Taking his name from his self-described style of music, ‘suburban blues’, Merseyside-based Sub Blue makes chilled out, introspective R&B. He’s following up his debut single ‘Hype Like Supreme’ with ‘Range Rover’ taken from his forthcoming EP. We found out more about his music and the story behind ‘Range Rover’.
Hearing the stories of Frank Ocean, The Weeknd and Kanye West through their music inspired me to want touch on my world and the things that happen around me.
First up, tell us bit about yourself - what first got you into music?
My names Sub Blue, I’m an Alt-R&B artist from merseyside. I have been into singing and making music since around six-years-old. I think the fact my parents are massively creative steered me to wanting to be a an artist - I believe I was always destined to be a creative - and it seems it’s within music that I’ve found my voice.
Were there any particular bands or artists you took inspiration from to form your musical and thematic style?
Yeah, I definitely took a lot of inspiration from the likes of Frank Ocean, The Weeknd and Kanye West - hearing their stories through their music definitely inspired me to want touch on my world and the things that happen around me.
You describe your style as “suburban blues”. How did you come to create that style?
It’s really just a reflection of what I see and experience growing up in a suburban setting. A lot of people have the impression that life must therefore be easy and straightforward with no problems but behind that perception things aren’t that way - more often than not it’s the opposite. So as I’ve grown up and started getting on to this, I’ve wanted to implement those stories, experiences and views in my music
How do you go about writing music? Do you have a common process that you follow to reach a finished song?
I’ll usually have that one line or theme that inspired me to pick up the guitar and start writing. But I usually just come up with a chord progression first and then move to melodies and lyrics. I’ll pretty much finish the song in one go before I send it over to anyone for feedback, which is usually my manager. Then we refine it, before hooking up with a producer to bring it even more to life.
Your debut single was ‘Hype Like Supreme’. What was the response?
The funny thing with ‘Hype Like Supreme’ is that it was just meant to be a light look at what my music sounds like and writing style - kind of a bit of a demo. It wasn’t really meant to be a single - that’s why I just put it on soundcloud. But the response for it was really overwhelming. There was love coming from all over the UK, the States and Asia. I’ve been working on new music for a while so to finally release it and have people enjoy it just as much as I enjoyed creating it is a dream come true for me.
Tell us about your new single ‘Range Rover’. What’s it about?
‘Range Rover’ is the first track off my EP and acts as almost an intro to the whole theme of the project. The song runs down how where I’m from, we are all dealing with some pain, like everyone else, but because of our lifestyle and circumstances we find comfort by masking that pain with the purchase or parading of material things and superficial items. It sets the scene so for the rest of the EP I can go deeper in specific areas.
When did you write it and when did you record it?
I wrote ‘Range Rover’ in June last year and recorded it with XamVolo - who produced it too. I had literally just returned from L.A, after recording out there, and felt I really knew the direction the EP. I remember being super tired and falling asleep on Xam’s Studio couch mid way through doing vocals but it was great to get it down.
What are your hopes for ‘Range Rover’?
I humbly just hope that people gain an interest for my music, my journey and my story by listening to ‘Range Rover’. It’s just meant to be an intro so hopefully people just gravitate to the message and sound - and perhaps me. So far I’m very pleased with the response.
When and where can we expect to see you live next?
I’m actually playing in my hometown of Liverpool on Saturday (January 27th) which should be super fun, I’m excited for it. Then I’m plotting doing a lot more nationally around the EP release - which should be around May.
If you could collaborate with any living artist, who would it be?
I think it would have to be Frank Ocean, I’ve been a massive fan of his work since I found his and Odd Future’s Tumblr page around 2011.
Finally, if you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice, when would it be and what would you say?
I’d definitely go back and tell my fifteen year old self not to believe everything that you see on social media and online. I think as a teen I spent a lot of time questioning why I wasn’t doing certain things or achieving certain things that others were. I’ve realised, as I’ve grown up, that not everything you see online is as good as it seems and that perception is definitely not reflective of reality.
Listen to ‘Range Rover’ on SoundCloud below. For Sub Blue news and tour dates go to iamsubblue.com.