Mark Diamond and the evolving definition of ‘Hummingbird’

Photo Credit: Aleigh Michelle

Sit back and think of a singular hummingbird. When you see one outside your window, it captures your attention right away. It’s this beautiful bird with a song that’s unique to itself. It takes pollen from a flower and then it goes away. You may see another hummingbird on another day, but not that particular one. It’s like love in a way. Although a person may come into your life for a season, you never forget of how they made you feel as if you are a flower.

Singer/songwriter Mark Diamond is about to release the second part of his Hummingbird EPs next Friday. This particular set of four tracks both show his range in tempo and his ability as a songwriter. You can either listen to both EPs as a separate journey or put them together like a puzzle piece. Not only are these songs showing the ever changing and ever morphing virtue of love to Diamond himself, but his musical journey and him following inspiration wherever it wants him to go.

I wanted to talk about “Heaven” first. You mention that it was one of those songs that just came together seamlessly. That you didn’t remember if you started with the verses or the chorus. Just from listening to your music and your description of love, it’s funny how someone can give you that feeling of a place such as heaven existing. When you listen to this song, that’s the emotions that you get. I guess the sense that the song is very special to you, too. 

Yeah, you’re right. It’s a very special track. It was one of those ones where it came together super quick and everything hit at the same time. It’s kind of unexplainable when you’re with someone, if feels like what I think heaven would feel like. It’s this whole thing that if it’s as easy as believing in it or believing in each other, then why can’t this be heaven for us? Why can’t we decide that?

It’s funny man. A lot of times, lyrics will come out when I’m writing as a stream of consciousness. I kind of don’t find a meaning to it until I listen back to it. I pretty much wrote all the lyrics at the same time. Just singing and not writing anything down. It hits and it’s just like, “oh, wow!” It’s a rare sort of thing.

This song is really special to sing live as well. It’s easy for me to get lost in that song. I don’t feel like I have to “perform” that song. I just get to play it and I was really lucky to catch that song from the universe. I’m really thankful that I was the one who was able to get that.

Going from what you just said, listening to both Hummingbird EPs in a continuous way, you have the hummingbird theme. I also feel that there is a metaphoric stream of consciousness, too. The fact that you can utilize something as beautiful and small as a hummingbird to describe so many things. Whether it be a person or emotions. How did you arrive at the hummingbird motif? Was it a conscious decision? 

I feel like the biggest thing for me recently..just by being told by friends over the years and people in the industry that “you gotta hone in on your sound.” You spend years and years of your life trying to find your sound. Finally, I got to a point where I was like, “fuck it. my sound is any song that my voice is on.” Also, any song that has my lyrics and melodies. I write all my lyrics. That’s going to be the common denominator throughout my career. Everything else is going to change and grow as I do. I want these EP’s to represent that.

They sound like they are from the same family, but they also sound different. What’s to follow after this EP is going to sound different as well. I think it’s chasing after a fan base or a group of people that march alongside me. I’m grateful that I’m able to put out what I think sounds cool.

It doesn’t need to be too much more explaining, you know? That’s a special thing I don’t take for granted. I feel the most pure form of art is when you’re not thinking about it. It’s just happening and you get lost in it. It’s a high like no other. These EPs are a good contrast of who I am. Not just as a person, but as a writer and singer as well.

Having a song like “Monster” which is upbeat and where I can dance and jump around with people. Then there’s a song like “Heaven” where I just want to sing that alone. You have “Shimmer” which is more of a middle ground song that you just want to drive around and listen to. Hitting as many emotions as I can possibly get away with is my goal.

I saw a tweet of yours where you mentioned having freedom as an artist and with what songs you want to come out. You just mentioned your songs and how they have all these different flavors. How does it feel partnering up with a label like Republic Records and how does it encourage your artistry further? 

It definitely encourages me to chase after the most honest truth at the moment. That could change every day or every hour. I’m 100 percent for all of us feeling a wide spectrum of emotions. That’s what kind of fuels my fire. The highs and the lows. All of that. I want to capture it all. I don’t want people to get comfortable where they just know what’s next. I find myself the other day writing a western-type song.

If it feels right and it makes me and other people feel something, I’m going to put it out. There’s nothing stopping me. There’s no reason why it should not come out.

What I thought was a cool connective tissue between these two EPs, you have a song like “Heaven,” but then you have a song like “Road” on the first EP. These are two places that you describe that are infinite that you can have with your lover. Just the vastness of these settings, I feel you’re describing love as a place you can get lost in and there’s no limit to where you can go. 

I think a lot of it too man, and that’s beautifully said is allowing things to be special. Even things and relationships that are short. Things that come across in your life that don’t last as long as you want them to. Reminding yourself that maybe that’s all you needed. Let it be beautiful. Don’t let it be frustrating. I spent a lot of time being angry. We’ve all been through those phases.

For some reason, I hit this point where I started coming up with all these concepts. The hummingbird and the flower. I started to realize that I know what the flower does. The flower ends up being just fine. You just have to learn that maybe that one interaction with that Hummingbird or someone special – though it may have been short, it’s everything it needed to be. That kind of story really pushed me as I was making this music.

You have an alter ego that you named “Dusty Flairs.” I definitely see this side come out in your music videos. Your music and the visuals kinda have that Clark Kent/Superman or David Bowie thing. Do you feel like these sides to you go back and forth from music to your visual style? 

I like playing with that because it’s kind of fun, man. You can kind of be whoever you want to be when you just put a new name. It’s one of those things whether at shows or festivals, I’ll go off stage and change into an outfit that goes a little over the top. That’s Dusty Flairs. That’s how that feels. It’s fun to play with that as an artist. Make people think you’re a bit crazy.

It’s just another way of letting art out. “Hummingbird,” that song, I feel like when I start singing that, the falsetto is quite high. That feels like a Dusty Flairs track. It works hand and hand. It’s just two sides of who I am. The more intense songs. That’s Dusty Flairs.