Q:“Easy for Me” is a great summer single, and definitely makes me want to get up and dance. I’m curious- what do you think makes a great dance track?
SJ: Thank you! When producing the demo for ‘Easy for me,’ I experimented with a lot of Italo disco bass lines and drum loops that gave a faster paced, upbeat feel. I think getting the perfect lock and groove with a bass and drum kit makes a great dance track, as long as you keep the beat fairly consistent. I also like to try out different vocal techniques like call and response and diverse, bright melody patterns to create hooks particularly in the pre-chorus and chorus sections to build dance-worthy momentum.
Q: You and producer, Geoff O’Connor, collaborated remotely with this track. What was your most important takeaway from this experience?
SJ: I thought that working remotely on such a social, feel-good track was going to be detrimental to the project, but myself and Geoff worked so well together and were both very enthusiastic about the song from the get go. The most important takeaway from this experience is that you don’t always need to work in a big studio to create a big sound. All you need is to make sure you have decent recording equipment and a producer that understands your vision while giving good direction.
Q:Did any particular event inspire “Easy for Me?”
SJ: In my teens I found myself in a relationship with someone who I’d known for a long time before becoming intimate. I reflect on it sometimes and feel that the main reason we stuck together was because it was easy and familiar, we already knew each other well but there were no real feelings there romantically. I always wanted to turn that experience into a song without making it overly dramatic, and I think that the tongue-and-cheek approach I took for ‘Easy For Me’ reflects on it quite well.
Q: I love the cover art for “Easy for Me.” Who was the artist, and what do you want our readers to know about the piece and the story behind it?
SJ: An amazing Irish artist Emily Peat (emily.peat on Instagram) created the cover art. I wanted the artwork to be really busy and colourful like the track. I felt that the bubblegum pop gives off an innocent, care-free feel which also reflects the mood of the track before you listen to it. We made the artwork during the lockdown so I took some photos of me blowing bubblegum at home and sent them to Emily who created a digital animation which I think is ideal.
Q: You have several years of experience in the music industry, and you started your career as a studio musician. How has your musical perceptions/voice evolved throughout your musical career?
SJ: I think that having a few years of music collaboration under my belt has definitely influenced my original sound. When I started out as a session singer, I mostly sang and wrote pop/soul ballads. Over time I became so influenced by my peers that I found myself becoming more explorative with genres. I started experimenting with indie, electronic and dance sounds. Now I’m at a point in my solo artist project where I think it’s important to explore by writing in different styles and not box myself into one genre.
Interviewed by Sarah Scott