Artist Interview: “Changes” by Suave

Q: “Changes” is a melodic track that blends hip hop and pop elements. What was the inspiration behind this track and how did it all come together?

SUAVE: “Changes” is the final track on my EP with the previous three songs building up to it. Following the narrative, the songs start in a dark place and slowly the mood changes leading to the final outburst that is “Changes”. I wanted this song to be the most upbeat and catchy as it is the final piece to the story. The part that I am trying to reach from the very start! The song talks about action and implementing those things I previously talk about to escape the feelings of isolation and being lost. The project as a whole is very stylized in terms of the sound. Typically I write everything at the piano and convey that in to a production, but every song here was started by me creating a sample, chopping it up, pitching it, reversing it, adding all sorts of things until I had no idea what key it was in… and then starting to write from there. It definitely helped push me in terms of songwriting. But because these songs are all sample based I felt like implementing more upbeat hip hop / trap vibes as a basis. “Changes” being the lead single I felt like i would stick to a more classic pop structure instead of getting more experimental because in the previous songs, I am talking about how I am lost and don’t have control… hence the music gets a little more unpredictable. But because this last song is when I am truly getting myself together, I felt that it could be more controlled!

Q: How has being synesthetic influenced how you approach making art?

SUAVE: From the way I have always immersed myself in to the sounds and melodies of music its self, listening to music has always been an experience like no other. I remember trying to talk to someone growing up about the different shapes and colours of sounds and they looked at me like… What on earth are you talking about? It was then I looked a little more in to it and found out that I have synesthesia. For me, I can listen to a song and instantly create this unique environment around it, flooded with the shapes and colours of instruments, voices, melodies, drums, and everything comes together in a way that I can experience music in a way that lasts forever. That is exactly how I approach making art. I tend to build up my music with atmosphere and textures and hide little details in the production so that you can always hear something new every time you listen. I create in a way that one could just close their eyes and get lost in the world that I’ve created. Every song gets associated with a colour in my mind, wether that be from the start or by the end of the song. I try and stay true to that by creating the album covers to mimic those same colours. I know that everyone experiences life and associate emotions differently but I try and create something that is as close to my own experience as an outside listener. I could go on and on about this honestly. Ill end with this fun little thought. As you can see in my work my artwork and photography and honesty my whole “brand” is very colourful and saturated in contrast. I tend to take lots of pictures at night but bring as much colorful light as I can. My thoughts are that ones mind before experiencing anything is this deep black space with endless space to be lit up, and what we hear or see starts to paint this picture in front of us that we are able to put together as an experience. I take that perspective and in any art I make I apply that same thought. I hope to give you an experience more than just having a song you like. Give you images that are full of detail and convert their own story. and I create with the intention to inspire and share my worlds and my experiences with everyone.


Q: Walk us through the making of your EP, Changes. What was it like creating a body of work during a pandemic?

SUAVE: Luckily for me, I actually started this project before the pandemic hit… Four years ago actually haha. My song “Can’t Hold Me Down” actually started off as a song I produced for another artist! I wanted to challenge myself to produce something different and create something that wasn’t instrument based. Some things happened and it ended up not working out with the other artist but I loved the beat so much that this past year I decided to make some more music like that and build this project! As I said, these songs all took a different approach from how I typically make music. I wanted to challenge myself in every aspect and the final product is the result of a few months of experimenting and wiring! The story built itself as i wrote the music, and it came directly from my own life. I didn’t know I would be writing about my own struggles with depression but it became more evident that thats what I needed to write about. All the songs are influenced by genres such as Hip Hop, R&B and Pop but to glue it all together I really wanted to add my own touches by creating in depth atmosphere. I tried to create a sound truly unique to this project and I think it turned out amazing.


Q: Your lyrics are quite introspective. Did you learn anything about yourself when making your EP?

SUAVE: Absolutely. This project I truly wanted to challenge myself as a writer and a producer. In the past I have written about concepts more so actual experiences in my life. I’ve definitely implemented my own emotions or written about things that have actually happened, but I would change the story a bit to fit the song. This EP showed me how to open up and write from a place I didn’t know I could write. I don’t hold back either, as I figured I might as well tell my story how it really happened. I got a lot of people in my personal life reaching out to me asking if I was okay after I released this haha. And truly, I am. It ended up being quite therapeutic being able to write like this, and a way I could leave it in the past! This project helped me so much with how I look at writing and let me just tell you, some of this music I have been finishing up gives me chills every time I listen to it.

Q: Which song or songs on Changes pushed you the hardest as a producer and a songwriter?

SUAVE: By far the most unique song I have ever created is Demons. My goal when writing this was to truly inactivate the feelings and emotions behind the lyrics in the production its self. Instead of sticking to a typical song structure I let the narrative of the lyrics dictate the progression of the song. To truly do my words justice I wanted to build this atmospheric world around every word making it feel like the song was breathing the same emotions as the words I sang. From the first second that the sample plays in the beginning I wanted it to bring you in to this world where you could experience the same things I had experienced… to truly feel the emotions I had felt. All of my songs have their own respective worlds that I like to build around them but Demons by far has the most unique. Even in terms of writing, this was the first song that I truly opened up and wrote about the experiences in my own life. It felt like a risk, but I have been able to tap in to my own past and my own emotions and experiences and bring that to the forefront of my music. This song opened up my eyes to the possibility of what I could write about, and how I make music.


Q: You were born in the UK and are currently based in Cincinnati. What drew you to Cincinnati to pursue music?

SUAVE: Unfortunately this isn’t going to be a very exuding answer! I actually moved to America when I was 8 years old because my Dad worked downtown Cincinnati so I’ve spent most of my life here. I have plans on moving as soon as I get a bit more of a following but at the moment I’ve managed to build up a nice environment around me here, and because there is no urgency, why rush to leave that behind? I will stay again, I do plan on moving haha. Cincinnati is pretty great… but there are a lot of other places I think could be a lot better!


Q: What are you hoping to accomplish this year?

SUAVE: I already have three big projects started and that I am actively working on every day that is quite honestly my best music yet. Last year I made my first music video with a friend that is one of the best things I have ever put together, but I want to take that to the next level and create a music video with a full on budget and design and everything. Ideas are already racing as I speak. On top of that I just started recording some covers of artists that I like and I have been putting them up on my youtube as I want to grow my audience there as well as practicing my video production. This year is already flooded with creative projects that I fully intend to push out by the end of it.

Interviewed by Brynn Hinnant

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