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GUEST BLOG: From Berlin To Brazil: How Different Cultures Affect Your Music

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Paolo_Testa_Photo-80So here we are, about to embark on a journey across the globe and find out together how the places I’ve lived in have affected me…something I’ve never actually thought about to this day!

Usually the first thing that interests me in a new place is the culture. Which basically means (minus all the bullshit) food! I’m sure I can actually make some correlations between the food I ate and different sounds that derived from it (that sounds bad).

I’d say that living in Berlin really was a melting pot for me regarding the addition of electronic sounds to what was then very folksy sounding. I was there running around Kreuzberg, playing on street corners with my acoustic guitar and hearing electronic music in between. What’s interesting is that the bi-product shows up randomly after a while as it’s slowly developing inside of you.  

New York City is the most diverse city I’ve lived in but mainly caught my ears with its burst of blue grass and folk music that was just getting big in the indie world as I moved there in 09′. Every day this city continues to inspire me and more so teach me about myself! Your senses are active 24/7 and it’s always just a matter of time before you get in the studio and do something you’d never thought you would do!

In Tel Aviv – because I never really cared for local music – it really got me to actually search deeper for music around the world. I discovered hip hop for the first time (my first love) and met my wife – Radiohead – while living there as well as many other things that are now a part of me. I will say that it’s one of the most fun cities in the world and going there with all the tools that I had brought back from everywhere else helped create the first happy music I’d ever written! (Sun)

Months spent in Brazil eating every fruit known to man gave me a few extra pounds as well as introducing me to samba and local foho (Brazilian folk). It also made me realize how happy you can be with just appreciating where you are. Would love to live in Rio some day!

In conclusion, I’d say that if you can, travel as much as possible! The growth and learning experience is just incredible, and  if you’re a musician – your music will go hand in hand with that. I look forward to new places and new beginnings!


Today’s incredibly worldly (excuse the bad pun) guest blog was brought to you by fast-rising pop/folk artist IRO. With his own unique blend of genres – influenced by the massive variety of places he’s lived in – IRO has grown immensely in 2015 and is one to watch in the future as well. You can stream his latest single “Sun” below and if you love it as much as we do, grab the MP3 right here.

Follow IRO on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Soundcloud | Official Website 

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Joe Ballard

Occasional writer for Infectious Magazine and full-time Publicist for Muddy Paw PR. 110% nerd. If I'm not listening to Anberlin or finding new music, you can find me reading anything by George R. R. Martin or finding new anime to watch.

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