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Inspired By Sobriety, St. Louis Musician Dear Genre Debuts ‘Man In Full’

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Dear Genre
St. Louis-based musician André Cataldo produces music under the name Dear Genre.

André Cataldo, who produces music under the name Dear Genre, considers his latest album, “Man in Full,” his most “tame and mature” sound — yet the album almost didn’t happen.

After the St. Louis-based artist released his fifth indie-rock album in 2018, “Henna Party,” Cataldo planned to take a five-year music break to seek other life opportunities. But a year ago, he started his sobriety journey. Paired with times of quarantine brought on by the pandemic, Cataldo rekindled his musical creativity.

“Life is funny in that way. Chemicals left my life, and that really started to change the way I looked at the world … [that] gave me new thoughts and fresh ideas,” he told St. Louis on the Air.

Throughout this past year, Cataldo said he’s experienced a lot of unfortunate incidents and accidents, but also a lot of positive moments. “Man in Full” is his attempt to “come out on the other side with something gained.”

Cataldo joined host Sarah Fesnke on Thursday’s program to delve into his musical journey and share tracks from “Man in Full.”

Dear Genre - Whispers

“Milky Eyes” is one track on the album. The title epitomizes Cataldo’s take on how the human eye looks postmortem. The song was inspired by the death of a close friend.

“I’m painfully extroverted. So developing relationships has been very easy for me, but developing deep close relationships are very difficult. I kind of [had] a spiritual quick connection with this guy,” Cataldo explained. “He and I talked about everything from life: how we came into the world and maybe what happens after.

“He was certainly kind of a shining star, and everywhere he went, he kind of had a little bit of a hop to him. [He was] kind of one of the individuals that you never think you would have to live without.”

The rest of the tracks are Cataldo’s efforts to hold himself accountable for his past, while also making peace with it and moving forward.

“I would like to think that this is a permanent shift in the way that I do things and the way that I think,” he said. “I do feel like I’m more full spectrum and kind of taking things on as they come. It's kind of relieving to take a breath and look around for a while and just maybe not do anything.

“Just kind of understand that maybe we've come a long way; maybe we've gone through some things that we're not quite proud of, or some things that we didn't have a choice on.”

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill and Lara Hamdan. The audio engineer is Aaron Doerr.

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Lara is a producer for "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.

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