“In general it’s about emotional awareness and growth,” says Love of his album. “I’m telling a story of my own growth but I’m sprinkling in the theme of emotional awareness throughout that and that was a main thing for me. You can only really break free of a lot of childhood habits and growing pains by just becoming a little more emotionally aware. It’s a transition that I think a lot of people can relate to and something that I try to portray quite a bit.”
Love grew up in Houston and is a first generation American with his parents immigrating from Turkey, a cultural influence felt throughout his indie rock and pop sound. On the track “Run Away” Love teamed up with Turkish artist Mert Çodur to create a Mediterranean-inspired feel good summer song in line with the entire album's oceanic theme.
“When I learned that my name meant the sea, a lot of things started to make sense,” says Deniz who describes always being drawn to the calming properties of water. “It can teach us a lot about who we are and why things happen the way they do,” he says.
Prior to becoming a musician, Love was set on a path to becoming a professional soccer player training with the Houston Dynamo team. His soccer career left little time to focus on music but taught him a lot about teamwork and dedication. When an injury forced him to step back from his life on the field, Love was able to shift his focus and energy into his music.
“I don't know if I would have made this album if I didn't get injured. It definitely was an experience that helped me become who I am right now. It taught me a lot of lessons. It made me step back and look at life in a different way, it changed my perspective,” he says.
Love set out to make a band and really delve into his love of music taking advantage of his newly discovered free time. He and his band started playing together in 2020 and as they played more and more shows, Love decided to record an album.
“I recorded most of it in my bedroom. I went to the studio to mix the album because I’m not an engineer but I recorded and produced it all," says Love describing his DIY approach to recording All Waves Pass.
For All Waves Pass, Love focused on themes of love, healing and self reflection all wrapped up in a variety of pop and rock-centered genres. “It’s all over the place for me. You can't decide what genre it is,” says Love of his debut album.
“There's a nostalgic element where I want anyone at any age to be able to identify with this music,” says Love.
“There's a nostalgic element where I want anyone at any age to be able to identify with this music.”
“I do use the word love because I really wanted to normalize that word outside of a romantic context. Part of my mission was to have people embody love any way that they can. To me, it's a personal reminder to always love everyone, everything, all of my surroundings and myself.”
Love, who booked the entire tour himself, originally set out with Houston’s Max Diaz and Austin’s Strawberry Milk Cult, two bands that he got to know through going out to see live music around the city prior to the pandemic.
While on tour, Strawberry Milk Cult was involved in a car crash that left their tour van totaled, forcing them to miss tour dates. In addition to a Go Fund Me, Love and his band in a reflection of his mission to spread love, got together to donate profits from their Dallas show to help the band recoup. Due to the accident, Strawberry Milk Cult has been replaced with Montclair for the Houston show.
“In this community we want to stay together as artists. All we have is us, our families, friends and supporters so as artists, we stick together. It made sense to do this together,” he says of his lineup for the tour. “Some artists are so competitive and I just try to surround myself with the nicest guys possible and that's what we are doing here.”
Deniz Love will perform with Max Diaz and Montclair on Saturday, July 30 at The Heights Theater, 339 W 19th. 7 p.m. $16-256.