Julia Star

Julia Star is a kickass nextgen singer whose instagram stories are class, so Will Soer asked her to do an images-only Deep Cuts submission, she came up with this theme for it.

Lazy Eyez

I’ve always appreciated Earl, as he ages and matures as a musician he has become less afraid of being vulnerable and open about mental health. His exposure of his own depression is not only refreshing to hear but much needed in this modern hip hop scene.

When it’s harmful where you going and the part of you that know doesn’t give a f*ck
I don’t believe I have ever really struggled with a real addiction, however I have definitely spent more time than was healthy under the influence of drugs. I can relate deeply to this complex line about the feelings around moving deeper into depression and addiction, it hurts the most when you know what you’re doing is wrong and you can’t stop. It’s like you’ve lost a battle against yourself.

Any chance to talk about music that touches me feels like an opportunity to express my love for Mac Miller. He is one of the greatest artists of our generation, his death has been the first celebrity death to really hit me and I know a lot of my friends feel the same, it’s an odd sensation to miss someone you never really knew.

I’ll do anything for a way out of my head
This particular line has replayed itself in my thoughts since I first heard it. The desire to escape from yourself is certainly confusing, to feel trapped inside your own thoughts, fettered by your emotions. I know that for myself and many others it is this exact feeling that has lead us to take drugs. On a personal note, I have found ways of getting out of my head which don’t involve drugs at all, making music and skating both allow me to feel liberated from myself. Hearing Mac say it made me realise it’s a natural feeling that many people are subjected to and we can deal with it how we choose.

Lazy Eyez’ new album is a solid slice of honest, open hip hop. The chorus of opening single Icarus particularly hit Will Soer; ‘My ‘rents loved me when I couldn’t love myself.’

Ady Suleiman

This isn’t about the most difficult thing in my life, but actually there was a Cardi B record, and when that came out I was really like, oh, ok that’s how she feels. I really related that to the girlfriend I was with, like Cardi B was chatting to me on her behalf, I remember when I heard that I felt like damn, that was so well put. I bet that speaks for a lot of women, I felt like she was talking about me.

Ady Suleiman is a pretty massive amazing R’n’b singer (like 50/60million listens on Spotify massive), he provided this contribution to Will Soer during an interview, this is a direct transcription. Check out his new single if you want sunshine in your life, or his nearly new single if you want some rolling grey clouds in there.

Sienna Smith

Probably an unpopular thing to say on a music blog but I don’t usually focus on the actual lyrics that much when I listen to a song, at least at first. I stumbled across ‘Just once’ by Shura on youtube whilst revising for some exams a couple of years ago. Around this time, I had been involved in an off and on dating disaster and the pre-chorus in this song really stuck out and resonated: “If you get my name wrong I won’t get pissed off cause I wish I was somebody else.” I think the song as a whole encapsulates how hard it is settle and be calm (maybe still is a better word) with the people in your life (whether that be friends, family or someone you are dating) if you can’t create that stillness and sense of peace within yourself. Something that I think many 20-somethings struggle with I know! Aside from the lyrics being quite poetic in my opinion, it is a pretty ethereal tune that manages to feel sad yet hopeful at the same time and I could listen to it over and over again and not get bored. 

Sienna Smallman doesn’t put salt on her food.

Will Soer

Now a sound can start a dream; the noise of one car passing in the night can drop a hundred sleepers into the deep parts of themselves.’ – Truman Capote

I used to care about lyrics more than I do now, or at least I used to think I should care more about them. I wanted to feel that music was ‘authentic’ and ‘honest’, someone writing their own thoughts, partly because that was cool, and partly because that meant I could trust it. Whatever I want from music, nowadays I know I don’t go to lyrics for clear communication. I think it’s more about filling in the gaps, elevating the song, helping it connect to my life, my issues. I somehow never noticed that the girl in Four Winds’ first verse is a piece of graffiti, I still have no idea who the singer in Rad Pitt is addressing, I never tried to really ‘understand’ their narrative, a few lyrical images was all I needed. Unsatisfied is my favourite example of this, as it basically just repeats the same, contextually ambiguous lyric over again, but there’s so much emotional pulp in the sound, in his voice, that it doesn’t matter what the context of his emotion is.

It’s been over a decade since I stopped being overtly bullied, but for that to happen just as I was going through puberty, when I’d just moved to the uk, I really think it made me into me. You don’t need words to communicate that stuff, but they help. In Supermodel by SZA, the guitar riff – played by a friend of hers with no experience on the instrument – is hopeful for 10 strokes, anxious for 10 strokes, and it stays balanced there throughout the song. At the end of the song SZA softly howls ‘ahhhoooooooohhhhh, oooohhhooohhoooooooooohhhhh’, it’s so pretty and sweet and stunted, and then a wordless muttered male whisper slips above her in the mix, the itch of insecurity. The studio trickery only serves the get you closer to the musician, to feel like you’re watching them through high, drunk tears. ‘I could be a supermodel if you believe, see it in me.’ It’s such a simple line, combined with everything else it just breaks me open. 

What’s funny is that none of these song’s lyrics have really been explicitly about being the outsider, the lone exclusion, the they just have that odd balance of hope and dejection recognisable to the bullied. And then there’s my favourite artist, Marina (fka Marina & the Diamonds). A Welsh Greek singer who spent the first few years of her adulthood frantically trying to make it in London. I went with my mother to watch her have a discussion with Tanya Byron, (it was a School of Life event), and towards the end of the ending Q&A session a woman behind us was selected, and said she actually wanted to hear what that woman ahead of her (my mother) was going to ask, as she had been positively leaping up and down with her hand. My mother stood up, said she was here with her son and was previously going to give me her question, but actually felt the need now to speak, to thank Marina for responding to my fanmail when I was younger, telling me that bullies were filled with FEAR (underlined three times). We were sat a little away so Tanya thought it was worth telling those who couldn’t quite see that Marina was crying and that ‘aside from any musical achievement or anything, that’s a mother thanking you for caring for her child, that’s amazing.’

PS: It’s mad that Julia Star picked Numb by Linkin Park; when I was 7 my Dad bought me that CD because he heard some other kids singing along to it at a drama group and thought I might like it, I think he literally just repeated the chorus to a cd store person. Was immediately my favourite song ever.

Will Soer just wrote an article about Marina here, before attending that discussion.