Climate Control Frontman Releases His Solo Debut Single “Serpent Sound” Creating music is about baring your soul, leaving you exposed and revealing your deepest, darkest secrets, wildest dreams and most agonising heartbreaks. For Nicolas Gonzalez, Raptors & Remnants is exactly just that – it is an outlet for him to share his stories of love, death and everything in between. As the lead vocalist and guitarist of Johannesburg-based alternative rock band Climate Control, Gonzalez has already established himself as a noteworthy lyricist and performer in the South African alternative music scene. He is charting into different musical territories to showcase his versatility and desire to grow as a musician. “Raptors & Remnants, as a concept, has been going on from the moment that I picked up a guitar. I always knew that I wanted to release music on my own, as well as with my friends in other projects. I think that doing something, which is solely my own, can be liberating, cathartic and deeply personal. I see it as an additional avenue for me to explore, experiment and evolve as an artist.” Nicolas Gonzalez Described as raw, impulsive and beautiful by The Fuss Raptors & Remnants is about the discovery and sincerity of human emotion. With every song release and performance, Gonzalez invites you to gather around and witness this emotional journey together with him. He hopes that you’ll stick around for a while and listen. With that said, we had a quick chat with Nic. Hi there, Nic. Long time no talk 🙂 How are you feeling about the release of your debut track as a solo artist? Hey! Yeah, it’s been a little while. I’m feeling really excited about it. I’ve released quite a few songs as Raptors & Remnants, but this is definitely the first with this kind of sound – it’s a little more electronic and poppy than my other material. I definitely enjoy playing around with different styles, and I’ve never wanted to stick to one hard and fast style or sound with my writing, so this one was fun to create. How different was the recording of Serpent Sound as a solo artist as opposed to being in a band? It’s quite daunting but also liberating. Most of my solo material is just recorded by myself in my own mini-studio, so it’s a much more isolated and self-driven process. You don’t get the cool collaborative side of things as you do with the band, but it’s also great to just roll with whatever ideas pop up and mould them on the go. I recorded all of the vocals & instruments myself, and had it mixed and mastered by Clint Watts of Watts Productions, who also produces our band’s material. What was the decision behind releasing Serpent Sound as a solo artist? It’s a continuation of my solo stuff parallel to the band. I’ve always written my own material since before Climate Control was properly formed, so this is me experimenting further. A lot of the material I write wouldn’t work with the band, so this is my outlet for all of those that all into other musical styles. What makes you excited about being an artist in South Africa? There really are incredible artists here, I’ve made some amazing musician friends that I’ve jammed and written with. I guess it’s exciting to see all of the great material coming out of SA. The industry is a tough one though, and I feel in some ways that it’s a particularly difficult time for alternative music here, but that’s another story. Can we expect more tracks from you in the future? Most certainly. I have a lot of unreleased material that I want to get recorded soon; hopefully an EP or album sooner rather than later too! In your opinion, what defines success as an artist in South Africa? Damn, that’s a tough one. I’d say that my perception of success, at least at the moment, is a balance between being creatively satisfied and happy with the work being created, and being able to make a decent and sustainable living from the music created. The latter is particularly difficult in SA, but I think I’d consider myself successful by loving what I’m doing, and if people also resonate with what I’ve created. Which other artists in South Africa are paving the way in the music industry? I really love The Watermark High and the stuff he’s doing with Kinoh too. Super well produced and emotive music. My mates in OneDaySky are doing great things – they know how to write a hook. I also really enjoyed that Ryki feat. Aewon Wolf song “Please Try” last year, it’s super well written. How can people get hold of you? I’m on Facebook here, Twitter here, and Instagram. I also write short stories and poetry on my blog here, and you can buy or stream Serpent Sound at these links and many others: iTunes/Apple Music: Amazon MP3: Deezer: Google Play: What is next for you? I want to start playing some more shows next year and maybe put together a live band for the more complex setups. And Climate Control are going to kick back into action next year too, so I’m going to be putting a lot of my time into those. I can’t wait.