We talked to singer/producer/band-leader Syd tha Kyd about their music and success.
Congratulations on the release of your latest album – Ego Death, how has the response been?
It’s been great. Just thankful to have the opportunity.
You’ve stated that everyone in the band has played a part in the production of this album, how is the rest of the writing split between the band, for example Syd are you the primary lyricist?
I am but I wrote with a few other writers for Ego Death, like Nick Green and Taylor Parks. James Fauntleroy wrote a song for us and Steve Lacy, our guitar player, wrote a chorus. So did Matt.
The Internet started finding success through sites like Myspace and Soundcloud, how do you think this ease of making and sharing music will affect the music industry?
With the more opportunities there seems to be more competition. There are a lot of artists out there who you and I have never heard of that are doing really well for themselves. I think that’s its biggest and best effect. You can connect with people all over the world and create your own audience. So I think it gives artists the illusion that competition is tougher because everything is in your face, but in reality there’s room for everyone, probably.
Ego Death has a more vocal driven sound than your previous records, what were your main sources of inspiration when it came to making this album?
We wanted to move on from the funk/jazz sound and towards something a little more powerful, sonically. Personally I was inspired a lot by N.E.R.D during this one. I also wanted my voice to be bigger on this one but I’m not sure I achieved that. Still love what I got.
Where did the idea of Ego Death come from? Does much of the lyrical content relate to the album’s title?
Matt suggested it. At first I said I wasn’t sure because it was so bold. A week later after I’d forgotten all about it and he suggested it again and I thought it was perfect. I wanted to be bolder. The lyrics relate to the definition of Ego Death. It was me using my Ego to boost my confidence while at the same time having to keep it in check. It almost cancels out. But we didn’t have the title until we had finished the whole album.
What are your favourite songs to play live?
Probably Just Sayin’ and Curse. And Love Song -1.
How was working with Janelle Monáe and how did this collaboration come about?
It was really chill. Matt has known her for a long time and so he reached out to her. She was in town for an event and she stopped by my house for a little while and that’s when we recorded her part. She just started freestyling melodies and we recorded them.
She didn’t stay long though so we didn’t have time to finish it with her, but we were able to make use of what she gave us.
What are your plans after you finish touring, are you writing any more music or working on another album?
I’ve just been writing so far. It’s all random stuff right now, but it’s fun. I’m exploring new sounds and discovering new ways to use my voice. Haven’t started work on the next album yet. I want to do a little more exploring and experimenting first.
Interview by Chris Smith