Anonymity, mystery, surprise releases; all these things are liable to cause a buzz amongst the blogosphere and our community of discoverers, but the only way to keep the momentum going is with quality music. That’s exactly what Seramic has done, because although his tracks are fronted by abstract cover art and his social media is devoid of a tangible biography, it’s the finely produced and impeccably well-written soulful songs that keep the ever-hungry citizens of new-music-topia coming back for more.
Discovered by Going Solo six months ago, the silver-toned singer was labelled as a Promising Artist almost instantly, and once again our users were right to agree. Seramic’s highly-anticipated first EP has now been released to much-deserved praise. Here, this veiled musician answers a few of our questions about this new project, playing live, keeping hush, and his main influences.
First of all, I have to say that I caught your show at The Great Escape last month, and was truly blown away! What was that show like from your perspective?
Thanks, it was a really fun show despite some technical difficulties, it was nice to play to such a full room at 5.30 in the afternoon.
You appear to be very at home on stage, would that be a fair assumption?
I love performing, I really enjoy the chaos of it and getting lost in the moment.
Of course, gigs are an opportunity to see you in person as so far no photos have accompanied the music. You reportedly told Pigeons and Planes that “I just want the music to speak for itself for now”, so do you think taking the anonymous route has achieved that?
It's great to get such a positive response at this early stage, it's really encouraging. This feels very much like a project to me so I just wanted the focus to be on the work without distractions and we seem to be achieving that which is great.
Are there any special meanings behind the abstract artwork you’ve chosen to front each song?
All the artworks are made by friends and people I admire. The images made sense to me and felt right. The Seramic aesthetic is something that is in constant development like the music which I'm really enjoying.
“We should talk about nu-soul, but this song is definitely far more than that, thanks to its spiritual aura and huge gospel chorus that flash the listener in a NYC-Harlem’s church.”
Your debut “People Say” seems to center around the theme of people handing out advice or thinking they know you best, but what’s one recurrent thing people have been saying about or to you recently?
Lots of nice things which is great.
That was your first song, released just five months ago, but how long have you been planning and working on this project?
I guess the project really started about a year ago when I decided to make something different and explore new territory.
Did you expect to receive such positive feedback and relative popularity in that short space of time?
I was really overwhelmed when people started making the connections to some of my heroes and hearing all those influences in the music. I just hope it keeps building, I have a lot of music to put out.
“Seramic manages to renew his style with every track he puts out. Putting forward different aspects of his songwriting at the forefront of the creative process, he can only shine.”
All of your music is heavily saturated in soul and blues, why are you drawn to these styles?
I grew up listening to that music. My first show I went to see was Buddy Guy when I was twelve and he went into the crowd shredding on his guitar and went right up to me and that was a very influential moment.
I love Nick Hakim. There is loads of great music coming out at the moment, it's an exciting time. I was really blown away by the Anderson Paak record. I'm really influenced by my friends. I'm still hunting for old records, it's endless!
Aside from those genres, which influences have been significant to your music?
I’ve actually found that I don’t really group music into genres. I'm really effected by songs wherever they came from in all different kinds of styles. I guess songs are significant to me in and of themselves, rather than being part of a bigger picture.
“Waiting” diverges into more of a funk sound, led by a grooving bass line. Was there an inspiration behind this funk-leaning single?
Sly and the family Stone has been a huge influence on this project so there will be a lot more funk inspired tunes coming in the near future. I just love the dirtiness of those records which is something that I want to hopefully promote on my records and in the live shows.
A song like “Waiting” is noticeable rich in instrumentation and I’ve seen it for myself that you can play a fair few instruments. Did you play everything on the recorded versions?
Myself and Carrasius Gold, my producer, played all the instruments apart from bass which was played by the greatest bass player in the world.
How about production? It seems increasingly common for artists to self-produce or at least to have a hand in it.
I co-produced the EP with my producer Carrasius Gold who is truly amazing.
“It ensures that Seramic won't be forgotten about soon, and if he can continue this level of musical quality up, he'll be one of the most prominent new acts in no time.”
One of the strongest elements of your music is your voice, which in the opening line of “Found” hits like a wave. Have you always been aware of this vocal talent?
I grew up listening to a lot of gospel music which affected my vocal tone massively. All my influences have very distinct voices so that is something I aspire to.
Let’s talk about the final song to complete your four-track EP, “The Things You Do”, probably the most positive and even blissful of the four songs. How would you describe it?
Yes, it’s definitely more upbeat!
As a whole, the EP seems to connect the chapters of an individual’s search for love, is that the story? Or perhaps it’s something else entirely?
I guess your interpretation is as good as mine.
“Soul has never sounded this energetic, with each instrument trying to win over his voice (and failing at that b/c what a voice!).”
I would say it’s been a pretty great year for Seramic, what has been your highlight?
It has! And we’re only just halfway. I feel like it's just getting started, I have been really lucky to work with such amazingly talented musicians and producers, so I guess some of my sessions with them have been the highlight. I am also really enjoying playing live again after such a long time.
What are you most looking forward to for the rest of the year?
I'm really looking forward to putting out some new music and playing lots of festivals and finding more people who can connect with what we are doing.