Caleb Moore artfully intertwines groove-infused alternative R&B, electronic euphoria, and emotive vulnerability, all at once in his new single ‘Missed Me’.
A truly evocative brand of electronic music, ‘Missed Me’ emerges as a thrilling expedition into the electronic realm, pulsating with energy and an infectious sense of exuberance. Commencing with an introduction reminiscent of TEED, the song seamlessly transitions into Caleb’s beloved alternative R&B space. Its irresistible groove captivates from the onset, inviting listeners into an irresistible dance.
Beyond its catchiness, ‘Missed Me’ evolves into a masterpiece of contrasts. Moody and introspective lyrics stand in stark contrast to the danceable beats and luminous synths. We sat down with this talented producer and artist to learn more about what makes him tick, his approaches to creative process and much more in this exclusive interview with TAGG!
Your music draws from diverse influences like Tyler the Creator, James Blake, and Gustavo Santaolalla. How do these eclectic inspirations shape your creative process?
Even though those artists represent very different styles/genres of music, they’re all extremely focused on not only their music production. I’d even venture to say that more specifically they’re focused on the sound of the music specifically over the genre they’re working in. That resonates with me deeply and is one of my main focuses when I set out to make a track.
Your sound blends groove-focused alternative R&B, electronic elements, and lyrical vulnerability. How do you balance these different musical elements in your compositions?
I’ve always been a fan of a lot of different genres of music, and I’ve found that plays an increasingly larger role in my production and songwriting. I think rather than focusing on how these different pieces balance together, I first focus on what I think could be a surprising combination. If it sounds good, I find the balance works itself out.
‘Missed Me’ was initially conceived as an instrumental piece and later evolved with lyrics and melodies. Could you share more about this creative process and how the song transformed along the way?
Absolutely – like you said the song started just as a beat. I’d been going back and listening to IGOR, Tyler’s 2019 album, and I wanted to spend some time working on a beat that was heavily synth based. The synth patches and bassline called out to me pretty quickly but the drums were a little harder to figure out. Then when I finally did, and I came up with the instrumental switch-up in the middle, I knew I wanted to try to add some lyrics. You never know how the creative process is going to look, but this was one of those where the majority of the song was finished really quickly.
The lyrics of ‘Missed Me’ are moody and introspective, contrasting with its danceable beats and bright synths. What prompted this contrast in the song’s emotional and sonic elements?
I’ve been integrating freestyling into my lyric writing a lot more these days, and ‘Missed Me’ was definitely one of those songs that really benefited from that. I found a random lyric idea I had written in my notes that said “baby said I talk too much.” It’d been sitting there for a while. I set the mic up, played the beat, and the first thing that came out was, “baby said I talk too much, I ain’t having none of that sh*t.” From there, the rest of the flow was born. The instrumental feels really bright to me, so having these sort of negative, fed-up lyrics felt like another fun combination to throw in there.
You mentioned that ‘Missed Me’ is an anthem for when one is fed up and doesn’t want to hear negativity. How does music serve as a form of empowerment and release for you personally?
Writing lyrics was the first place I learned to unabashedly share my feelings. What I loved most as a kid was there were no rules – you don’t ever have to explain what you mean if you don’t want to, which released a lot of my fear. I also love how one phrase can mean something to one person, but resonate completely differently with someone else. For me the empowerment of it may sometimes be an unintended consequence, but the release that comes with creating is certainly one of the biggest parts of why I make music.
Stream ‘Missed Me’ here:
How do you feel your music and creative approach have evolved since your earlier works? What can listeners expect from your upcoming music or projects?
My music has evolved a lot since my earlier work, and I think (and hope) it will continue to. I’ve begun to view things more as an expanding loop rather than just a straight line of growth. For instance, I started out writing songs with just my guitar and voice, and always brought production in later. In the last few years, I really started to emphasize production differently, and as a result it let me approach my lyric writing from a new angle. But fast-forward to now and I’m seeing a combination of those approaches in what I do. I think overall, as I grow, I’m adhering to less and less rules in my creative process.
I think my upcoming music will support this claim. I have a couple different songs coming out next that I feel are really representative of the way I’ve eliminated limitations of style and process in my music. I’m still growing as an artist, but I feel like these tracks are really representative of where I’m at right now, so I’m excited for everyone to hear it.
In your creative process, how do you approach the balance between performing, producing, and songwriting? Do you find one aspect more challenging or rewarding than the others?
This balance is definitely a challenge. In particular, I’m focusing a lot of energy these days into figuring out the right way to represent my music in a solo live performance. My sound has changed so much since I last performed live, and because my overall soundscape is so important to my current musical feel, I want to make sure that I can reflect that in a live setting as much as a recorded one. I’ve been watching a lot of performances from more electronic based artists and I think I’ve started to come up with something – I’m excited to give it a try in the new year.
‘Missed Me’ offers an infectious groove combined with introspective lyrics. What kind of response or emotional impact do you hope your music will have on your audience?
When I think about how the music of the artists I love most makes me feel, I think about how the songs both give me a visceral feeling instrumentally (whether that’s a groove, a sound, or the arrangement) as well as contain vocals and lyrics that paints a picture in content and artistry. That’s my biggest hope for listeners of my music – that they can experience both of these things when they hear my music, whether at the same time or during different playbacks.
Looking ahead, what are your aspirations or goals for your music career in 2023 and beyond? Are there any upcoming projects or collaborations you’re excited about sharing with your fans?
I’m really excited about the next 12 months for me. This is going to be the year of releases for me – I have quite a few songs that I’ll be rolling out, and I’m looking forward to allowing people to get a better grasp of me as an artist! It’s only a serious body of work that lets you do so, and I expect that to look a lot different around this time next year. Stay tuned!