Really great, thanks! So happy to have released ‘Only You and I’ for people to get it into their ears.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Only You and I”?
‘Only You and I’ was written at PowerPlay studios, with songwriter/producer Luk Zimmermann. We’d only met the day before, writing together for a different project, but Luk seemed to understand me, as an artist, really quickly. He popped me in front of the keys, I started sharing some lyrical ideas and we crafted the music and everything else together. Luk’s focus was on securing a raw, real vocal on top of a minimal piano and I was so grateful for that approach. No frills, tricks, auto tune, we were both there to share something really open and honest, with the voice and story being at the forefront.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write ‘Only You and I’?
Not a singular event, but on that day I was feeling a little wobbly and conflicted. I’m sure we can all relate at times to aspects of a relationship that feels impossible to have and yet impossible not to have. That all consuming, daily thrill and struggle of connecting with someone that makes you feel crazy in love and, at times, just plain crazy … !
Any plans to release a video for ‘Only You and I’?
I love the lyric video and aesthetic that WonderDog [@wonderdogdesign] created for ‘Only You and I’. The scribbling of lines, thoughts, ideas and feelings, constantly changing and opposing each other. I’d love to take that further into a fully produced music video – I’m just waiting for that magical ‘budget tree’ to grow.
How was the recording and writing process?
On the first day there had been a hiccup with the studio logistics and we basically ended up in a sweaty cupboard. It wasn’t ideal, but we so wanted to work together and to make the best of it. We had to get past the initial barrier of ‘this room is so hot/why did we pull the short straw/how many hours of oxygen do we actually have left?’ but then we did and perhaps those frustrations helped craft the mood and soundscapes! Back at Luk’s studio in Berlin, the rest was so calm and easy! And that’s really down to how cool and open Luk is and how quickly we clicked, muscially. He’ll take me to the piano, turn down the lights, sit back and allow me just to sing and to really sing, really let it out and find where it needs to go, often keeping or returning to the first vocal take I chuck out, before I start overthinking! He works so quickly and effectively and yet there’s absolutely no rush. He’s also reminded me to embrace the moments, in recording, that I might previously have considered as imperfect, but now I see/hear them as precious, emotive and real. Lastly, Luk introduces me to the best Japanese food in Berlin and I feel that always ensures a really successful session!
How much of your classical background still influences your current music?
It will always make up part of who I am, as a musician. It helps my harmonic understandings and influences melodic decisions. Sometimes I do need to shut out worrying too much about traditional rules or compositional tools and also just to go with my gut, if it sounds good or feels nice. Bending those rules can bring the goods, too!
How do you balance the classical elements with the more modern influences?
I don’t really think about it, most of the time it just merges in a happy, musical, sometimes messy, mind dance! I enjoy the variety and the mix of influences and am drawn to artists where I also hear bits of both – people like Agnes Obel, Regina Spektor, RY X.
Does the new single mean we can expect more new material – if so, how’s that coming along?
It does, it will! I’ve had to be a little patient and navigate through some fairly hefty creative blocks during 2018. I had a wonderful year professionally, but found it creatively confusing. I’m finding my way back to a more truthful SuRie sound and as soon as I have it ready, you’ll have it!
Any plans to hit the road?
Always. Live performance is where I’m truly happiest and I’ve a handful of dates in London, Brighton and Salford, coming up. I’m also writing and developing something special, with plans to premiere it in London in October, but will see how it progresses over the summer.
What else is happening next in SuRie’s world?