Will Hyde is in the beginning stages of introducing who he is as an artist to the world, and with a bold and definitive sound building, people are eagerly listening to what he’s putting out. With over 1.5 million combined Spotify streams to date, it’s obvious that people are authentically connecting with his coming of age lyrical unravelling and his experimental indie-pop sonic.
Exploding onto the scene with the sun soaked ‘easy for u’, the singer-songwriter laid the foundations for this new project after spending a couple of years as one half of the electronic duo SŸDE. He started to feel lost within who he was as a person and an artist, and that’s where this solo project begun. His debut EP ‘with u in mind’ is a bold collection of tracks that explores all of the different sonical sides to his artistry from the anthemic indie-pop bangers, to the mellow and reflective ones.
I recently chatted to Will Hyde about finding his sound as a solo artist compared to his previous collaborative project, as well as dived into the creative process behind songs like ‘misfit’, ‘too close to love’, ‘dark until september’ and ‘meant to be’. Check it out BELOW;
THOMAS BLEACH: Your debut EP ‘with u in mind’ is a bold introductory to your sonic and vision as a solo artist. So reflecting on the six tracks, what would you say is the most surprising thing that people are going to hear from pressing play on it?
WILL HYDE: I would say the most surprising thing about the EP is the spread in tempo across the whole body of work. There’s some really moving and energetic choruses, and then there’s some intimate and vulnerable ones too.
I wanted to make it like that so it could be similar to how I am in real life; always changing and always moving forward. Some days I feel great, and sometimes I cry. It’s all part of being a real human. I only believe in having a real message. I don’t mind for consistency across a project and I think it’s unrealistic, at least for me.
TB: When you started working on this EP did you find that your sound and creative vision as a solo artist came pretty quickly, or did you find yourself originally reverting/leaning towards the structure of a SŸDE track?
WH: Hmm, that’s a really interesting question! I remember having parts of my vision very laser focused from the start with in particular what I wanted to say and stand for. Talking about mental health and real stuff was the basis for the project, and that remains as a core element. I would say I had tendencies to write some SŸDE style songs at the start, because I was still getting comfortable with starting a completely new sound. I really found my feet when I had written around 50 songs, and from there it started to come together.
It’s funny, I actually leaned on some friends and collaborators at the start to get me into a new space and sound. That’s where these songs were formed. Now that I have my style, I find it really easy to navigate it on my own. The biggest thing which took time was getting used to using my voice to create emotion. I was so used to using production to outlet everything. I had to experiment a lot with performing everything in a certain way and understanding what parts of my voice worked well for certain sections. Now I sort of know how I’m going to attack a song vocal-wise before I hop in and record.
TB: ’misfit.’ is a song that immediately stands out with it’s laid back guitar led pop production and the lyrics “Cause I’m a misfit, and if I’m being honest sometimes I wish I wasn’t. It’s just apart of who I am”. So can you explain how this song creatively came together?
WH: I was in New Zealand at the time and had spent quite a lot of time away from home. I was realising that even though I had spent so long away from my friends, I still felt like I belonged and had that special connection with them. I wanted to write a song about being unique in your own way and that being a positive.
We live in a world where some people try to make the conventional path the only way forward. That’s okay, yet the only way to live life is to be yourself & live your own truth, not someone else’s! So this song is about celebrating that person that makes you feel like you belong in this world and telling them; “I wish you could see what you do for me. Thank you”
TB: On ‘too close to love.’ you question, “maybe we’re too close to love”. So when I say that lyric, what emotions come rushing back to you?
WH: Hmmm, not many emotions come rushing actually! I usually like to write when I’m past things, or on the road to making peace with them, so I’m not writing to vent or to make myself feel better. I wanna write when I know what I wanna say, and when I can say the message clearest, because I think that’s when it’s about other people and how they could find the song useful, rather than it being about me. That’s the beautiful thing about music, and something I am fortunately reminded of everyday with the sweet messages I am getting from the music. It’s such a blessing!
I remember at the time though, those words would have brought up some confusion, shame & a feeling of being lost. It represented all those things a while back. All the parts of myself I felt like I needed answers to. A lot of soul searching.
TB: ’dark until september’ is one of the EP’s most stripped back moments. So what was inspiring you sonically for this song that was maybe different to ‘easy for u’?
WH: Yeah I think it’s the most vulnerable one! This was actually the first track I made that I was really happy with. It felt like a really special song. ‘easy for u.’ actually came later! I like to write songs to make them the best they can be for the song, rather than a body of work. Even now working on my next music, I’m never thinking of the body of work. I think in that way, the song comes out naturally and can reach its potential and have it’s own space without needing to be consistent with something else. And honestly, that is my favourite part of this project. I can release any music as long as it feels honest to me. if it feels like that, it will fit!
TB: ’meant to be.’ is such a groovy, and infectious track that immediately makes me want to dance on a Californian seaside. So when you hear that track back, where do you imagine yourself dancing along to it?
WH: Let’s get an Airbnb and have a malibu ‘meant to be’ dancing session! I love this question, damn! I have always thought of the song being at a grungy teenage house party. Like, Jennifer’s parents are out of town, there’s lots of red cups on the floor, someone’s making out in the bathroom, the punch is spiked, and someone brought blown out speakers and plugged in the aux chord.
TB: Reflecting back on the creative process of the EP, what song would you say took the longest to hone its sound and vision?
WH: I think ‘meant to be’! I made this song with Dylan Nash and Fergus James, and at first I wasn’t sure where it fit into my project. I thought it was cool, yet because we had spent two days on it I was sort of too inside of it to know what it could be. I left it and then my management helped me put it back on the radar. Then i took it to the guys of Msquared who added some amazing touches. Up until that point I was interested to see where it would go and it turned out really beautiful in the end I feel.
TB: This lockdown period has inspired some people to pick up a new hobby, or find a weird new obsession. So what has been something you’ve picked up or obsessed over during this period?
WH: Going for runs!! I love going for a run or a walk now, that has been a favourite. It really relieves the stress, pressure and anxieties of the world for me. I feel brand new after one.
TB: Let’s play a quick game of rapid fire questions. You ready?
WH: Let’s do this thing!!!
TB: The emoji that best describes my EP ‘with u in mind’ is…
WH: The rainy umbrella
TB: A TV show I’ve binged during lockdown has been…
WH: ’deaf u’.
TB: The colour of my toothbrush at the moment is…
WH: White and black!
TB: My morning ritual involves…
WH: Meditating, doing some self reiki and eating!
TB: Pineapple on pizza is…
‘with u in mind’ is out now!