Going Focus: Seramic
Seramic appeared on the blogosphere the day before New Year’s Eve with a terrific single, People Say, and literally no personal information. The British soulman managed to guard the secret of his identity until his very first gig (we won’t spoil anything, but there’s a live video at the bottom of this article..), making sure instead that the spotlight were only on his musical offering, a wonderful mix of funky rhytms and soul vibes. Following the release of his debut EP Found, we thought we’d have a lil chat with the man behind the Seramic’s mask.
Going Solo: You unveiled your debut single, People Say, as Seramic on December 30th, which was a quite unusual moment to introduce a brand new music project. Why did you take this decision? I grant you that the gospel choir fits well with the Christmas season.
We thought we would introduce it either at the best time or the worst time. It was a big risk but we somehow managed to pull it off. I guess it’s important to take risks like that.
Seramic was one of the many faceless music project launched in recent times. Speaking about this subject with Rationale, he said that he “I wanted to make the impression with the music and get that right.” What was your motivation? Unlike him, you had already a good career, why not continue with your name?
I have always made lots of different types of music with very different influences and styles. When I started on the Seramic stuff, it felt very new and I wanted to give it its own time to grow. It felt right to give it its own identity and name. I’m still making records under my name too.
Leon Bridges, Jack Garratt, Samm Henshaw, Anderson .Paak: your music has been compared to all these artists, which is amazing because it indicates the wide range of genres that your sound touches. I think I’m just curious about the songwriting process. How does it work for you? What makes you decide to write a funky-tinged song rather than a nu-soul one?
I don’t really decide before what kind of song I’m trying to make. I obviously prefer some sounds to others, but the bracket I start with is pretty wide, and then the songs just suddenly start to take on their own personality.
You’ve cited a lot of funky artists among your influences (Prince, Sly and the Family Stone, Funkadelic, D’Angelo) and it’s something we can hear clearly in a track like Waiting. What it has meant for you to lose Prince so prematurely? And what is the most important thing he has left to you as a musician?
I was so heartbroken, he had been such a huge influence on my life and this project. He taught me that taking risks is important and to hit it as hard as you possibly can.
Outkast and Kendrick Lamar were in that list of influences too. When we will see your hip-hop side?
It’s actually already out there under another alias. I’m huge in Azerbaijan.
Who’s part of the Seramic team besides you? I know you’ve worked with Carassius Gold. Who else?
Well my band are amazing, and I’ve been lucky enough to have had sessions with lots of hugely talented, inspiring individuals.
The Found EP is out now. The closing track, The Things You Do, is another great funk & soul number. What can you tell us about this song?
I love Sly and the family stone and 90s R&B, it’s kind of a mix between the two. It’s one that I want to get people to dance.
What are the rising artists that you like the most? And with whom you’d like to collab?
I was really blown Away by the Anderson paak record. There are so many, I would really love to work with Andre 3000 or Tom Waits or D’angelo.
He had been such a huge influence on my life and this project. He taught me that taking risks is important and to hit it as hard as you possibly can.Seramic on Prince
Just ended to watch your Mahogany Session. Truly amazing! Is that one – just you, a piano and a choir – the perfect formation to enjoy Seramic at his best?
It’s really nice doing different interpretations of songs, stripping them down to their bones. I love to play with my band and for people to see a real show and have a good time but at the end of the day the songs are the most important thing. I think it’s a sign of a good song if it can still work when you take away all the frills.
What’s next for Seramic?
I have lots of music to record and lots of great festivals to play.