In a low-lit bar last week, Stern senior Armen Paul performed with the energy of someone who had already sang in sold out stadiums. His band was in sync as they performed a slew of original songs at Rockwood Music Hall on Allen Street on Thursday, Jan. 28. He was jovial with the crowd and confident on stage. And if all goes to plan for Armen, sold out stadiums are not too far off in his future.
Currently working on an album with Grammy-winning producer Josh Thompson at Tallest Tree Music, he is scheduled to drop his next single and music video “To The Moon and Back” this Valentine’s Day. WSN sat down with Paul to talk balancing music and school, his influences and his plans for the future.
WSN: How long have you been singing?
Armen Paul: I have been singing since I was in third grade, but I really began to pursue music when I was about 16 years old.
WSN: How do you incorporate music into school?
AP: Music is as much of a time commitment, if not more, than my coursework. I have to keep myself extremely organized. I have a lot of obligations, so it’s important that I plan far in advance and keep tabs on everything that I’m involved in. It’s easier said than done, but you’d be surprised at how many things you can accomplish simultaneously, by keeping yourself organized.
Additionally, I’ve found that a Finance and Management degree has allowed me to more comfortably handle the business end of the music industry. Finances, contract law, marketing has all been supported by my business education. I’d say I incorporate school into music more than I do music into school.
WSN: How did you start doing gigs here in the city?
AP: I started doing gigs in the city by networking with some of the musicians that I’d met through vocal lessons and music groups that I’d been a part of. I performed for private events and corporate gatherings for a while. I also made a brief appearance on the television show, the X-Factor in 2014. Finally I was able to get a booking agent, which really helped with landing better gigs and venues.
WSN: Who is influencing you most right now?
AP:I’d say Michael Jackson, Bruno Mars and Justin Timberlake are probably some of my largest influences right now. My previous, more acoustic/pop sound has started to transition into more of the pop/funk sphere.
WSN: What are your dreams/plans for the next five years?
AP: It would be great to have the chance to do a Euro Tour. I haven’t done so yet and I think my senior summer could be a good window. Other ambitions would probably include playing my dream venue, MSG. However, I’d say in a more general sense, my plans are to continue progressing in the industry and developing my musicianship. There is still a lot for me to learn and I’m looking forward to what the future is going to bring me.
Armen Paul’s next performance will be at Rock Shop in Brooklyn on Feb. 18. Watch the music video for “Pen in My Hand” below.
Email Opheli Lawler at [email protected]