Q: We love the guitar on this track. What was your creative process like while making “Herbal Tea”?
RORY: The song really came out of a jam session one night where I was messing around recording guitar loops over this two-bar chord progression. I layered three loops on top of each other which sounded pretty cool, so I pulled them apart so each loop came in one after the other (heard in the instrumental part after the first verse), and built the song around that! From there things fell into place pretty quickly, I programmed the drum groove in Logic Pro (I’d been listening to a lot of Yussef Dayes so was going for that kind of vibe), and recorded bass and vocals in my makeshift bedroom studio. I took a lot longer to mix the track than write it, I spent a good amount of lockdown learning how to mix from YouTube tutorials and probably took around 2 months of tweaking things until I was happy with the sound, but it was a fun process and almost as creative as the songwriting itself.
Q: Did any real life events inspire this song/ your music?
RORY: Back in April 2020 when all the clubs and bars were shut and there was nothing to do at the weekend, me and my girlfriend were sat in on a Saturday night watching Below Deck and she turns to me and asks if I want a herbal tea. We just found the whole situation quite funny that in normal circumstances we’d be out drinking with friends, but we were perfectly content staying in and having an early night. That’s what herbal tea is about.
Q: Describe the pivotal moment in your life that lead you to follow your path as a musician.
RORY: One of my earliest musical memories was seeing Evelyn Glennie play in Newcastle. She’s a percussionist who’s almost completely deaf, and so plays bare foot so she can feel the vibrations through the stage floor. I was so wowed by the whole performance I don’t think I put my drumsticks down for a month afterwards.
Q: We love your songwriting, who are your biggest influences?
RORY: I’ve been listening to an unhealthy amount of Still Woozy recently, I think his production is incredible. Outside of that I’m a huge fan of the Tom Misch & Yussef Dayes album ‘What Kinda Music’, and recently discovered Remi Wolf who I love. From a songwriting perspective I try to pick up as many tricks as possible from Jacob Collier.
Q: What is coming up next for you?
RORY: I’m currently working on a follow up single to herbal tea which I hope to have out around October this year
Q: What would you like to tell people who want to start making music but haven’t yet?
RORY: What’s stopping you!?
Interviewed by Zoey Rowntree
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