Serebii is an impressive multi-faceted creative pushing the boundaries of style and timbre. Increasingly known for his work as a composer, producer, mixing engineer and multi-instrumentalist, the New Zealand-based talent blends together generic tendencies of soul, folk, R&B and electronica to concoct an atmospheric and intimate sonic world that its listener can’t help but become immersed within.
The multi-disciplinarian’s succinct musical vision is set to be highlighted on Inside, his highly anticipated debut album, set for release 15th September. Created between Serebii’s home studio in Aotearoa, New Zealand and during his time travelling in Germany, the LP sees the artist explore his musical identity and personal and emotional resonance. Searingly characterful and stylistically suave, Inside is as compelling and it is intimate.
In the run up to the release of his forthcoming debut, we connected with Serebii to discuss the creation of the record, stepping into the shoes of a solo artist, and what he thinks is unique abut his artistry.
Read the full interview…
Where does your love of music stem from?
I grew up in a musical house, I had guitar and clarinet lessons as a child too, I suppose you could say it was both innate and acquired.
Who and what inspires you in the construction of your sound?
Mother Nature & Miles Davis.
How did you pinpoint the sonic palette that you now create within?
I made sure I had enough time for experimenting. Also, you are what you eat, being able to source any medium of art these days is a real blessing, quite the curse too if you’re an musician trying to pay bills from streams.. haha!
How would you define your production style?
I’d describe it as, Electronic, R&B, Folk and Soul.
As a producer, for you, why is it important to stand out as unique, and how do you think you succeed in doing so?
I suppose it’s the difference between a ripple and a wave. Some people are incredible at doing what’s trending well at the time and that’s great, until people move on to the next thing. I want my art to be timeless and stand alone. I want it to inspire others to make art and express themselves. I believe I have a lot of hard work to do before I have succeeded in doing this.
How has your New Zealand upbringing affected the way you write and create, and also your person and artistic outlook?
Aotearoa, New zealand is lush, I am very grateful to live here. Growing up in a working class family on the north shore in Auckland, and going to multicultural schools was epic. I was surrounded by culture and music. I’ve made lifelong connections. I generally have a calm and open outlook!
Having mostly worked on collaborative projects before, what incentivised you to write and release a solo record?
I had made a lot of my own work in earlier years but could never get things to a point where I wanted to release them, In fact I even released some music and took it down. I decided to move to Wellington, New Zealand and work with as many artists and musicians as possible over my time there. This helped me to find my voice and develop skills which have contributed to me finally sharing my solo music.
What was the creative process behind Inside?
I try to treat the songwriting, recording and mixing as one moving part, when they work in harmony together I usually find myself with something special. Often this isn’t the case though. I tend to chug through many ideas and demos, and reflect on them at a later point with fresh ears, some never get developed and see the light of day. Recently I have been starting my process with a narrative, writing to a visual scene. I’ll then begin to essentially score on that visual concept! This has been helping mix up my routine.
What does the album art represent?
The artwork was made before the album, it’s actually a photo of a doll house in a garden. It’s just like the house I grew up in. Our house wasn’t quite as small.. although it was the same two story structure, situated in the bush with massive ferns reaching out onto the balcony. The artist “East Abernethy ” was attracted to the play of scale, mold like tones and pixelated textures which quite quickly grew on me as well. The more I listened to the Album and stared at this artwork, the more it made sense to me.
How did your time in Germany shape the sound of this LP?
I made two tracks from this LP while I was in Germany and a bunch of demos. I only had my laptop and headphones so I was more limited than usual, and missing my instruments back home. I had a Tascam microphone which I recorded a bunch of foley sounds which ended up being used as the atmospheric and textural side for a lot of the tracks. Also, going to the We Out Here Festival in London was very eye opening.
What do you hope to achieve from the unveiling of Inside?
The satisfaction of moving forwards.
Where do you want to take your artistry?
London, LA, Tokyo, Osaka, Berlin…