Hi Slye, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
Hello VENTS, I am doing well thanks. Trying to keep sane and make sure I eat my 5 a day,
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Waiting”?
I wanted to explore a different area for this song. To reach into the pockets of 90s R&B but combine it with some of my modern influences. Lyrically, I was more inspired by passages I found by some of my favourite authors than songwriters. I wanted to be more personal with the lyrics in this release, not that I am not usually, but I fused this one with a little more of my direct experience, which I still find a frightening thing to do.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
Sure. Personal events definitely inspired the nuance of the song but my personal experience isn’t what I want the focus to be on. I am just another storyteller of an archetypal narrative. ‘Waiting’ isn’t about a feeling that is uniquely mine but is just my take on it.
I wanted the song to feel like one of those special passage you find in a good book, that describes feelings we have all had, but have never been able to successfully describe or put on paper. Sometimes someone else’s perspective on an emotion or feeling can help us understand our own. That’s what I want to achieve.
How was the filming process and experience behind the video?
The amazing team at @Zooniversal filmed the live video for us. I’ve got the inimitable @Green Tangerines behind me so the process was smooth. Zooniversal are doing great things for the Liverpool scene so all of their content is definitely worth checking out.
The single comes off your new album Shades of Blue – what’s the story behind the title?
Before these recent releases I saw my music as monochromatic, the images and films that would play in my head would be black and white, but I wanted this EP to be an expression of more. An expression of a wider palette of sensations. I’ve tried to change the way in live in the last 2 years in collecting and treasuring all experience, the good and the bad, than focus on one. This EP is a collection of stories since I had decided to make that change.
How was the recording and writing process?
The recording and writing process was largely informed by the new live set-up I play with. I have recently, and very fortunately, acquired an amazing saxophone player, Sarah Sands. I’ve found that the saxophone expresses something of me that was otherwise missing, it really lends something to my voice and how I express myself at the moment.
The writing of this songs was also focused around it’s lyrical content. Often when dealing with pop music you have to sacrifice certain lyrical passages for melody, but this time I fought to find that right balance between the two, which allowed me to produce one of my most lyrically focused songs so far
What is it about the 90s that you find so fascinating?
My heart finds it’s home in the 70s, but the 90s had a wave of artists who re-interpreted this era into a whole new sonic field. D’Angelo reimagined Prince, James Brown and Funkadelic to create something fresh and that’s the part of the 90s that captures me.
What aspect of patience and anticipation did you get to explore on this record?
It’s a universal feeling, waiting for those words that are likely to never come, something I think we can all understand. I wanted to hit the core of the emotion but embellish it with a story completely unique to me. The only thing I can do that is completely original is be myself so while I understand I’m not writing about any new revolutionary emotion, I’m trying to tell a story that is distinctly mine.
Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
The Shades of Blue EP is a collection of songs based on the realisation that trying to protect yourself from coming to any harm, stunts your personal growth and reduces your chances of encountering anything transcendent or deeply moving.
I like to spend time travelling by myself to explore how others live and to also try and understand how I fit in this big, mad puzzle of a world and that really informs my music.
Any plans to hit the road?
Hitting the kitchen, the bathroom and then the bedroom is all I am managing right now. I had plans for a really exciting show but unfortunately that has been postponed. Hopefully as we begin to slowly crawl out of our forced hibernation, we can start making plans to get back out there.
What else is happening next in Slye’s world?
Next in the land of Slye will be the full EP and hopefully my first music video. This EP is representative of the last few years of my life and I can’t wait to release it and with it everything it represents. I love writing music but these songs carry deeply personal stories and sometimes It can become too much of a burden to carry them around. Releasing them is almost cathartic, a recognition that they’re not really mine to carry, that I am more than my thoughts and feelings and perhaps others can find value in them.
Plans are a little uncertain at the moment but I’m looking to drop the EP and video this year.