Watch Full Interview on Youtube HERE
Your cover of Coldplay’s ‘Fix You’, in collaboration with Danny Olson, has been out for less than a year and has already reached an admirable 1,000,000 streams on Spotify alone.. what does this achievement mean to you?
Watching the success of Fix You has been so surreal to me. Not only was this my first release, this was a cover so I certainly wasn’t expecting to see numbers like that.
The original version of 'Fix You' came out in 2005, did you listen to this song growing up?
Yeah so the funny thing is I actually performed a cover of the original version of 'Fix You' with a friend back in high school who was in my choir. When Danny reached out a year ago wanting to cover that song of all songs I was like "no way I used to perform that song all the time"! I went back after and watched those performances a couple months ago and it’s crazy how different I sounded compared to the version I did with Danny. I guess 10 years really does make a difference. The guy I used to perform it with also reached out after Danny and I had released our cover saying he’d heard it on Spotify somehow and was just blown away as he had no idea I was pursuing music full time now. It was really cool.
How did this collaboration with Danny Olson come about?
My music manager is friends with Danny’s manager and linked us together. Danny had been wanting to do this modern cinematic version of 'Fix You' for a while and I was just so flattered he picked me for it considering I hadn’t released anything yet and was just starting out as an artist.
Does your cover of ‘Fix You’ fit into a particular musical genre, or does it borrow from multiple forms?
We described our version as a cinematic bass electronic cover, which is obviously very different from the original. I think both the original and our cover have the ability to capture the attention of a very broad spectrum of listeners and that’s what makes it so special.
The original has been described as one of the most iconic songs of our generation.. did you feel any pressure taking on the challenge of recreating such a hit?
Absolutely. Knowing the original was already such an iconic song added a ton of pressure for me, especially as an artist who was just starting out. I have nothing but admiration for Coldplay throughout my recreation and I kind of had to take a step back and think less of it as a comparison thing and more of a chance to take the inspiration I had from the original and kind of twist it to fit my own style and personality.
Can you briefly describe the music-making process that went into creating ‘Fix You’?
Multiple sessions, melody sketches, the perfecting of every single word that came out of my mouth... Danny is an incredible producer and a perfectionist so we did it over and over again until it was just how we wanted it. Another interesting thing that some people don’t know is some of the instrumentation used throughout it was actually my vocals that we turned into the instrumentals you’re hearing - so that in itself was a process.
Aside from the lyrics, are there any key influences from the original? What was most original about your recreation of the song?
You know obviously we changed the melody and the timing a bit throughout the song. Of course lyrics all stayed the same and we tried to keep the chorus as close to the original as possible. We still wanted it to sound like fix you, just a newer, modern take of it.
Were you affected emotionally by the music? Can you identify any particular moments when this happened?
There were several times throughout the creation of this track where I had to really feel the lyrics I was singing and close my eyes and get lost. I wanted my emotion to be felt in the song through the vocals when people heard it. There was a point when we were recording where I was actually tearing up and breaking down, I was like "omg Danny let me redo that" and he’s like "no it’s great".
Are there particular lines which stick in your mind because of their lyrics?
"When you try your best but you don’t succeed" is something I can really resonate with. Also the chorus “I will try to fix you”. What a deep line. I think we all have special people in our life we wish we could just jump into their bodies and fix.
With “Fix You’ being you first ever release, what impact would you say it has had on your music career?
I definitely think 'Fix You' was an amazing foundation to build off of. Given the success of the release, I as an artist, had the ability to really understand the process of playlisting and signing a song to a label. Every track I release I feel growth from and am more inspired to keep on creating.
How has your music evolved since this first release?
Since then I have released only original tracks, so being able to share my own stories through my writing, like what Coldplay did with the original 'Fix You' has been an incredible feeling. Recording music in a studio is so much different than performing live and you really only get better over time. I want my listeners to really feel like they know me when they hear my music. That’s the goal.
What advice would you give to recording artists just starting out / gearing up for their first release?
Just be you. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in everyone else’s opinions on what you should be releasing or what genre you should be doing but I think you need to just do what feels the most true to you. There’s no rule book or specific steps you need to take in order to see success, it really is different for everyone so don’t worry so much about that and just make the music you love to create. I’d tell all new artists starting out to not be afraid to be vulnerable and to say what you want to say in your music. The more you feel it and the more relatable it is for you the more listeners gravitate towards you as an artist and will resonate with your lyrics. Having a team who really believes in you and can help guide you when you’re just starting out is so important too.