Glowing with warm and honesty, the Brooklyn-based musician shines a light on her new honey-sweet sound.
All photography taken from our Spring 22 issue.
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Taken from our Spring 22 issue, order your issue here…
“Expression is so beautiful to me, which is why I gravitate towards any kind of art,” shares 25-year-old Orion Sun. The Brooklyn based musician has just wrapped her latest music video for new single “Dirty Dancer”, and she’s beaming from ear to ear when she calls me from across the Atlantic Ocean with her new pup, Corduroy at her side.
Tiffany Majette, a.k.a. Orion Sun, originally hails from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and is now churning out a whole new groove from her home studio in Brooklyn. Avid listeners of the singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist will notice the change in her sound as Orion Sun finds herself at a transitional moment in her life. “25 just feels old and young at the same time, it’s such an in-between,” she muses.
Orion Sun, who has been putting out music publicly since 2013, has been heralded by critics for her ability to relay between the light and the dark so effortlessly. Her songs area an amalgamation of jazz-inspired beats, nods to The Weekend, R&B, and occasional rap outbursts. During her childhood, she was constantly immersed in music, mainly thanks to the gospel music of her local church and her mother’s record collection featuring the likes of Lauryn Hill.
Her music is undeniably romantic and vulnerable yet strong at the same time. It’s this bubble of contradictions that ultimately makes her such a strong contender to be the next great break-through singer-songwriter of her generation.
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Phoebe Shardlow: Do you remember the first song you ever made?
Orion Sun: Yeah it’s still on YouTube for sentimental reasons, it was called “Voicemail” and I recorded it at the dining table in my childhood home. I remember posting it on Facebook and my friends were like, “Woah this is actually sick.”
PS: Was becoming a musician inevitable for you?
OS: I never created another path for me once I decided I wanted to be a musician. I’ve always enjoyed music, I was in the choir, I loved musicals and the church I went to growing up was incredibly musical.
PS: So you were always exposed to music from an early age?
OS: Yeah, especially being exposed to so much gospel it’s impossible not to get swept up in the beautiful chords and call of the voices. Then thanks to my Mom, I was exposed to people like Lauryn Hill and then I discovered my own shit that I liked.
PS: These early discoveries—are they noticeable in the music you put out now do you think?
OS: I think I’ve moved on now from them but they were such a foundation, my love will never go away, but it would be boring to keep referencing them. With my artistry, I try to reflect on what’s going on in my mind right now, and I always try to score it differently. That’s what life is like too – with our emotions, we’re not just one thing.
PS: What’s your writing process like?
OS: I try to switch it up, that’s the only formulaic thing about it. My upcoming single “Dirty Dancer” was a different writing style for me because the verses were taken from a very long list of things I was waiting for during the height of the pandemic in 2020, from waiting for food to waiting to tour.
PS: Can you tell us more about “Dirty Dancer”?
OS: I’m trying to get into the collaboration sphere, it’s so great to just pick people’s brains and I’m slowly chipping away at my insecurities about sharing my writing styles with people. So this single was made during a really beautiful jam session in California, candles lit, drinking and chilling –I’ve rarely gone about making music in this way. It’s really opened my eyes and grown me as an artist.
PS: Could you describe the new sound in three words?
OS: I wish there was a word for that feeling when you’re in for a long drive but it’s no stress, maybe it’s nighttime and you’re listening to music…whatever that word is I wanna use it! I also wanna say ‘light’ and ‘honey’. The single is such a warm feeling.
PS: What’s your favourite part of the singer-songwriter process?
OS: The beginning, I know that scares a lot of people and rightfully so but I used to have a problem where I was addicted to that initial wave of totally loving a new idea.
PS: What’s your most underrated song?
OS: “Mama’s Baby”, it’s a single I put out after the June 2020 BLM protests, it was such a stressful time to even just be existing. That song just fell out of me, I just wanted to quiet the noise.
PS: Was that a cathartic process for you?
OS: Honestly, yeah. I didn’t realise it until I went on writing breaks, I noticed I get so down and lost when I’m not getting my emotions out in writing. Writing is a habit now for me because it’s so cathartic.
PS: If you could work with anyone dead or alive who would it be?
OS: Stevie Wonder but also Bill Withers.
PS: What would you tell yourself five years ago?
OS: I’d be like “Oh my fucking god! You won’t believe it.” Five years ago I wouldn’t have been able to imagine having my own apartment in Brooklyn, unstressed about paying rent. I don’t think past me would be able to believe it.
PS: What about where you’d like to be in five years?
OS: I want to keep doing what I want.