The R&B singer opens up on his new single “Pine” and what we can expect from his project titled Hues.
By the gliding sensual tone of his voice, Wisconsin native Unusual Demont is serving up some late-night realness – with listeners instantly transported to the hazy smoke-tinted room after the after-party. Similar to that of Giveon and Roy Woods, the singer’s vocals glide over jazz-tinged productions for his latest single “Pine”. At a controlled and tender pace, Unusual Demont croons over a singular bass line before giving us an 8D experience over the climaxing bridge.
“With ‘Pine’ I wanted to show a dichotomy between the lyrics and energy of the song again,” The singer explained. “Although the song itself is really bouncy and upbeat, it’s actually about the moral dilemma of a home-wrecker coming into a dying relationship. As I wrote it I imagined a roller rink in the late 90s/early 2000s lit up with green lights on a Friday night. I chose the name ‘Pine’ because green is the colour of envy and that’s the exact hue I visualised at the roller rink.”
Spending his earlier years influenced by the likes of Curtis Mayfield and Frank Ocean, the self-described weirdo exposed himself to the world and online culture, manifesting this into his music. Steadily spending the past year working on his forthcoming project Hues, we sat down with the R&B singer talking Frank Ocean, his inspirational grandfather and the visual concepts he has created ready to unload.
Check out the interview below…
Hey Unusual Demont! For those who don’t know you and your music yet, what’s the first thing they should know?
I try to be versatile and dip into every “genre” as much as I can. To know if you don’t like one track I’m pretty confident there’s one from me that you will.
Where did the name “Unusual Demont” come from?
Me and my friends when we were younger, tried making a bootleg ‘Odd Future’ called “Unusual Past.” I used to just be Demont, but when my friends kinda gave up on the group I decided to take the unusual portion as a homage. Just ended up having a nice ring to it over time!
Your grandfather was a drummer who toured the world with Curtis Mayfield – how did he help shape your sound or inspire your creatively?
First off, Grandpa’s name is Jonathan French! As for effect on me as an artist, him introducing drumming and rhythm to me very early on definitely helped jump-start me musically. More than just having him teach me early on, the fact that he was making it in the music industry took away a lot of the usual push back a kid with the music dream gets growing up. Did the rest of my fam still push for me to have a plan B? Yes. But my grandpa always supported the dream and that was enough for me to put it first.
If you could only listen to one album for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I don’t think I could listen to one album for the rest of my life, to be honest. I get bored really easily. I thought about this way too hard, but I guess Blonde cause there are moments in that album I still can’t comprehend how to replicate. So it would take a while before I hated it!
Congratulations on your second offering “Pine” – what inspired you to write the song and where do you hope it will transport its listeners to?
I’d say the biggest driver for me writing “Pine” was hearing Terrys’ (Little Star Terry) style of production and the bounce he brought. I immediately was taken to a roller rink or party in the early 2000s/late 90s, Roll Bounce type vibes. So I hope you can feel that kind of nostalgia too.
Which lyric means the most to you and why?
The entire hook. “Know that I’m no better, I’m just in the mood. So compromise.” I really like to flow on happier beats with more complex situations. As such, “Pine” is about the moral dilemma of a “home-wrecker.” The line is just very clear cut – though I don’t necessarily condone it – once you know the meaning, and I like that.
You’re a self-described “weirdo” – do you surround yourself with similar people?
I do. ‘Weirdo’ has this connotation of like trying too hard to be “quirky” so I lowkey hate that I said that about myself with the drop of “Amber.” But what I meant, and still do relate to, is just having your own interests and being upfront about them. While still knowing some people will find them weird and outside of the norm. It’s more so that I keep open-minded and accepting individuals around me, rather than similar people.
What are the biggest lessons you’ve learned this past year as a creative?
There’s a lot to pick from. But I think on a personal level, the biggest thing I’ve more so realized as a creative after being in a lot of sessions lately, is that I definitely work best solo – right now at least. And that could just be me, but I think a lot of upcoming artists who were birthed solo from their bedroom probably have that same studio anxiety of having to showcase the failures that no one else knows about. Like for every hit, there’s like five garbage demos that no one hears. So the comfort of only having you as the judge of whether something is good or not while making it, especially while trying new concepts, helps the creative process a whole lot for me.
What’s next and what are you most excited for?
More singles for sure. The project, Hues., is basically done, no lie. So first and foremost, the goal is to just roll it all out and give the fans new tunes. But even more so than that, I have been on these songs so long and I’m mad excited to start the next project. I work one project at a time cause I tunnel vision any concept I make. So I don’t wanna throw myself off track by building a new world, while the one I’m currently in is still being built.