If you had to describe your album ‘A Poison With An Aftertaste’ in three words, what would they be?
Shayan: Let’s say honest, reflective and fragmental.
What is the best thing about being apart of the music industry?
Shayan: It’s the eventual expansion that you find yourself within. You meet all these amazing people and you work with all these brilliant musicians who sometimes share the same vision or just are on the same wavelength with you and then that just really paves way to the most homely content you can make in terms of your songsmanship or your music in itself. The whole thing I believe is very much open and then very limitless. It really gives you a lot of ground once you connect with all these people. It’s just like a massive space to fan out on someone’s art, on someone’s music. And then the best part about you being apart of the same industry that they are is that you cross paths now and then or you just get to make friends and that becomes ‘okay this is an incredible artist’ but the added flavour to that is that I know this person and I speak to this person. I call him or her a friend; that just adds to the whole experience and makes it a little bit more personalised and special – at least for me.
What is an average day like for you?
Shayan: These days life’s been very hectic, but I could twist the question around and tell you my ideal average day that I used to have but don’t anymore. Like the rest of the world half of my day is at work so when I’m not working I like to keep time for myself. I love gardening and I just love being around flowers – I love being around plants. I’m a very nature orientated person at times, well most of the time to be honest. Whenever I find time I guess I like to be around that. We’re also looking into starting a florist’s cause that’s just something I always wanted to do so we’ll see how that goes. Other than that if I get time later I’ll read, move about a bit, work out and stuff – keep things moving about a bit, not too much not too less. I can’t think of an average day right because right now my days have been hectic, but we get by, you know. As long as the sun sets and rises the next day, we’re good to go. I like to cook – I do enjoy cooking sometimes.
I noticed when reviewing your album that you are fantastic with lyrics. How does the writing process work for you? Do you come up with the lyrics or the music first?
Shayan: The writing process – it’s so all over the place that I don’t think you can even you know categorise it into any process. It’s very unconventional but it makes sense to me. It’s all over the place; I’ve never sat down with the mindset of ‘I’m gonna write about this, I’m gonna make this kind of music. Whenever I feel like I’m gonna write something I just write whatever comes out, and I like to keep the first draft/tape of whatever I’m doing. I like to keep that as much as I can by the end of the song because I feel like that’s the most honest version. Improvements are always a good thing but I think to keep true to the initial vision is always my goal. The only process part of this honestly is, I guess I sit down without a song and get up with one. Sometimes it’s the music first, sometimes it’s the melody first. Sometimes I just jot down lyrics, not even like song lyrics. Just lines or words, or an apparent verse or apparent chorus. Whatever it ends up being in the end, it’s just in my phone’s notes so it’s kinda like I have some sort of stock of stuff for when I have to sit down and write a song. So I guess it’s not necessarily a process.
Are there any albums you’ve had on repeat lately?
Shayan: I’ve been listening to a lot of field medic. I’ve been listening to a lot of emo stuff. It’s not necessarily on repeat but I’ve been listening to a lot more of this Alice Phoebe Lou record that’s called ‘Glow’. It came out last year, it’s really a wonderful record all in all. It’s very much in the realm of what I like to hear in every mood so I guess I’ve been listening a lot more to that record than any other stuff I listen to.
Which musicians would you consider to be iconic?
Shayan: I guess at that peak everyone has that moment in their career where they’re like the sh**. I really admire people’s artistry big time. Like if you ask me to name songwriters, I could name you old and new songwriters. There’s Joni Mitchell, there’s Leonard Cohen, there’s Stevie Nicks, then there’s Taylor Swift, there’s Brandi Carlisle, there’s even Julia Michaels. In their own realm, in their own element – they are brilliant songwriters. And then when it comes to musicians, there’s old and new. There’s Elton John, there’s Freddie Mercury, there’s then again Fleetwood Mac, there’s the Rolling Stones, there’s Paul Simon. I wouldn’t wanna name a bunch and then leave the rest, because for me there’s things that I’d consider to be the best things in them. Someone might not be the best vocalist in my opinion, but they’re the best songwriter. So it’s much like my songwriting process, all over the place!
What goals have you set yourself in terms of music?
Shayan: I find music making, songwriting in particular, very therapeutic. So I find an outlet to let out some of this stuff. It ranges from regret to frustration to sadness to melancholy. I find it a good outlet, as it’s very therapeutic for me. It’s a good transition from therapeutic to fun, I guess it’s a good mix, it’s a good co-aligned frequence. They run together in a straight line, where it’s also fun and it’s also therapeutic. So I guess I just want to keep doing it for that angle. I don’t necessarily have anything in mind. I’m not looking into numbers, I’m not looking into crowds, I’m not looking into anything like targets or whatever. I just wanna keep doing it cause it’s fun. Do you know what I mean? That’s when it stops being fun, when it feels like a task than a thing that makes me feel at ease, that is therapeutic for me, that provides me comfort. I guess when that runs its cause, I’ll stop. That way it’s up in the air, because it could be tomorrow. It could be in fifty years, so I guess I’ll keep doing it cause it’s fun. When it stops being fun, I’ll stop and find something else. I don’t know, I’ll start painting.
Check out Shayan’s cover of Harry Styles’ ‘Matilda’ here: