The British singer-songwriter chats with us on the release of his latest single.

Photography by Charlie Moore

Photography by Charlie Moore

Something many artists have in common is the undeniable skill to churn out material at the demand of producers — something which almost consumed the creative passion behind RHODES. Yet rather than bowing to those external pressures, the British singer-songwriter took matters into his own hands, signing a deal with Nettwerk and Tap Management to create the heart-wrenching single, “No Words”.

Talking on the track, RHODES explains, “The essence of this song is loss. Specifically, the loss I felt after believing a dream to have been real for a brief moment directly after waking up. Those moments can sometimes really set you up for a day of nostalgic reflection and as soon as I woke up that morning I just sat at the piano with a coffee and the song just poured out. The song is knowing that nothing I could ever do or say could bring this person back to me. I decided to tag it on the album at the last minute because I loved it so much.”

While his honey-suckled vocals retain power over a piano ballad, the lyric video allows his fans to get closer to him than ever before. Marking the first offering from his upcoming album, we will be adding “No Words” to the top of our sad girl playlists.

Ahead of the album drop, we spoke with the artist about his personal experiences, his inspirations, and the next steps.

Check out the full interview below now…

Photography by Charlie Moore

Photography by Charlie Moore

Hey RHODES, how are you? How has this past year been for you?
I’m very good. The past year has been amazing because I’ve known that I have new music coming and I’ve known I had an album to release. I actually recorded the album this time last year, so this whole last year has been in anticipation of releasing the first song. So it’s been good, it’s been great!

With everything that happened during the pandemic, was your creativity affected in any way?
Great question – I feel like my creativity wasn’t affected. I found myself with a lot of things to write about for a start, and at the very beginning of the pandemic I was starting to think about this record. So I went into the pandemic obviously feeling very trapped, with nowhere to go, just like everyone else. But in terms of my creativity and work, I felt very lucky that I was able to carry on creating and working on my own and on my music during the lockdown.

And how did you first get into music, what sparked the interest?
My dad and my mum both are very artistic and creative; I grew up in a household where there was always records playing. My earliest memories are of my dad playing guitar in the kitchen on a Sunday morning, and that would be what woke me up. It’s always been around me. It was just always there in my house and I think that growing up as a kid it was like an escape as well, so I was just immersing myself in music from very very young and it just made me want to create and be like my idols who I would listen to every day.

You’re from Hertfordshire but moved to London, do you think this move impacted your sound?
I don’t know if the city itself has impacted my sound but it’s definitely impacted my life and my writing process and what I write about. When you move around and live in different places and meet different people, it offers you different experiences. For me the most important part of song writing is the message and the true meaning behind the art. And I think as long as you give yourself enough new experiences in life, then you’re always going to have something to say.

And now you’ve dropped your new single “No Words”, talk us through the single, what was your mindset going into it?
The new song was the very last missing piece of the jigsaw puzzle when it came to the record. There was a whole albumrecorded, and I was taking a little break during the period where we were mixing it and adding final touches, and I just went through a big creative burst and this song came to me so quickly. I loved it, shared it with a few close people and they really loved it too so I decided to tag it onto the end of the album. I just thought it felt like quite an important song, and then when the album was finished it felt like a great first single.

It’s about loss, touching on these emotions and putting it into words, how did this make you feel?
The song for me symbolises nostalgia and loss I guess, and that really struck me personally when we were first going through the pandemic, as well as all of the unimaginable suffering going on in the world. The song is about waking up from a dream and not knowing yet whether it was real or not, and I think for me that symbolises a lot of how I’ve felt over the past couple of years to be honest.

What do you want people to take away from your sound!
My main overriding sort of message that I want to instil in people is hope. For me, music has always symbolised hope, that’s the kind of thing I’m into. With my music I want to create a sense of community and hope and that’s all I really want.

Who inspires you?
My family and friends inspire me all the time. This new record is inspired by friendships and family and how those friendships can pull you through the darkest times, that goes back to the kind of sense of hope and unity that I talk about a lot. Friends and family and experiences of love and loss. I’m always tapping into memories from childhood and the past and things like that, and trying to make sense of things and understand things that have happened to me, and that all goes into my writing. And I think a lot of the time when you’re thinking about experiences, whether or not someone has experienced the same thing, they can always relate to it. So it’s really important for me to get that honesty into the music and hope that people on whatever scale can relate to it somehow.

What are you most excited for? What’s next?
I’m just really, really excited to start sharing music again. It’s been so long, and there’s only so long you can go on creating and not sharing. It kinda feels like a big part of creating music is sharing it, so that’s what I’m most excited for and then second to that I’m just excited to get back out there and start touring again when I can, and meeting people, being face to face with people again and sharing experiences with them.

Photography by Charlie Moore

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