The North London raised musician speaks on his vulnerable latest single 'Hold On', the life-line that was creating his debut EP 'Omertà' and the importance of honesty within his music.
You recently released your first single of the year ‘Hold On’, what were your initial inspirations that led you into writing the track?
The impulse for "Hold On" came from a desire to write a song that was aggressive but vulnerable in its confession. It charts the decay of a relationship from seeing the signs, to falling apart.
You also released the visual, who did you work with and what did you want to explore within that video?
I got to work with my good friend Melody Maker as well as Thomas English and Common People. As someone who really knows my story, it was comforting to be able to hand over the creative drivers seat to Melody and the team. I wanted someone else’s vision to elevate the song instead of it just coming from my head.
How was the process of working over the past year with the lockdown and how do you feel it pushed you to create in new ways as an artist?
To be honest, I put most of my energy to working on my physical and mental well-being so that when the time came I was in the best possible state of mind to create.
"Vulnerability and honesty are integral to my music because it’s ultimately for me ..."
How was the process of putting together that introductory EP and how important is it for you to remain vulnerable within your music?
‘Omertà’ was created over a period of about five years with ‘Haunty’ being the newest of the project. I was in a really dark place in my life for a lot of different reasons and the sporadic sessions in that period were a real life-line for me. Vulnerability and honesty are integral to my music because it’s ultimately for me, If I’m not being honest in a song i'm not being honest with myself.
Who are some of your biggest influences, sonically, and how do you go about drawing from them in an authentic way, whilst maintaining a distinctive sound?
It’s too much to list at this point, growing up I was exposed to everything from Blues to Jungle. I think the way these elements manifest is organic; but as I work more I start to understand the nuances of the genres more intimately and ultimately the better my work becomes.
How important is it for you to create something that stands the test of time when a lot of music can feel so temporary or disposable?
I fluctuate between caring and not. I would love to create something that profoundly affects someone's life but as I sit here writing this I just want to make the best music for myself that I can make while I have the opportunity.
"... I’m trying to approach sound as a painter and lace songs with poetry."
"I also paint and write but I don’t think these things inform each other as much as they are entangled."
Do you draw inspiration from a range of mediums other than music e.g. film/fashion, when creating?
I definitely do, I also paint and write but I don’t think these things inform each other as much as they are entangled. I’m trying to approach sound as a painter and lace songs with poetry.
You’ve released a range of visuals for your singles, how important is that visual aspect to your craft and remaining a storyteller within your music?
In all honesty, it’s not something that really mattered much to me until recently. Music videos rarely play a part for me in my perception of a song.
Which has been your favourite to shoot so far and are there any musicians out there who inspire you with their visual content?
Shooting the three videos for this project with Melody has definitely been my favourite. It was a completely new experience for me to work with a full-size team on a set and it was amazing see how everyone played their role.
Which artists first inspired you to get into music and who is inspiring you today?
As an artist I’d have to say Pa Salieu. From my perspective he’s building a solid career out of being authentically himself and expressing himself openly which is something I respect and aim for.