The singer-songwriter opens up about her unique sound, personal inspirations, and the evolution of her upcoming self-produced album "Journey to Somewhere"
S7ILL ©️ 2023
Today we have the pleasure to have her on Goathead!
GH: Hey S7ILL, great to have you here! Your music has captivated audiences with its unique blend of genres. How would you describe your sound and the influences behind it?"
S7ILL: Well, I suppose I listen to a bit of everything, which has really helped me with the sounds I choose and the way I construct my songs. As a kid, I was raised on 80s synth music by my grandma and classic rock by my dad. My mom introduced me to a lot of different artists as well. John Mayer was always one of her favorites, which I grew to love quickly. I took my own turn finding music in high school and dove into all sorts of indie artists like Iron & Wine, Imogen Heap, Sufjan Stevens, Bon Iver, and Broken Social Scene. I would say at that point in my life, Sufjan and Imogen were two very crucial artists to my ideas of what music can sound like, as I hadn’t heard anything like them until then. As I’ve grown, I've developed a deep love for artists like Frank Ocean, Wilco, Dayglow, The Japanese House, The 1975, and many more. I’ve really paid attention to the little details that those artists calculate into their music. Stacked vocals, odd little ear-wormy background noises, and honest lyrics are things I’m always looking for in new music. I would describe my sound as dreamy and ethereal, with eclectic nuance.
GH: Your lyrics often delve into deeply personal experiences and emotions. Can you share with us the inspiration behind some of your most powerful songs?
S7ILL: Vulnerability and authenticity are two very important components to me when writing and just being a person in general. I’ve struggled with mental health issues, I’ve been in a few abusive relationships, and I feel very deeply overall. I used to think that my mental health and unfortunate circumstances were kind of a curse, but as I’ve stepped into my personal power and become the person I am today, I can look back and realize it was all for something. It was certainly all for music and for reaching others in a way that can help them process if they have experienced similar situations. I have suffered from bipolar disorder episodes, which, before I got the help I needed, dismantled my life in ways that broke me down and stripped me of my roots. A lot of my songs have themes of resilience and taking back what was once lost in myself. My song ‘Trying’ from my album ‘The Tapestry of Everything’ was one of my most streamed songs, which makes me so happy because it was written at one of the lowest points of my life. I had been in a severely abusive relationship. I had finally cut ties with the individual and started over in my life, but the "coming back" was more challenging than I had anticipated. Through music, I am able to search for the darkest parts of myself and use it as a constructive way to heal. As corny as it sounds, it really is my therapy.
GH: Many fans have noticed an evolution in your music from your earlier works to your recent releases. What can you tell us about the artistic growth you've experienced as a singer-songwriter
S7ILL: I started producing music by myself in 2017 and really had no idea what I was doing! I just knew that this was something I had always wanted to do, and it quickly became my biggest passion. I have been playing piano since I was 7, and luckily that’s really all I needed to know for the kind of music I wanted to produce, as a keyboard was all I had. I feel like I started gaining momentum around 2020 with my ability to actually mix music (which I really still have a ways to go on as a personal skill). However, I have worked with and collaborated with a couple producers in the past. They just didn’t end up being the right fit for me as individuals to work with. Though I am incredibly grateful to them for helping me with my first two projects, After much deliberation, I decided to start learning more about production and mixing music on my own! I have an extensive collection of songs that I’ve written and created over the last few years. Like I said, I use it as therapy, and I suppose I have a lot to say and a lot to process emotionally! I feel very proud of the skills I have learned, but it will forever be a never-ending learning process.
GH: Collaborations have become a prominent aspect of the music industry. Are there any artists you dream of working with, and if so, what kind of collaboration would you envision?"
S7ILL: I love collaborations! I do them every so often with friends. I feel they’re important because they teach you how to communicate ideas as an artist. It’s important that ideas are fluid between parties, and honest communication is a large part of that! Which truly rolls over into other areas of life. I would absolutely love to work with Bon Iver, Sharon Van Etten, or Jackson Browne at some point in my life. It feels like a far-fetched dream now, but I’m an eternal optimist and believe that we create our own realities with our thoughts (and with hard work and solid action, of course). There are truly so many artists out there that I think are absolutely amazing and would be honored to work with.
GH: We're eagerly anticipating your upcoming album, 'Journey to Somewhere.' Can you give us a sneak peek into the creative process behind it and what listeners can expect from this highly anticipated project?
S7ILL: It’s my first ever fully self-produced project, so I’m very excited for that! Much like my other music, it has a dreamy vibe musically with lots of vulnerability on the lyrical end. Accompanying my other albums, they’re really about my personal experiences with love, heartbreak, mental health, finding myself, and the journey I’ve been on the last few years of my life. It’s an homage to love lost and found, an homage to the person I am becoming, and something I feel very proud of as a project overall. Each song that transitions into the next feels to me like reading pages from a journal. I feel that listeners will hopefully be able to find connection to their own experiences in life in my songs in ‘Journey To Somewhere."
GH: Was really great to have you here, S7ILL!
S7ILL: Pleasure was mine!