INTERVIEW: Southernwade

Southernwade is in his introductory era right now. With 7 million combined streams, the Texas based singer, songwriter and producer has been building his audience independently through social media and drip-feeding an honest look into his artistry. 

His debut album ‘The Boy Next Door’ was released in 2019 and candidly laid the foundations for what he wants this musical project to stand for. Since the albums release he’s been showing his growth in pen and production through the follow up singles ‘Make Ya Say’ and ‘Down In Texas’ which have both been received really well. But he’s just dropped one of his strongest releases yet, and it’s a lo-fi pop meets RNB moment that is going to immediately win you over.

‘One More’ is a rhythmically charged track that pulls sonical comparisons to the likes of Justin Bieber and LANY. Reflecting on the complexities of a break-up where you just want to hear the person tell you that they love you one last time, it’s a very relatable and candid moment. Staying in that lo-fi lane, the emotions are clearly front and centre, and that’s what is going to immediately translate with listeners upon a first listen.

I recently chatted to Southernwade about the creative process behind his breezy new single ‘One More’, the directness behind the lyrics and title, and the surprising height difference he had with his co-star on the music video. Check it out BELOW;

THOMAS BLEACH: Your breezy new single ‘One More’ is a lo-fi pop meets RNB moment that is rhythmically charged and explores a breakup where you just want to hear the person tell you that they love you one last time. Can you explain the creative process behind this track? 

SOUTHERNWADE: Most of the creative process stemmed from a past breakup, which is obvious in the message of the song, but more importantly it was the focus I had when writing it to make the hook as obvious as I could. Sometimes people try to reinvent the wheel with something witty or try to get too smart, and I didn’t want anyone to wonder what it was about. For me it’s always getting straight to the point where it just hits you right in the chest. It’s so on the nose, and it was 100% on purpose because that’s exactly how the relationship ended. 

TB: Sonically it gives me a bit of LANY meets Justin Bieber vibes. So who or what was inspiring you sonically for this? What were you referencing in the studio?

S: With inspiration it was more from an experience in my hometown than a specific artist that inspired me sonically. When we created it we actually didn’t play any reference. I try to steer clear of doing that because sometimes it can hinder my creativity. When writing I usually just hear a melody, grab it, and then follow that flow. I don’t overthink in that moment because when I hear the chords or the production I capture it. That’s why interruption by someone else’s song can more so negatively effect the process for me. 

TB: Lyrically the song is quite contrasting to the breezy production that pulsates throughout the duration. The lyrics that stand out to me are; “Just three words, can you swallow your pride?”. What are your favourite lyrics from the song? 

S: I think the best line is the one you picked. It hits deep *laughs*. However my personal favourite is “I cant lose not another sleep, so can we meet, on the 26 highway”. It’s so specific to my life and where it happened. The fact that I put “26 highway” in a record of mine and all the people I grew up with will know exactly what i’m talking bout is pretty cool. never wanna stray away from my roots… grapevine high forever *laughs*!

TB: A lot of artists go through different working titles for songs. Did this song ever have a different working title? Or did you ever contemplate calling it something different?

S: I think calling it “One Last Time” was a possibility, mainly because that’s what I say in the hook of the song. But for me “One More” is the first thing you hear on the chorus and I’m a pretty big advocate of naming songs not exactly what it says in the hook. 

TB: Following in the footsteps of ‘Down In Texas’, why did this feel like the right next single? What progression did you want to specifically highlight between these two songs?

S: I love ‘Down In Texas’, it’s honestly a banger and I love being able to shoutout where I’m from. but the decision for “One More” to be next came from shooting the music video and wanting to really show my strength as an artist who can not only write something very personal but also perform it on camera. 

TB: The accompanying music video compliments the retrospective vibe of the song with a saturated coloured palette, and a brief look at a love interest. What was one of the funniest or weirdest things that happened on set that day?

S: When we were shooting the video, the actress was very tall, like 6ft. So with heels on she was 6’5, and i’m not a short person as I’m 6’1, but when she put them heels on in one of the shots she was a lot taller than me and we didn’t think it was that bad until we saw the footage and everyone on set just started laughing because I was looking up to her like I was 5’5 on a good day *laughs*. 

TB: The artwork continues that very old school photography film and saturated colour edit that the music video took. So what was inspiring your visual look for this song, and your experimentation with old film? 

S: The message of the song was of something from my past. So I went to my close friend and director of the video, Slater, and told him I had this idea for a lyric video; something simple that would feel nostalgic with film. Well when we got to the photo studio to shoot we scrapped the whole lyric video thing and decided to make a full music video because of how perfect everything was being captured by him. I think why it turned out so great was because of how long Slater and I have been friends and been working together. 

TB: You released your debut album/project ‘The Boy Next Door’ in 2019. What did releasing that body of work teach you about the artist you want to be, and how did it influence this next chapter creatively?

S: That you can’t just keep holding music and revising songs. I was stuck in a loop of just constantly never being done with those older records as if I would strike gold or something. And you ain’t gonna strike gold, so just keep writing songs and releasing! The gold will come with working smart. I think putting out that project was the best thing for growth as an artist for me.

When I A-B’d it compared to my new record, it felt like a whole other world. With the level up in my pen and production, it feels like I’m a completely different artist now. Which is insane to think about because ‘The Boy Next Door’ is only a little over a year old. 

TB: Lets play a quick game of rapid fire questions… You ready?

S: oh yeah .. hit me!

TB: The emoji that best describe my single ‘One More’ is…

S: The whiskey glass.

TB: The colour of my toothbrush at the moment is…

S: Clear! I’m a big fan of simplicity.

TB: When I think of Australia I think of…

S: Kangaroo Jack! I watched that movie maybe 100 times when I was a kid. 

TB: A new hobby I’ve had during lockdown has been…

S: I picked up golf again. I played a lot when I was younger, but now being out on a golf course to just take a break from the studio is so peaceful and acts as a great reset. 

TB: Pineapple on pizza is…

S: Not my thing. It’s meat lovers pizza only for me! 

‘One More’ is out now!