syd B on the Seasons of Hurt and Healing That Inspired 'Are You Feeling It Too?' [Q&A]
Photo: Teddy Poppick
Los Angeles - based artist syd B is best-known for her consistent output of pop-R&B stunners and striking vocal performances. Following her 2019 debut EP, Water Me, syd B has gone on to release a handful of singles, including standouts "Freezing" and "Guilt Trip." Each new single serves as a further display of syd B's incredible storytelling and heightened emotional candor. These singles are now contextualized within a new seven-song EP that showcases syd B's full range of artistic talent. The songwriting, vocals, and atmospheric production make Are You Feeling It Too? a must-listen from start to finish.
We had the pleasure to connect with syd B via email to learn more about Are You Feeling It Too?, seasons of hurt and healing, and plenty more.
Ones To Watch: Did growing up in LA influence the music you're making now?
syd B: I don't think growing up in LA has had a particular influence on the music I actually make. But I do think the idea of doing this for a living never seemed out of the ordinary because I grew up around so much of it. I went to school my whole life with kids whose parents were on tour most of the year. I sort of always wonder if I grew up somewhere else what I'd be like. But I'd be growing up with the same mom, playing the same influences I have now, so I think there wouldn't be too much of a difference.
What's your creative process for picking instrumentals and working with producers?
My process has become a bit more free in the last year. More improving melodies on a mic first instead of sitting in silence on my google doc and voice notes until I have the whole song. If a track catches my attention, and I have ideas right away, then I go for it. If I feel like a producer really understands me, then we work regularly. I sorta know right away. I guess another "are you feeling it too?" moment hahaha.
What's your favorite song off Are You Feeling It Too?
I love all of them, but "LIFETIME" will always be a top for me. I think sonically it's a song I've always wanted to make. And lyrically, it provided a massive amount of closure for me. I still felt like I was going crazy over a love that didn't really last that long. And I just sorta said that in the song. "Left your mess and now it's all mine" - I felt really lonely. Me admitting like, "holy shit this feels like forever!!!!!!" actually made it just seem like a bittersweet blip in time. Ever since we wrote it, I've felt resolved.
What do you hope listeners take away from the project?
I started looking at phases of life as seasons rather than losses. Not in a toxic optimist sort of way, but just like that person came into your life for a reason, and now they're gone for a reason. It has made me appreciate each and every relationship that much more. Feel the hurt, feel the heartbreak, but I hope this EP can turn the narrative for people a bit like it did for me.
How does Are You Feeling It Too? differ from your Water Me EP?
Are You Feeling It Too? is years more mature in my opinion. Listening back, Water Me is actually pretty petty hahaha. Although there's a lot of newfound confidence throughout Water Me, I'm looking for someone else to literally give me what I need. And in Are You Feeling It Too? I've grown to come to terms with it on my own. You can see the lessons I've learned in love in this new project and how I can now accept and move on instead of living in the heartbreak.
What do you think listeners will hear live that they won't get from the studio version?
Live is hands down my favorite part of this life. A live show is everything you didn't get in the studio. Every time I play this project live, I'm gonna realize something new about how it makes me feel or what I learned from making it. And since I feel like this EP has heavy production but not a lot of it is real recorded instruments, bringing those elements to players' hands will be magic.
What's next for syd B?
In the short term, I'm just excited to live in and perform this EP as the world is opening back up, which I know is probably what everyone is saying. But seriously, it's something I know we all have missed more than anything. And then I've been working with a ton of amazing producers, artists, and writers that have been sooo inspiring to collaborate with. I feel like I already have a few songs I'm super stoked about, which is the best feeling. So lots more to come :)
Who are your Ones to Watch?
I've been so into THE BLOSSOM lately, they're siiiiick. This guy Cisco Swank has crazy crazy stuff. I know my boy Floyd Fuji has some fire in the vault so watch out for that. And I've also been obsessed with FELIVAND as of late. So much incredible music coming out this year.