British singer-songwriter WEIRDO is exploding onto the music scene with his pensive new track “TRANSCENDENCE”. As his name suggests, the artist takes an against-the-grain approach to creating music as he eludes genre conformities with the haunting vocals and layered sonic experiences that lie at the heart of his new track. Looking to the difficulties and joys of a toxic relationship, listeners can expect to relate to the faint tales of love and loss that make up the body of his latest project. And, with a female-centric music video accompanying the track, the new release is made all the more impressive.
“I had an idea in which instead of the video being about my feelings and thought-process of a broken-down relationship, I wanted to try and understand it from the female perspective,” explains WEIRDO. “For this, I asked my younger sister and a good female friend to listen to the song, and imagine that she was the one who felt every word and syllable, and to explain to me a little more about the female psyche. I explained my understanding of the character and her attributes, and they helped me with creative ideas – relating to the lyrics. Being male meant I couldn’t really write this script alone as I do not know what it’s like to be female, so they helped me.”
Upon the release of his net track, Wonderland caught up with the artist as he discussed his upcoming mixtape “A MIXTAPE FOR HEARTBREAK”, and his beginnings in music. Head below to read WEIRDO’s interview now…
Hey WEIRDO, how has this past year been for you? Has it affected your creativity?
Hey Wonderland. It’s been a few years of up and down, hasn’t it? For me, isolation and confusion kept my creative soul alive. I did my best to deal with the way the world was heading for me, and the outcome has been interesting.
How did you first get into music? What sparked the interest?
I started making music when I was around 17. Before that, I was just diving into self-teaching myself drums, guitar and piano alongside attempting to sing! I began by forming a band at 17 with Arron Davey (Astronomy) in our local area in the Midlands. We had a wonderful fanbase who were very loyal and sold-out our shows quite often. We had a good online presence as well. We decided to do solo projects instead of the band, and we went off and did our own things. At 19 years old, I started another Birmingham-based band with some friends, which was more indie rock than 60s-pop. We played some great shows and recorded so many demos but I decided I needed to move to London to really try my hand at a music career. I met Paul Bonham and James Barton from Crown Music Management, and they wanted to manage me. I was honing in my craft as a producer when I met Melis Soyaslanová and formed a project with her called IYES. We signed to Sony UK, had a Billboard Dance Chart number 1, and had some amazing support from The Guardian and Pitchfork amongst many.I started WEIRDO and she started her solo project and we went our separate ways after 6 years together making music. WEIRDO is my true outlet of creativity and I love not conforming to genres and styles. I merge everything together as much as I can essentially, depending on my vibe the day of writing or recording.
Where are you from in the UK? Do you think your area has impacted your sound?
I grew up in the industrial city of Birmingham. It’s definitely given me the attitude I carry around with me now; it can be tough at times in Brum. I mean, I’m definitely street smart.
Where did the name WEIRDO come from?
I’ll be honest – I have no idea! I’m sure it was my perception of how I acted and how I looked. I mean, to me, I was just an oddball of characters. Never quite happy, normal, or whatever. It gave me an open book to be whoever I wished to be, creatively, and not have my art stifled or held back by expectations from the audience and the music industry.
Talk us through your debut mixtape! What was your mindset going into the project?
My debut mixtape, “A MIXTAPE FOR HEARTBREAK”, is a wild collection of songs spanning from the early demos in 2008 to the painful ballads of yesteryear. The most important thing for me was to get these darker songs from off my hard drive, off of my mind and into the world of the judgemental. It’s just one small project I have planned – there’s a lot of music coming until I retire, if ever.
Your latest track “Transcendence” serves as a teaser for the project, why did you choose this song as a single?
The first single from the mixtape was “CAN’T WITHOUT YOU” in which I released in June. I co-wrote it with A7S/Alexander Tidebrink, who recently had a big pop hit with Topic. We wrote that one in a session together in Berlin. TRANSCENDENCE was born from a toxic situation I fell into, but at the same time, enjoyed. I think this one was my most recent song, so I just knew it was fresher than the rejuvenated songs from the back catalogue.