The Superb Reality of I.am.Hologram
By Vanessa Joy
We recently sat down for a beer and a super-revealing chat with an artist who has, virtually, been plucked from obscurity and become a household name in the scene. You simply know him as i. am. hologram. This gripping solo artist tells us about the light and dark side of being alone onstage, why you can’t so easily label him just another singer/songwriter and why he’s delightfully startled that you know his name.
In a homogenous scene filled with the ever-present “guys with guitars”, this alluringly eccentric musician, with an easy smile and tough convictions is a major stand-out. If you frequent any local venue, you’ve caught him live at least once (except for Pub Rock Live, but we’ll get to that later). When asked about his steadily-rising popularity he responds, “It’s strange to hear that. I don’t feel like I get out there as much, but it’s never enough for me. It’s always nice to know that I’m not doing what I do for nothing.” That sentiment is one all musicians can relate to and,sadly, some never realize. Well on his way to scene domination, i. am. hologram.’s capabilities are no illusion.
A stunningly adept guitarist, i. am. hologram. plays in a more unorthodox manner than his scene counterparts. While most musicians tune in 440 hertz, this visionary musician tunes in 432 hertz. “It’s just a slight difference, but it makes all the difference,” he notes. 432Hz is said by some scholars to promote natural healing–a harmonious intonation of Mother Nature. That definitely explains i. am. hologram’s soaringly transcendent sets he’s been offering up to the Valley. A truly attuned soul, you can hear the balance this man possesses in his vocal agility. He can be soft and sensual over his intricate chords, or primeval like a “screaming velociraptor”.
We at Azmusic.org have said it before and we’ll reiterate: there’s not enough local musicians willing to collaborate to propel the scene out of the Valley. That doesn’t seem to hinder i. am. hologram one iota. “It was hard doing this without a band,” he says. “When you have a band, you have a whole support system. So I feel very vulnerable. If something malfunctions, it’s all on me–ALL on me. If my right foot goes out, I have to get into a fight with my right foot that night–get it back in line,” he says with a smirk. No stranger to the histrionic antics that can come from being in a group, i. am. hologram has found a snug fit in the local scene as a solo act. However, every venue hasn’t been so responsive to this one-act. “Pub Rock feels my music is too slow,” the artist laments. “They just don’t dig my style…I have songs that are 200 BPM. So, when people label me as a singer/songwriter it takes away from the fact that one person can make more noise than some of these two, three, four, five, six, seven piece bands! I make a lot of noise!” Among being a trained multi-instumentalist, i. am. hologram. is also and ex punk band member. When asked why he no longer plays punk music, he movingly declares, “I do. What is punk but a raw release of emotions?” Well-played, sir.
Catching this complex artist’s live show is a chance to peek behind the curtain of this kaleidoscopic, genre-bending talent. The barefoot buddha of the local scene, it’s like Annie Lennox and Kurt Cobain had a love child! We here at Azmusic.org cannot wait to hear more from this enigmatic artist. i. am. hologram. is not a one-man-show, but one man’s existential awakening.