Hey, thanks for giving me this opportunity! It’s been a mad few months of work but right now is probably the most exciting time yet.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Snipers”?
“Give & Take”is technically my latest single but it is only out on Apple Music as a part of pre-release. “Snipers”is a song I’m really proud of; it’s been about a year since I released it and I’m still really attached to it. Musically, it was conceived as a twisted manipulation of “The Entertainer,”which I hummed in a minor key on a walk to the beach. It’s definitely one of my more time-consuming, creative songs, but also one of the darkest and most honest lyrically.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
It wasn’t so much a single event that inspired “Snipers,”it was more of a culmination of emotions felt by young people with insecurities which I’ve channeled into music. The idea of snipers chasing you down is about the feeling – or illusion- of being victimised by everyone. When you lack confidence, everything looks distorted.
Any plans to release a video for the single?
If there was a song I feel I’d really enjoy making a video for, it would be “Snipers.”I just think it would be such an epic to direct and film. For now, the focus is on the album and getting it heard and understood, but after that I’d be excited to look at the possibility of music videos.
The single comes off your new album Infinitely Endless – what’s the story behind the title?
The album’s concept is based on a story of an individual eventually finding himself and leaving his past behind. He or she believes they are “infinitely endless,”or immortal, as many young people do. Immortality and ego are masks for us, the youth, used to cover our insecurities. For example, songs like “Pieces”are about the fear of change, or “Cyanide”which is about our refusal to believe in our own vulnerability.
How was the recording and writing process?
Although all the music I make is produced in an electronic sense – the DAW, I identify as a composer more than a producer. So, the process was lengthy, considering that the album’s repertoire is mostly a fusion of voice notes from piano improvisation dating from as far back as when I was 16. I never use the piano roll on software, I prefer to play everything in myself on my little MIDI keyboard. I always want to make sure my music means something, so I often find my passion for writing poetry to be a good way into writing lyrics.
What role does Brighton play in your music?
Brighton’s got an unreal music scene – there’s always something going on, somewhere. It’s definitely given me inspiration living in such a tranquil seaside city with so many musicians and events buzzing around me. While I don’t feel like I identify with a lot of Brighton indie artists in genre and their approach to music, it’s definitely allowed me to be more expressive and free in my musical choices. Taking a music degree here at the same time has been helpful as well – despite adding on the workload to my personal projects I’ve been interested in the academic approach to music!
How does your upbringing influence you as an artist?
I may live in England now, but Beirut is the city that birthed me as an artist and a person. Both my parents are musicians – my prog-rock loving dad first started teaching me the piano at 7 and gave me the classical background and musicality which I feel I’ve integrated into the commercial songs that embody this album. My musical community in Lebanon have also inspired me since the start; in jazz bands, orchestras, choirs, or flute ensembles. Infinitely Endless is an accumulation of all these styles and childhood influences.
How has twenty one pilots and Post Malone influenced your writing?
They are definitely amongst the top 5 inspirations for this album. I discovered Twenty One Pilots at a difficult year of my life, admittedly, the year of “Stressed Out.”Their lyrics and music helped me tremendously, so I feel I have been influenced by their real and personal themes. In my opinion, they are one of the last remaining mainstream groups that are beautifully musical and address real issues. My love for Posty has probably given me that commercial edge – the high hats, the half-rapped bits, the upbeat vibe. I respect him as an artist and find myself borrowing ideas from his musical style.
What aspect of hopelessness did you get to explore on this record?
Hopelessness is another theme addressed in this album’s concept. It is about overcoming the false feeling of doubt and immense power, or ego. Be honest with yourself and believe in yourself equally.
Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
It’s a personal album, but feel it’s equally relatable, whether people believe it initially or not. Meanwhile, “So Sorry”is inspired by the emotions of people living in war, mostly about my dad who lived through the Lebanese civil war between his home and uni dorms, and found his escape through music. “You Know”is different in that it is very much a love song. The musical list of inspiration is endless, to be honest. The reggae in “Infinitely Endless,”the dance in “Give & Take,”the rock in “Fly Away,”the trap in “Pieces.”I found inspiration in my passion for music that I enjoy.
Any plans to hit the road?
Performing would give the album even more meaning so it is definitely something I look to organise very soon, although there are no plans as of yet. My main focus has been on realising the album, but I can’t wait for my next steps from here.
What else is happening next in SUNNY’s world?
I hope to get this album heard by as many people as possible, but it won’t stop there – this debut is just the beginning of an infinitely endless journey. I have started on a new single to follow up the album in a few months, then will start work on another ambitious project which I’ve already got the tracklist ready for!