We had the chance to chat with London-based Australian producer Seekay, who recently released several singles, all home to incredibly beautiful soundscapes, vibes, vocals, and arrangements. He talked to us about his work, the artists that inspire him, as well as his unique mindset when it comes to the meaning of art and music.
Hi Seekay, hope you are well and healthy! How are you handling the second lockdown? How are you spending your time?
Lockdown is OK for me. I tend to spend a lot of my time alone. I like a good party as much as the next guy but It’s a choice, it lets me think. Sometimes I feel I’ve lived huge tracts of my life locked down emotionally so I’m match-fit for a pandemic. Let others decide on my course. Don’t do it.
We fell in love with “Wiser,” as well as with your previous releases. Please tell us more on the meaning behind your new song, “Wiser”?
“Wiser” is a song about abuse and also when we are young or scared, how we endure It’s a song about how when we are young we often mistake abuse for “cool” and allow ourselves to be treated horrendously because of that. We meekly surrender our sense of self to others. It’s about naivety and growing. It’s about pain, lots of pain. Someone once said the only question you need to ask the other person before you getting into a relationship is “how mad are you?”. Wiser suggests you also ask “Is this person helping me be the best that I can be and am I reciprocating?” If you are being abused in any way – GET OUT NOW.
We are curious to understand the way your collaboration with Chloe works out, could you share with us some of your secrets for such a powerful chemistry?
No. I write ‘em, she sings ‘em. We go on with our lives. We have not met or spoken. I heard her voice on the internet and sent her some songs. She was gracious enough to sing on them. We go on with our lives. Like I said I’m pretty much a loner….who knows maybe she is too. Maybe there’s a connection, maybe not. It’s a song, a microscopic imprint in the fullness of time.
What is the main difference in your approach to composing the melodies on “Wiser,” “Fall,” and “Hold”?
I write thematically – “Hold” is about loneliness, “Fall” is about depression and “Wiser” is about abuse and growth. They’re an emotional trilogy. I can’t write songs without elements of relevance and authenticity to me in them. I’m patient with songs. Start and return to the same song again and again. Sometimes its days sometimes weeks or months until I feel it’s right….sometimes never.
We have read that you don’t like speaking much about your personal story but you could tell us a little bit more about how you came to produce music?
Pain. Lots and lots of it. Life. Hindsight. An inability to do anything else I consider even remotely worthwhile.
Which artists inspire you?
All of them. Musically when I’m high I’m partial to Satie’s “gymnopedie 1” on repeat with loads of compression, distortion, delay and reverb added to the basic melody. I might follow that up with some EDM or psychedelia. I usually always finish with “Gimme Shelter” by the Stones….just the intro…..the way Keith Richard weaves the instruments and vocals through the arrangement are magical. My favourite poem is “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T.S. Eliot . My favourite more recent poets are Galway Kinnell and Ted Hughes “Crow” even though Ted doesn’t seem to be the nicest of people. My favourite play is “Oleanna” by David Mamet and I also like Edward Albee and painters Rashid Johnson, Edward Hopper and when I’m high, Jackson Pollock and Australian First Nations painters – 60,000 years of continuous history. I used to like Lucien Freud and Francis bacon but now they just depress me. My favorite author is Patrick White and his book The Vivisector….it’s a tough read but the final third is beyond words incredible. It would never have survived the Spotify world.
What are you currently working on? Any new projects?
I write. I think an EP soon. Who really gives a shit? If not me, someone else. People will always connect with good lyrics and music irrespective of who fronts the circus act. I write to heal (myself mainly) if it helps even one other person it’s all worth it. The Cosmic Dao is an indeterminate force or principle that latently contains all things and spontaneously generates the universe through its constant rhythmic fluctuations. Humanity will flourish only if its day, or “way,” is attuned with this. The wise is so attuned to the Dao that his actions leave no traces of themselves and so pass completely unnoticed. That’s my goal musically – for the songs to join the flow. Me, completely. Unnoticed.
Thank You Seekay!