Lou Asril (c) Tim Cavadini
Lou Asril (c) Tim Cavadini

The FM4 Soundpark is a web-platform, community, and radio show for Austrian musicians. Every month, one act is selected to be highlighted both online and on air. The FM4 Soundpark act of the month.

When your body shakes to the beat: Lou Asril is the FM4 Soundpark Act of July

Lou Asril has the soul and he has the style. And he is about to prove it, live, at the Popfest Wien. Our FM4 Soundpark Act in July.

After a few seconds it’s clear: It’s been a long time since anyone has breathed, let alone sung, as beautifully as Lou Asril. “Divine Goldmine” is the name of the first single with which the Upper Austrian musician presented himself to the public a good three months ago. It’s a good start, it’s a good video. The soft voice, the rough British working class style.

Not the typical school band

Above all, it’s an exciting start. As a person who grew up on the countryside, you know that R’n’B is hardly a thing there. The school bands that form often try their hand at dubious Nirvana covers. Maybe even Green Day. All in all, however, the first musical steps of their own usually take place in a genre that is fighting for justification worldwide: good, old indie guitar music. Lou Asril also plays in a school band, but not in the a-typical one.

He grew up in Seitenstetten (Amstetten district) and began taking classical piano lessons at the age of eleven. Musical parents (mother classical singer, father conductor, trumpeter and teacher) make his home his first point of contact with what Lou Asril later wants to make his profession. He knows this very early on, as he tells us in his FM4 interview. At the age of 12, 13, when he started writing his first songs.

LLou Asril (c) Laurenz Hintermayer
Lou Asril (c) Laurenz Hintermayer

The BORG Linz, whose musical-creative branch Lou Asril later attended, has been a flourishing place for many Upper Austrian musicians for quite some time. Founding a band is not only obligatory, but also part of the education here. The band which Lou Asril currently is on stage with was formed during these times at school – even though the formation has changed and there being only seven people on stage now instead of the original nine.

The best always comes from within

If you were to ask bands three years ago why they put down the guitar and plugged in the synthesizer instead, they said something like: “It’s no longer indie, it’s electropop”. If you now ask bands, where these soulful, R’n’B-related sounds in their songs come from, they are smart enough to follow the worldwide, successful trend, but also smart enough to not mention this very reason.

If you ask Lou Asril where his love for soul and R’n’B, for artists like Toni Braxton, Brandy or Jamelia, comes from, you won’t get a concrete answer. Shrugging his shoulders he then says that he searched for music and found it. No one taught him, he didn’t choose to do so. It was just there – and it fit.

Not the kind of answer a journalist wants. And maybe that’s why it’s so precious: Lou Asril doesn’t have to tell a story. His music, as he does it, comes straight from him, genuine and original, without or only filtered by a few external impressions. A valuable thing.

Urban music that comes from the countryside. Or at least from a not so big city. Its a phenomenon that also fits for Mavi Phoenix, another musician from Upper Austria. Young artists who grow up with an unmistakable sense of the pop-cultural zeitgeist. Whether or not they will have an easy time of it remains to be seen. Lou Asril sounds international, and that’s exactly why it shouldn’t worry him anymore.

Waiting for more

‘Divine Goldmine” isn’t the only track that proves Lou Asril has a talent for choosing two word song titles that sum up the smooth groove of his music. His second single is called “Soothing Moving”. It sounds more electronic, but still falls into the genre of “Alternative R’n’B”. Lou Asril says: “The next single is another facet of myself. I’m not done searching for my sound yet, the songs I have yet to release won’t all sound the same.”

Short Reminder: Lou Asril just turned 19. Anyone who won the Joe Zawinul Award at the age of 17, attended songwriting courses at the Musicians Institute in L.A. and then returns with such singles can hope for an exciting future.

By Lisa Schneider – translated from the German article (FM4) by Dave Dempsey.

FM4 Acoustic Session with Lou Asril
Lou Asril (Website)
Lou Asril (Facebook)
Interview with Stefan Niederwieser