Noé Solange is taking listeners on a journey through love, loss and struggles with her debut EP Bound. The tracks take a look at both personal troubles and reflections on society as a whole. Pulling on cultural threads of her upbringing, she combines harmonic vocals with electronic melodic elements. We sat down with Noé Solange to talk about the EP, the use of synths, cultural threads and much more!
OSR: You learnt to play the guitar, piano and violin at a young age. When did you start to write your own music?
Solange: I started writing and experimenting with the production side of music when I was around fifteen, but it was mainly done for fun. It was years after when I moved to London, that I really started focusing on releasing music.
OSR: Your latest EP Bound is sprinkled with synths, when did you start to use synths as part of your music?
Solange: I always found synthesizers to be really intricate and interesting instruments, and it was in 2019 that I started experimenting with synthesis.
‘Nocturnal Lady’ was the first track I released that ticked all the boxes in regards to it fitting a “sound” that I felt was my own. One of the reasons was due to the layered synths I incorporated, and now, they’ve become a very prominent element in all my tracks!
OSR: Is there a common theme or backstory to Bound?
Solange: There wasn’t a specific theme I wanted to convey throughout Bound. However, once I started writing, I think the EP naturally became based around a personal journey and my perception of my own identity as well as that of society.
OSR: The tracks on the EP draw on personal experiences and reflections on society. Did you find it difficult or easy to translate this into your music?
Solange: Music is such a pure form of self-expression and sometimes words alone cannot express one’s feelings. I think it’s definitely easier for me to translate my emotions through music than solely through speech. When writing the EP, the lyrics flowed quite naturally and through the production, I enhanced the feelings I wanted to express. So overall, it was quite a smooth writing process.
OSR: Your music draws on the cultural threads of your upbringing, how do you feel this affects the overall sound?
Solange: I think it’s made it unique and more personal to me!
My international upbringing has been a huge aspect of my life. I have tried incorporating this into my music through the sounds I use. For instance, I’ve used the gamelan, which is inspired by my Indonesian roots, as well as the Taiko drum influenced by my upbringing in Japan. I also subtly include field recordings from the countries I’ve lived in.
OSR: What was your creative process for Bound?
Solange: Bound was written during the first Covid lockdown. Being in solitude in my own space really helped me delve into my emotions and take the time to write and experiment with production.
OSR: Do your current surroundings impact the music you make?
Solange: Definitely! I get very inspired by my surroundings, nature and people. For instance, we’re all currently going through a very difficult and strange time because of COVID-19. This event heavily inspired my track ‘Invisible Handcuffs’ as it was written during a UK lockdown about the chaotic turmoil happening around the world. I think the strange and heavy energy of my surroundings also influenced the melancholic feel of the track.
OSR: What would you like listeners to take away from the EP?
Solange: I think music can be quite open to interpretation. So, whether the listeners relate to my music on a deeper level or just for enjoyment, I hope to create a connection with them in some way.
OSR: If the EP was a season, which do you feel it would be and why?
Solange: Interesting question! I think it could be autumn.
It’s the season where the surroundings transition from warm to cold. In my case, I could describe the electronic and percussive elements throughout the EP as raw, sharp and cold, whilst the vocal harmonies bring in a warmer and softer element.
OSR: What else can we expect from you this year?
Solange: I’ve just released a music video for my single ‘Bound’ and have also started working on some new music, which I’m excited to release. Hopefully, I can start performing live this year too!
You can check out the video here!