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INTERVIEW: Lydia Persaud

Hi Lydia, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hello Vents, thank you for having me! Things have been going well!  

Can you talk to us more about your song “Low Light”?

“Low Light” was an exciting song to write and workshop. It was the first song that contained a musical vibe that Robbie Grunwald (my producer) and I knew we wanted to nurture as it brought a new dynamic to collection of minimal tunes that we had. I originally had a completely different strumming pattern for the “Low Light”, one that was swung and kind of country, Robbie straightened it out and played me the bass part that he could here and it became a totally different song.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

“Low Light” was written in a time when I was experiencing some loneliness in the midst of an isolating period. Memories of being close with someone was what kept me positive and eventually led to me to write this song with that image in mind.

Any plans to release a video for the track?

I recently released a live Southern Souls performance of “Low Light” earlier this month, here’s the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lR2l2PCgxk

Talks of an official music video are in the works! 

The single comes off your new album Low Light – what’s the story behind the title?

The time of day where the sun is beginning to set, often referred to as the “golden hour”, is my favourite time of day. The lighting is low, soft and warm and everything looks beautiful. When I am able to enjoy this time of day I feel a wave of relaxation and peace, that was a vibe that I wanted to create for the EP.

How was the recording and writing process?

All 4 songs on the “Low Light EP” were written around the same time, while I was working through a hard break up during the month of February in 2015. The recording process was cathartic and and eye opening experience as my producer, bandmate and engineer Robbie Grunwald and I worked to capture a classic vintage sound based off of the albums that we loved. We quickly realized that this aesthetic could only be achieved through recording straight to tape. We honoured the process from beginning to end by recording, mixing, editing and mastering the EP on Tascam reel-to-reel 8 track tape machine. The EP has little to no editing between takes and I believe that it is truly a snap shot of my time with Robbie in the studio experimenting and learning together. 

Would you call this a departure from your previous musical projects?

I wouldn’t call it a departure so much as a continuation of my career from the growth that I’ve experienced. I wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t played many different types of music with many different bands, all of those experiences inspired me to write my own music and create a voice of my own. 

You brought some special guests to this record – did you handpick them based on some particular elements or how did they come on board?

The musicians on this EP were very intentionally chosen for their skill and creativity. Drew Jurecka’s string performance on “Everything” was recorded and arranged by him. The performance was an absolute game changer, adding such a beautiful dynamic to the EP. Robin Dann and Michelle Willis’ background vocal performance on “Low Light” was also so special. Having sung background vocals on many recordings, I was very intentional on finding two voices that blended and Michelle’s and Robin’s were perfect. 

What did they bring to the table?

The guests were like frosting on the cake, bringing interesting and dynamic flavours to the foundation Robbie and I had developed. Every instrument on this EP creates so many beautiful and interesting moments with so much flow and emotion. 

How have Eva Cassidy and Ray Lamontagne influenced your writing?

Eva mostly known for her renditions of cover songs, some of my favourites being “Songbird” and “Fields of Gold”, brought inspiration through her rich soulful performances. Ray, who is also very soulful, was inspiring as his music sounded so classic while remaining current. 

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

I find inspiration for lyrics through life. When I talk with my friends, watch movies, read a book or sit with my thoughts I write down phrases that move me or capture an idea in a special way.

Any plans to hit the road?

I am currently booking tour dates for 2018. 

What else is happening next in Lydia Persaud’s world?

Playing throughout Canada with Dwayne Gretzky and working on a Christmas record with my other group The O’Pears! 

Pre-order here

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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