The LA-hailed rising star on her sumptuous and empowering new R&B track “good good”.

Syd B on her new single
Syd B on her new single

“You know when you keep letting someone in who you know fucks you up?” Yes, we’ve all been there. Intoxicating, all-consuming, devastating – hard to let go. And this universal phenomenon is the basis of the sumptuous new track from LA-hailed rising star syd b.

It’s not often that a sonic offering has such a multi-faceted effect on the psyche, but new release “good good” serves an instant dose of empowerment, while assuring you you’re not alone in your romantic afflictions, and is sultry enough for after-dark winding.

Following the release of her single “Lights On” earlier this year, syd b has firmly put herself on the map with her entrancing contemporary R&B, and “good good” is no exception. All otherworldly synths, undulating rhythms, cutting lyricism and tongue-in-cheek roleplay distortions – play and repeat.

We caught up with the artist and talked about lockdown epiphanies, songwriting vaults and developing a more “grown” sound…

Hi syd! How has lockdown been treating you?
Hi! Thank you for chatting with me! Lockdown has been a ride to say the least. At the beginning it felt like summer camp and was pretty fun and then shit started to get grim. My energy has been all over the place lately but I’m so lucky I can still make and release music to have something to look forward to.

Tell us what you’ve learned during this time (practically or emotionally)?
Practically – make my bed every morning so I don’t stay in it all day, get outside at least once a day, recognise when I need alone time, and get out of sweats by 11am. Emotionally – journal everyday, breathe, be patient with myself, it’s ok to be really sad but do things to help myself get out of the hole. I have learned an immense amount about myself and my tendencies during this time which I didn’t even know I needed.

Congratulations on your new track “good good” – it’s about letting go of toxic relationships – was it about any one situation in particular?
Thank you I’m so excited for this one to be out. I won’t share too much because I want to leave it up to the listener to interpret. I heavily believe that once a song is released it’s no longer mine. But I will say it’s not about a romantic relationship – more so just a generally toxic relationship that lagged and needed to be let go. It’s a really common trauma response to reconnect with a person or event that hurt you to try to go back and change the ending and make it more positive. Good good is about resisting that urge.

Was it written during lockdown? And if so, how was the songwriting process with the isolation? Did it help or hinder?
This track was made about a year ago and I always fucked with it so hard. We dug it up from the vault and I’m stoked for it to be out. I really don’t like creating over Zoom, but it’s basically the only option if you’re trying to collaborate right now. I was so used to collaborating daily before quarantine so it’s kinda cool now to strip it all back and just write me and my guitar. Bringing songs back to the root and creating something completely alone from scratch is like a rebirth.

Syd B on her new single
Syd B on her new single

Why the name “good good”?
In the hook it says “you say we need a good goodbye”, so originally I thought that’d be the title. “good good” seemed more mysterious and general. Whenever I’m looking for new music, I’m always inclined to click on the tracks that have an inexplicable title so I can find meaning in it on my own.

Do you have a favourite lyric in the track?
In the first verse I say “yeah you took it with my time, I told you baby I’m not your mommy”. It actually makes me laugh but it’s real shit. I have very maternal tendencies, as I’m sure most women do by nature, but so much so that I often forget to take care of myself.

What do you hope listeners will take away from the track?
You know when you keep letting someone in who you know fucks you up? But you think it’ll magically go away and get better..this song helped me come to terms with knowing that I’ve been somewhere before too many times and finally walking away. Even if no action is taken, maybe someone can relate and feel brave when they hear the beat.

How do you feel like this is a move on and progression from your track “Lights On”?
They’re related to different relationships, but you can sorta tell I was just coming into my own on knowing its okay to leave things behind that aren’t right. “Good good” is more me coming to terms with the actual leaving part of that. There’s a lot of love, but you might not be compatible with some of it. This one is more grown in my opinion.

Any new or unusual inspirations for your sonic craft?
Fashion and film are always inspirations for me. But nature especially has been fuelling me lately. I guess I never really had time to appreciate it before. I grew up in California and only just now am realising how many places are less than an hour drive away that feel like you’re in a different country.

What’s next for you in 2020? What are you excited about?
I mean I’m guessing I’ll be inside for the rest of the year… but I’m really excited to get into project mode. I’ve had so much time to think and curate ideas in isolation. Stoked to put those into a body of work. Think I can still manage to make this a big year.

Jason Renaud
Whitney Whitaker