Happy Monday! If you’re looking for new music for the new week, then look no further.
This week, our Track of the Week is ‘Grey Hour’ by BIMM London’s Sylvie. We are loving it this morning and think you will too!
What was your inspiration when you began writing the track?
A couple of years ago, I started naming the time of night just before the sun comes up “the grey hour” – because I kept finding myself awake at that time doing things I probably shouldn’t have been. That feeling when you’re at a party and suddenly the sky is grey, you start to feel grey and questioning what you’re even doing there.
I guess there are themes of addiction and self destructive behaviours, whether it’s drugs, alcohol, unhealthy relationships, etc. The final chorus dropping to just vocals and a slightly out-of-tune piano represents that come-down feeling you get after those long nights. I started writing it at the piano, after a period of doing all that unhealthy stuff on repeat, so it felt right to end it there too.
Are there any artists that inspire you when writing?
Definitely!! One of my music teachers at school used to say to me “if you want to be a better writer, be a better listener”. I started out playing music by learning classical piano and singing in choirs from a really young age, and it wasn’t until Lady Gaga came along when I was about 11 that I fell in love with her and pop music. That’s when I started to write pop songs. Honestly, ‘The Fame Monster’ album changed me as a person.
More recently, I take big inspo’ from The 1975, IDER, Jack Garrett, Grandson, Hamzaa, KOPS… I could go on forever.
What is key to your sound and how do you make your music stand out?
I think the fact that I write everything at the piano to begin with. I’ve always written my songs by myself just on the keys and I think it lets me focus more on melodies and lyrics than production to begin with – which is definitely my style. It’s only recently that I’ve started experimenting with production as a form of writing, which is also fun, but I’ll always come back to the keys while writing.
How does your songwriting process work?
Like I said before, usually just me and my piano, but sometimes the lyrics do come first. I think the best thing about being a writer in this day and age is having a phone that you can instantly write down a word or phrase, or record a little melody that pops into your head on the train or something. I have an abundance of notes and voice memos on my phone that I look through to get started, it’s always great to have a lyrical concept or hook melody to get going. Even if I’m half asleep and I get an idea, I make sure to write it down; it might be awful, but then it might be your best song yet.
Describe your sound in 3 words…
Iridescent, provocative, emotive.
How has studying at BIMM helped you develop as an artist?
It’s hard to pin point it, but the difference in myself from when I started at 18 to me now is monumental. I’m still developing a lot, but I think mostly it helped me figure out what I’m not. I had the space to try so many things, styles, collaborations, etc.
I was really able to whittle down what I wanted to say with my music, and how I wanted to say it. Coming from a classical background it was hard to find other pop writers to bounce off and BIMM really gave me that space.
What’s next for you?
I’ve just put out a live video for ‘Grey Hour’, and then it’s going to be focusing on finishing an EP. I’m most of the way through writing it all and I’m SO excited to put it out. The first single will be released in the coming months and I think its my favourite song I’ve written yet… we’re just getting started!