Music is a wonderful medium for us to express ourselves, and it is known as the universal language for a reason. Music can bring people together, and through songs and lyrics, people share their emotions, their experiences, and their love. Music artistes understand this, and often have a fiery passion to create quality music.
One such artiste I am familiar with is Sean. He is a singer-songwriter and guitarist based in Singapore. We had a chat with him in 2018, when he was frontman of Laid Comers. In 2019, he also became the guitarist of WAVV, who serenaded the crowd at the Singapore Night Festival 2019 in August, whilst promoting their upcoming single, “Dancing with Angels”.
Sean recently branded himself as SILOWAV, and is emerging as a solo artist. I am thrilled to have a chat with him again about what is new (email interview has been edited for clarity and continuity):
We last spoke during Laid Comers’ EP release “If You Knew” back in 2018. What made you decide to fly solo? Tell us about SILOWAV.
I love playing in a band and am part of a new indie R&B line-up, WAVV. We played at last year’s (Singapore) Night Festival and are working on loads of new material now.
But having my own project gives me the creative freedom and solitude that’s unique to me as a solo artist. Because I answer in a sense only to myself, I can take more risks, focus my attention on a production that’s a true “extension” of my influences, tastes and emotions. I think being able to see your own “vision” play out completely, somehow brings about a different kind of creative satisfaction.
What are SILOWAV’s inspiration for music and lyrics?
My lyrics come mostly from my life experiences. I tend to capture how I feel at a certain moment in time, and these become material for songwriting. Same for tunes or riffs. I would come up with a certain riff or groove and I would record it and “sample” it for future songs. Some alcohol or coffee usually helps!
Whether it’s lyrics or the music itself, I want to capture or evoke, most importantly, the emotional vulnerability at that point in time, though this “feeling” is often progressive and may often take on a different persona or even a completely different meaning at a later stage.
Is there anything that is different between being in a band, and going solo (in terms of work load, practice, collaboration etc)?
Definitely. The most precious thing about being in a band is being able to “communicate” our emotions with each other when we jam, both within the band, and to the audience. It’s a special collective experience. It’s like being in a relationship with each other, and magic happens when we’re all “in the pocket” as one. Well, it does have its challenges, but it’s all worth it.
I think what I love most about being a solo artist, besides having creative freedom, as what I’ve mentioned earlier, is that I’m able to pursue what I want, and when I want, which helps a lot, considering that I’ve got a hectic work schedule.
You’ve got a new single out, “Addicted”. Tell us, what goes on behind-the-scenes of a new single?
This is my first self-produced single, and for sure, I had quite a bit of sleepless nights doing it. I picked up Ableton (a digital audio workstation) from Syafiq (founder of Grid Culture) last year, and it was certainly life-changing. I could record all the ideas in my head, warp and sample them into songs. Load plugins, re-sample and slice them up, play with EQs; the list is endless. And I did all of the recordings right in my room, by myself before sleep. What started off as an experiment, I guess, matured into a full “single”, Addicted, that we have here today.
“Addicted” has gotten placed in a few playlists in Spotify, including New Music Friday, Rising 65 and lofi Indie Pop 2020. How does it feel to be able to listen to your own music on such an international platform?
It’s amazing. To know that people around the world are listening to “Addicted” is just so heart-warming for me. I learn through Spotify for Artists that half of the listeners come from Singapore, and the rest are mainly from the US, India, Taiwan, Malaysia, Thailand, Australia and the UK, and I think being on multiple listener’s playlists is the reason behind all these. Lofi Indie Pop for example is curated in the UK, and allows for more streams from Europe, which I think is pretty cool and rewarding for me as a solo artist that’s just starting out.
What else have you got up your sleeves?
I’ve got quite a lot coming up! I’m currently working on another single of my own, and two with WAVV. I’ve got some interesting collaborations with various artists coming up as well, and I’m so excited to have all these up, hopefully by the end of the year!
What would you say to the people around the world listening to your music?
I think music is a true calling of mine, and I’m thankful to have all the love and support which has allowed me to be able to work on it almost daily and get better at what I do.
Besides friends and family in Singapore who lend me the most awesome support, it’s especially comforting to be within a supportive Instagram community, which I’m fortunate to have found, especially in uncertain times like this. It has allowed me to grow, learn and network as an artist. And I’m truly grateful for all the guidance and blessings on this journey. I hope to continue to make relatable music that can bring people together. Once again, thank you for everything!
Influenced by the likes of The Weeknd, John Legend, John Mayer, Frank Ocean, HONNE, Gallant, and keshi, SILOWAV fashions a compelling alternative pop sound with an undercurrent of R&B, offset by gritty, soulful guitar build-ups, and confessional lyrics. He leans into his emotions to write and sing about the intricacies of love and loss, and expresses a desire to resonate with people with shared experiences.
On 1 May 2020, SILOWAV debut his first self-produced single, “Addicted”. Listen to it on Spotify:
Follow him on Social Media and show your support for local talent by sharing the links to his music!
I hope that this interview has inspired you to pursue music, and make it a part of your life.Let Bloom School of Music & Arts support you throughout your musical journey.Quote REFXDENISE when you make an online enquiry here. Or drop by our studio to find out more: