In 2020, Surya was a hopeful young musician whose plans were knocked off the rails by the coronavirus pandemic. Surya had released a single called “Any Given Sunday” in February 2020. Surya was working towards the release of his second project, “Collage,” but then March happened.
“We went into lockdown, and the world I knew had changed drastically,” Surya tells Eat This Music. “With concerts cancelled, group gatherings made illegal & a general feeling of uncertainty permeating through, I was very anxious about releasing music.” So, Surya chose not to put anything out. Instead, he worked on creating new material & explored other opportunities like those offered by The Ivors Academy.
Surya is anxious and eager to establish himself as one of the best up and coming artists in the space he operates in. In fact, Surya intends to release music he loves and hopes it resonates with those listening.
“Thankfully, my friends, family and I are healthy & well. Though it’s a little tough for us here in the UK, I feel like things might start to get better soon,” Surya expresses to Eat This Music on how he is doing.
Surya’s newest single “U ME WE” is about belief. In this new song, Surya wanted to do what he believes in and do it well. “I believe I can do this,” he says. “But I seemed to have asked myself where this belief comes from. Why do I believe that I can materialize what I see in my mind? Why do I believe I can realize big dreams? What happens when this belief is rocked by setbacks? How to deal with thoughts of failure?”
Those were the kind of questions Surya was asking himself when writing. To find answers to these questions, Surya had to revisit his past. From growing up in Chennai, moving to London, meeting with turbulence adjusting to a new way of life in a different country to finally finding purpose through creativity, Surya tried to decipher why there is a need in him to prove himself. Surya had to dig deep to find the cause behind his driving factor in life. This therefore made “U ME WE,” the most personal he has gotten in a song so far.
“I’ve shied away from directly writing about my life because I was/am a little uncomfortable with exposing myself, Surya reveals about his song. “So, in the past, I used characters & narratives to get across the thoughts I wanted to convey. This song is a little different. I’ve just written my story.”
“I normally mumble melodies, leave it, then go back to try to find what story the melody is trying to say & figure out which words work. With U ME WE it was different, the majority of the melody & lyrics came out in one stream.” — Surya on the creation of “U ME WE”.
“First verse, hook and second verse, came out in one continuous flow,” Surya continues on the creation of his single. “In fact, the first humming you hear is taken straight from the home demo I made, just felt like it had a sense of intimacy and warmth to it. 3rd verse, on the other hand, took a little bit of time. I was facing some setbacks, so was writing the lyrics in the 3rd verse as a pep talk to me. Then I grew conscious that a listener might think I am directing advice to them.”
Whilst Surya does believe in the things he is saying in the lyrics, he did not want to come across like he was offering advice – Surya is trying to figure things out himself, so he doesn’t think he is qualified to do so. Surya was struggling to figure how to convey this thought: ‘hey I’m just talking to myself, but if this strikes a chord in you, know that we both share this commonality.’
“Finally I was struck with, ‘when I say you I’m just speaking in to me, but does it do right there, what it do right here – you me we’” Surya continues, “I was also listening to a Jay Z interview and thought it spoke to what I was talking about in the song, so I chopped it up & inserted it, put some backing vocals on it and then the song was complete.”
This track is personal for Surya. The second verse is comprised of details specific to him and his past – Surya lived in a studio apartment when he got to London, etc. And the 3rd verse essays what he believes.
Through writing this track Surya wanted to understand and uplift himself. “I guess it will be cool if the listener could do the same for themselves through listening to U ME WE,” Surya adds.
“I am working on releasing my upcoming mixtape, Collage,” Surya reveals on his 2021. “This project seems me refashioning older hip-hop and R&B instrumentals with my own lyrics, melodies and arrangements.”
Surya is hoping to release Collage in February. “I then want to collaborate with other artists and do lot of featured appearances, Surya concludes in our chat. “I’m working on some other stuff too – in early stages right now, but hoping to go somewhere very interesting.”
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