Photo Credit: Luke Chui and edited by: Luke Chui & Knorth Studios

INTERVIEW: Susan Darvishi

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

Hi VENTS! I’ve been good! Just released my first album, so I’m feeling pretty amazing these days. 🙂 

Can you talk to us more about your previous single “We Could Never Be”?

“We Could Never Be” is a story about unrequited love and the inner monologue that goes on inside someone’s head after deciding to move on and let go of an old love. 

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

This song was inspired by an experience I had in college mixed with stories of friends of mine who had gone through similar situations. I think songs about unrequited love are always fascinating, and I think a lot of people can relate to having those kinds of feelings. 

What was the inspiration behind the “Drift Away” music video?

When I used to live in NYC, I often felt overwhelmed due to the city’s fast paced environment. As a result, whenever I found myself feeling stressed, I would go to a park, lie down, and let my mind wander and “drift away” in hopes of calming myself. And so, for the music video, we wanted to give off a calming energy to those watching by mixing smooth, warm visual tones with elements that would bring a sense of nostalgia to audiences. In other words, I, along with my amazing director Jeffrey Dinghua Lei, wanted to create a campfire-like atmosphere to give off a sense of comfort and nostalgia.

The single comes off your new album 14th and 4th – what’s the story behind the title?

I lived on the corner of 14th Street and 4th Ave. for five years during my time in NYC. Thrown into what was definitely a “concrete jungle,” I experienced joy, pain, anger, fear, kindness, and a ton more emotions that helped me grow into the woman I am today. I wrote this album as a way to document my experiences in New York and describe the growing pains that many young adults face when moving to a city for the first time. 

How was the recording and writing process?

I had a blast making this album! I spent approximately two weeks writing first drafts of lyrics and melodies for all the songs and then reached out to a friend of mine, Josef Lamberti, who introduced me to the very talented producer, Kory Burrell. Writing the songs on this album felt very therapeutic since COVID forced me to move earlier than planned from the city. I got a chance to really look back on all my experiences during my time in NY and realized just how much the city had changed me for the better. 

(See below answer about recording process.)

How did the pandemic influence the writing on this record?

Since we began and finished the album all during quarantine, my producer Kory Burrell and I never got the chance to meet in person. This is truly where technology came in and saved the day. We constantly hopped on phone calls, facetime calls, and had numerous email and text chains. Communication was key and we sent ideas to each other all the time. Although I do usually like to be in the same room as the person I’m working with, I still very much enjoyed the process of working on this album together. I would record in the corner of my apartment and send him project files and he would send back bounces for each new version of the song we were working on. I definitely grew as a musician and writer through making this album and ferociously tried to outdo myself with each draft of each song. I am very grateful I met so many amazing musicians through the making of these songs and am glad we were able to finish the album despite living on opposite coasts.

You have lived in NYC and now are living in California, what role do these locations play in your music?

To me, NYC represented a time in my life when I was still trying to figure out who I was and what exactly I wanted to do with my future. Likewise, I think my music followed a similar path in that I was still trying to figure out who I was as an artist and what messages I wanted to share with the world through my stories. Now, after moving to the west coast and entering adulthood, I feel more confident in both myself and my music and can’t wait to share new stories based on this next chapter in my life.

What aspect of relationships did you get to explore on this record?

When making this record, I really wanted to cover more than just love. Although love can be quite consuming and fun to write about, young adults go through many other experiences and I thought it was important to highlight those stories as well. I wanted to write songs about friendship, family, and developing a relationship with oneself through inner dialogues. 

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

The songs and lyrics from this album are mostly based on experiences my friends and I had gone through during college. I moved to CA last summer, and after unpacking all my belongings, I started reflecting on my time in NYC. Almost immediately, stories were pouring onto the pages of my notebook and I couldn’t stop. 

What else is happening next in Susan Darvishi’s world?

I’m currently in the process of working on new music and trying to find venues where I can perform live this summer! I’m excited to perform my new songs for as many people as possible and hope everyone enjoys listening to my new album!

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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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