AFTER working as a successful songwriter for other artists and clocking up over 20 million Spotify streams, Saphron recently ventured out as a solo artist with her debut single Nice Try.
The British Asian talent has followed up the terrific track with her newly released debut EP Identity Crisis, which has meaningful songs powered by diverse musical influences. The singer/songwriter has made herself one to watch and was happy to discuss her music with Eastern Eye. She also spoke about her inspirations, hero, future hopes, and interesting journey towards her new EP.
How would you describe your music and sound?
Very eclectic. I enjoy exploring the full range of my voice. I enjoy using harmonies and layers to create a full sound that evokes and taps into all your emotions. This EP really explores using my voice in merging genres. It’s pop, trap, and rock fusion, with a little eastern riff, and adlibs.
Tell us about your debut EP and inspiration for the title Identity Crisis?
Growing up in the UK, I experienced a lot of racism. Being the only person of colour in my class at school until I was 16 had its challenges. I also experienced racism in the workplace. Lockdown woke me up to how much I internalised all of this. After going to racial trauma therapy, I was encouraged to find my voice through my art. This EP is really an exploration of that. In deconstructing my core beliefs and unpacking my internalized racism and misogyny, I went through somewhat of an identity crisis.
Tell us about that?
Was I British? Was I Sri Lankan? Was I south Asian? Which label was I? I was too ‘white’ for my south Asian community and too ‘brown’ for the English, so where does that leave me? Having to peel away layers of the past and find myself at my core has been the journey of the last few years. Through the process of writing, I found my voice and said all the things I felt I needed to. I had to find a way of living in the duality of my identity. Embracing all my eastern roots while acknowledging and understanding my western values. That helped me to find my inner peace.
Did that inform your EP cover artwork?
Yes, the artwork of my EP really reflects this. The image has me in the middle with the Sri Lankan flag on one side and a British flag on the other. Duality. My identity is somewhere in the middle.
Who are you hoping connects to the songs on the EP?
I think this EP would relate to anyone who has gone through a rock bottom moment and is having to rebuild themselves. Whatever intersectionality the listener falls into, there will be a point of relatability.
What is the music master plan going forward?
To keep writing music for myself as an artist and others. The music I have written for other people has hit over 20 million streams on Spotify. I hope to grow this further and that my music makes it to the right listeners and helps them on their journey through life.
Who would you love to collaborate with?
I would love to collaborate with Priya Ragu and M.I.A. I really love the way they represent themselves and the south Asian community. I’m a huge Diplo fan and would love to collaborate with him too.
Who is your own music hero?
So many have inspired me, but Taylor Swift is my music hero. I’m really inspired by the way she crafts amazing songs that really connect on a deep emotional level. I am so inspired by her as an artist and human being.
What inspires you as a singer and songwriter?
Life inspires me as a songwriter. I get most of my best ideas when I’m walking in nature. Being in the middle of a forest or country park gets my creative juices flowing. Singing wise, I love listening to different artists, including Billie Eilish, Pritt, Priya Ragu, Taylor Swift, Queen, Nirvana and Dire Straits. I love drawing inspiration vocally and stylistically from different artists. It’s my way of celebrating them through my own music, while also crafting my own sound.
What type of music dominates your own personal playlist?
I love listening to a wide range of music, it really depends on my mood. I’ve been listening to a lot of Ampiano. Artists like Iniko and Libianca are so beautiful to listen to. I love the tone of their voices and have been playing them on repeat recently.
Why should we pick up your new EP?
My new EP will give you some great catchy tunes to listen to while also exploring deeper more meaningful subjects through the lyrics. I don’t think you’ve ever heard a south Asian artist sound like this, so if anything, listen out for pure curiosity.
Why do you love music?
I love music because it has a way to explore themes, emotions and life like no other medium can. Music allows you to see the soul and feel the heart like no other. Life is music and without it, we are left with silence.