Spencer's new album, Focus, drops this Friday. To celebrate, we're turning up the volume for a Restore Row at 8:30 PM Monday, Feb. 26 at Chelsea. Keep reading to learn more about Spencer's album and his favorite tunes.
Tell us about your new album.
If you only know me through taking my Row House class, I imagine this album may be a little surprising ... It's the kind of music you listen to on a long train ride home in the snow or curled up next to a fire. It's a reflective look at our relationship with the past — how we remember the people and places that we love. For years I've been making R&B/Soul music with my band The Rooks, but this project is my first solo effort, and the sound is more on the indie/pop/make-you-feel-feelings side of things.
What’s your music background? How did you get into it?
I started playing saxophone when I was 10, then pursued music in high school and college, mostly studying jazz. I also grew up with a mother who is choral director, so singing has always been a big part of my life.
Do you have any shows coming up?
Yes! I'm having an album release show on Friday, February 23rd at 61 Local in Brooklyn, NY at 9:00 PM. I'll be playing all new music from the album with a live band.
Who should listen to your music? (You’d like this if you like _____.)
I would say my music is somewhere on the Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran, Bon Iver, Frank Ocean continuum. So if you like any of those, there's something here for you. And as you can tell from those artists, this album is not exactly one that's going to get you pumped up in a HIIT class ... But it will be perfect for a Restore class.
What are your desert island albums? If you could only bring three with you, what would they be?
Oof this is a tough one. Just three? Okay ... "Songs in the Key of Life" by Stevie Wonder, "Sign O' The Times" by Prince, and "Blonde" by Frank Ocean. Usually my barometer for friendship is if the other person likes Prince. And kindness, I guess.
What are your favorite artists or songs to row to?
I love rowing to pop music that's upbeat and has a great groove. Artists like Beyonce, Demi Lovato, Walk The Moon, The Chainsmokers — they're all great for that. Also don't sleep on DJ Khaled! He's a ridiculous person and makes great workout music. What more do you want?
What kind of music do you like to play in class?
I try to keep it current while every now and then putting in a little throwback vibe for the people. My playlists for this week include Bruno Mars, Justin Timberlake, Miguel, HAIM, and Ludacris, among others. My favorite new song to row to though is "The Middle" by Zedd and Maren Morris. That song is a straight up banger.
How important is music during a class?
It's everything! If I can usually tell how good an instructor's music is by looking at my total distance at the end of class. Seriously. When we all row to the beat together, I think everybody in the room feeds off the energy. There's nothing quite like it.
The album will be available on Friday, February 23rd on Spotify, iTunes, and other streaming platforms! For foolishness and minimal serious content, check out my social media pages: @spencerHmusic. For more serious news/future releases, check out my website www.spencerhmusic.com.