INTERVIEW: Striking a balance with shy-c

We spoke to electronic music producer and Singaporean singer-songwriter shy-c to ask him more about his coruscating new EP ‘Solace In My Sleep’ and his music.

Released earlier this month, the texture-filled EP fills us with coruscating sounds that seem to sonically appease our hearts, almost like it was effortlessly transcending through it.

Says shy-c of the tracks:

“These are songs for the weary hearts seeking respite from the daily stressors and life’s pressures, the ones who are looking for a sense of warmth that accompanies the break of dawn.”

Indeed, it does what it says on the package – give us ‘Solace in our sleep’.

“Sonically, I think I found myself fluctuating between sounds that were familiar and sounds completely alien to my usual palette.” 

We asked the multi-talented music artist to tell us a bit more about ‘Solace In My Sleep’, as well as the foundation of all his music.

AL365: Hi shy-c, Vanessa here from AsiaLive365. Thanks for taking the time to talk to us. Congrats on the new EP ‘Solace in My Sleep’! We are loving the instrumental textures in the songs of this new EP. The title track for instance feels like a surreal dream, while ‘Apathy’ is giving us that Owl City feels. And ‘Castles’ seems to twirl at our hearts the way smoke from a smoke machine twirls around our legs if we’re in the first few rows. The riffs, especially in the acoustic version, are gorgeous. Tell us more about the recording process of this EP? Sonically, how would you describe the colour of this new EP?

shy-c: I struggle to put my music into words.. I always have references that I draw from but I feel like the end product always falls far from my initial intentions.

That being said, what ties the different tracks together in this EP would be a bittersweet lack of direction. I wrote most of the tracks during a period where I found myself drifting along.

Sonically, I think I found myself fluctuating between sounds that were familiar and sounds completely alien to my usual palette. I like to think I stuck a fair balance between sticking true to my sound and also experimenting outside the box.

AL365: We love the album art on the EP. Who was the artist on this?

shy-c: Thanks! The cover art was designed by my friend Dione Lee, who is an amazing visual designer. I sent her an early concept which was essentially a stick man falling through a stick bed, and she was able to translate that into what you see on the cover art.

AL365: With a background and plethora of diverse musical experiences, how did it all start? When was the moment that you felt that music was in your blood and decided to become both a music artist and producer?

shy-c: I went to a Vanessa-Mae concert when I was a kid and told my parents that I wanted to be a violinist when I grew up. Somewhere along the way I started playing guitar, which led to me learning how to record sounds on my computer and programming drum patterns.

Fast forward a few more years and I’m living the high life making beats in my parents’ storeroom haha.

AL365: What songs and artists did you listen to growing up and do you see their influences in the music that you produce and create?

shy-c: I think I’ve had three main phases of listening to music: classical music, pop punk/rock/metal, and then electronic music (at the moment). Within classical music, I wasn’t very specific with my tastes, but my training in that helped me to build a foundation to navigate other genres of music-making. Listening to rock inspired me to pick up the guitar.

Right now, I listen to a lot of electronic music, and it’s been rather freeing to have the creative space to bring together these different elements.

AL365: With 2020 coming to a close, what has been your biggest achievement this year and where do you see yourself going in 2021?

shy-c: Personally, my biggest achievement in 2020 is this EP; I’m glad that I pushed myself to put more music out this year. There were many days where I did feel very directionless, but music has been a way out of that. Forcing myself to sit down in front of my computer and write music helped me to create a routine that eventually helped me feel better.

AL365: Can we expect to see you on stage soon in 2021?

shy-c: Yes! I’m in the midst of putting together a live set integrating both electronic and acoustic instruments, hopefully when stages do re-open!

For now, I’ll be focusing on publishing live performance videos on my YouTube channel.

AL365: Thanks again shy-c! Absolutely loving your new music! Can’t wait to see you in a set soon!

Cover photo: Kenneth Phang

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