The following is a conversation that I had with an artist, Peter Moe (also known as Pöém). I hope he inspires you.
CG: What is your medium of choice?
Peter: In regards to my artistry, I am a writer in both the literary sense and the poetic sense; involving music. Those are my two mediums I’m looking to craft and to really improve. Probably more the music, but they really go hand in hand.
Music is poetry. Actually, music is fancied poetry, because there are sounds with the poetry. One of my favorite quotes is “Music is emotion in it’s purest form”, it’s kinda my deal. Music is emotion.
How did you become involved in both music and writing?
I don’t know, ever since being a child really, I’ve just liked it. I’ve always felt music resonates very, very deeply with me, and words in general. Especially poems. Back in elementary school I remember taking literature classes, and really excelled in those areas. I enjoyed it thoroughly; I was a good writer, to be frank.
Was there a point at which writing became a fun thing, or was it always fun for you?
For the most part it was always fun, unless I was confined to a cinquain poem, or a haiku, which are silly. You could say so little, and maybe that’s the fun part of the poem; is writing something deep in a few short words, but I was definitely a huge fan of free poems. That was what I preferred.
Have you also always been making music?
So, music started when I was in highschool. I’ve always been intrigued with motifs and ideas, but I really didn’t start writing music until I took a theory class in my sophomore year of highschool, because that opened my eyes to the chords and everything that goes into what is music and the technical aspects of it. And, really, in that class I learned how to write a song. So that’s where I composed my first song, Notice Me, and it’s been a journey ever since.
Is Notice Me published anywhere?
Not yet. Hopefully it’ll make it’s way to the first album, Therapy.
What is involved in your creative process, and is it different depending on the specific medium you are creating within?
So for me, my best writings tend to happen when I feel emotionally charged. I’ll call it my ‘creative funk mode’. Sometimes life is just very “Do this, do this, do this”, but my favorite mode to be in is creative mode. It’s more about this new idea, or about what can you create when you sit down at the piano. Sometimes it’s just spurts of inspiration that just come throughout the day. And that really applies to both my writing and my music, and sometimes I’ll write a poem strictly to be a poem, or I’ll write a poem or some sort of freeform poem that ends up in a song, either at the time I write it, or at a later time.
What does creating do for you?
It’s an expression of emotion. I think it’s an outlet; a therapeutic outlet to express emotions. Really, it’s therapy.
Can you imagine life without creativity?
It’d be very sad. And I don’t think it could ever be that way because if we’re made in God’s image, we have a desire to create, and I think it’s an outlet for passion and we’re given that ability, so why not create something? And then you feel special when you do create something, especially something you love. You’re like, “Wow, I created this, but then God created me.” So how much cooler is that?
Where do you want to go right now? (interpret that in any way you’d like)
Anywhere but Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
No, but where do I want to go? Physically, I want to end up in Nashville.. hopefully in a year’s time, to pursue music. To really get down to the nitty gritty. And just spend a lot of time in the creative process. Working through songs, working through ideas, and to collaborate with people too. That’s really where I want to be. And eventually performing live shows.. It’d be phenomenal and fantastic to do that relatively soon. And just kinda get the art out there. Granted, I have writings on my blog right now, but that’s really the only public thing besides my Instagram, which is a form of art with my photography. But that’s not a huge thing I like to fall on. Yeah, for now, I mainly have writings on my blog, but eventually everything else will follow.
How do you see your blog evolving with your music?
I guess I kind of explained the process; I use the blog to primarily keep myself dedicated to something, and then write things that maybe people find interesting or humorous, or makes them think deeply. And then really just pull my writing skills, because the more you write the better you get. Really just dedication; to say I can do something, and kind of to show people a behind-the-scenes look at who I am as a person, since it’s a bit more personal than just an image.
Would you say that the blog is a self-inspiration tool for you?
Yeah, you could say that. Yep.
Have you had the chance to collaborate with many other artists? If so, who has been your favorite person to collaborate with so far?
I really haven’t collaborated too much, and it’s getting better - sharing my ideas - but a lot of my ideas are kept to my chest; are kept close to my heart. So I’m slowly opening up to other people and I think collaboration is really good. I would say it’s an ingredient to success, collaborating with people. But Kelly Matthews, I’ve done a lot with him. We actually wrote a song a while ago and that was really fun. One I really like, which I hope to release maybe not on the first album, but maybe the second album, if I get to that point. It was a lot of fun when I wrote with him. And in the future, my producer, Caleb McFarland, will hopefully be a treat. (Counting on you, Caleb)
If you could pick exactly what your ideal tour would be right now, what does that look like?
The complete opposite of a one-man show. I’m not a fan of all the midis. They’re fun for a recording studio, on a budget, but as far as performing live, as real as possible. So that means as big as possible. The more people you have on stage, the more fun it is. The more energizing it is, the bigger the performance in front of the crowd. It’s like a huge party time. It takes the center off of you as the main creator.
If there was one book every artist should read, what would it be?
Well, everyone should be reading the Bible. That’s a given. Besides that, I think fantasy is really cool.
I like to read a lot of fantasy that’s older and involves animals, like Watership Down by Richard Adams, I think is a wonderful book. And I also think Bambi, a Life in the Woods by Felix Salten is also an excellent read. They’re very deep reads; they’re not for kids, they get you thinking. You kind of explore these other worlds from a different perspective, and it’s a better novelty than, say, Harry Potter, or some of the bigger books. I think it kind of touches on a wide population, that’s more fun than them. I think books like Bambi, a Life in the Woods and Watership Down are deeper, and, can I say, have better emotions, and more thoughts.
What inspires you?
I really like Adam Young, of Owl City - I think he’s very cutesy in his writing; whimsical, magical. It’s a different set of emotion that I really appreciate, that we don’t really have in this culture so much, so I really like his take on it. I really love eclectic people like Blur Fontman, Damon Albarn — co-creator of the band Gorillaz — I like his stuff a lot. I really love Matt Bellamy of the band Muse. I think Tom Delonge, a lot of people maybe don’t like him, but I think his stuff is good. Most people maybe don’t like it, but I find it a cool space to be in. And I do like rap too, so some Eminem, some Yelawolf, Dr. Dre, all that stuff is good. And Brendon Urie of Panic! At the Disco - he’s fun too. He has a very unique style as well. I can say the same of Twenty-One Pilots, they’re doing the crossover getting featured on radio, and it’s great. I think in a way they’re saving music. They’re saving the Top 40, because there’s a lot of poor music out there and I would say theirs is not poor.
Special thanks to Peter for bearing extreme heat on our shoot day + for participating in #lookattheartist. Also thanks to his producer, Caleb, for making sure that Peter mentioned the people who influence and inspire him. If you’re interested in getting featured as an artist, contact me for more information.
Connect with Peter:
Pöém merchandise coming soon (including notebooks!)