn that heralds the discovery of a new shared intimacy with a passion fitted for an off-Broadway production, the Mercury Lounge, Elsewhere, et al. Personal matters of addressing paternal transgressions and misgivings ring out on "Sin Sin", as the debut El Mar release draws to a close with a survey of human needs and wants that spans the assertions of the heart and soul to the monetary. Like a leisurely walk with an eclectic pack of hounds through Central Park—Joey Primero shares with the world songs from the heart, songs of experience and songs that are delivered with a resounding sense and sentiment of hope and care for the self, others and the surrounding universe.

El Mar's own Joey Primero provided a candid look into the artist's musical world, process and more in the following interview exclusive:

Latest meditations & reflections from the world of EL MAR.

The clouds never expect it when it rains, but the sea changes colors, but the sea does not change. That's a line from "Edge of Seventeen" that has been lingering in my mind over the past year and a half. I have felt a major shift in my core and it's been so nice embracing adulthood and learning to be confident and love myself. I feel as if my energy has gotten brighter in a way since taking a long break from being a part of the music industry (in a business sense) and seeing it in a new light. Of course, there are still obstacles and disappointments all of the time when you're an artist, but creating and performing has really made me so much happier than when I was suppressing that part of myself from the world.

Inspiration events & energy that informed that the anthem that is "The Best One".

I used to write so much about being unhappy, work, making sacrifices, wishing things were different and now I think I have opened up more as a writer and have learned to write about happier moments and experiences. I actually got engaged to my guitarist this year and wrote "The Best One, which is on my new EP Walking with Dogs, and it's about just feeling happy and grateful for finding love. Some people never find their person and those of us who have found that need to celebrate it and remember that not everyone is that fortunate. I'm not saying this in a cocky way, I just mean—IT'S SUPER HARD! So just value that. And as a sidenote, you should love yourself whether you're alone, married, engaged, separated, whatever your situation may be. You matter and you need to learn to be happy in your own skin.

Further thoughts on how the experience of being a dog walker inspired Walking With Dogs.

Being a dog walker gave me a lot of silence and time to reflect. I would just wander around Central Park or Riverside Park with a pack of dogs and just take in the world around me. You see so many interesting things and people while you're out observing the city. I also never wore headphones or anything while out, so I was completely in my head and a lot of these songs just came to me as long streams of consciousness. I needed that silence. I had to take the time to absorb everything going on around me and then write it down.

 Cover for El Mar's  Walking With Dogs  EP.

Cover for El Mar's Walking With Dogs EP.

If there ever was a dao of dog walking, what would it be & why.

You can't have expectations on how things are going to pan out or how your day is going to go. You just have to keep walking and do your best. Not everything is going to go smoothly, cause at the end of the day, you're just walking a bunch of dogs and hoping they all get along and they all make it home okay.

Notes on what sorts of inspirational light has been guiding the EL MAR path.

I've also been reflecting a lot about friendships. Being in your late 20s is a weird time because everyone is on different pages. You don't always have things bonding you together like when you're in college or high school. You have to make the time to hang out with people you care about and sometimes it is a bit of work. Some friends are still living like they're 21, some are married with kids, some are completely focused on their careers, some are unemployed. Everyone has their own lives they've created for themselves and sometimes this makes people grow apart. Or you end up bonding with someone you never expect you'd connect with just given the circumstances and because you have evolved into a newer version of yourself. Those feelings are explored on "New Life" and "I Could Use Some Money". Sometimes there's jealousy, sometimes you're just disappointed in your friends. With wedding planning, I have also thought more about my family. I was raised by a single mother and I saw her work so hard in order to support me—financially, but also emotionally. I think I realize it now more than ever. My father would make cameos here and there, but he was never reliable and on "Sin Sin" I am just completely candid with my feelings towards him. Some people may not understand why I am so harsh, but it's a strange thing...knowing someone is your dad, but not feeling any connection to them whatsoever. Overall, some of these dimmer moments have made me really appreciate and adore the bright ones.

 The iconic El Mar; press photo courtesy of the artist.

The iconic El Mar; press photo courtesy of the artist.

Contemplations on what our world needs to do to expand its collective consciousness.

I think we all need to make an effort to look at the world for what it is. Don't close yourself off from seeing things you don't agree with. You need to be informed in order to see other perspectives and try to understand why people think the way they think, and hopefully, try to make them see your side of the coin, too. We need to find some common ground.

Thoughts on the the activists, artists and provocateurs that brought light to your world.

I think it's so important for artists to speak out. There are so many heartbreaking things happening in our country and all over the world and art resonates. It really brings people together from so many different cultures and countries with different economic situations. It's our job to help capture this moment in time and also give people a little bit of hope. Or just a safe space to complain, vent, cry, whatever makes them feel good or better than before. One artist that has done that for me in the past year is Jason Isbell. He's such a terrific songwriter. Kacey Musgraves record was also very refreshing, too.

Summer through autumn dreams and visions.

Have some wine, dress up, soak in the sun (while wearing sunblock!), and keep on growing as a person, as a writer and as a performer. Also, hang out with as many dogs as possible...especially my own! You can find him on Instagram at @ozzy_princeofbarkness ;)

Listen to more from El Mar via Spotify.