SiR Press Image Credit Dana Washington
SiR Press Image Credit Dana Washington

First Look Friday: SiR Is Set To Prove He's "The Real" [Track Premiere]

Lenny Kravitz, Grace Jones, Lauryn Hill, Lion Babe, Thundercat, SZA & More Rock The Afropunk Festival 2015 in Brooklyn, NY.

(All photos credit Dana Washington)

SiR is finally ready to step out. The Californian singer, arranger and songwriter has thus far made music from the shadows, working as a singer, arranger and songwriter-for-hire for some of R&B's most established names; Bilal, Melanie Fiona, Jill Scott and Robert Glasper have all benefitted from his talents. But things are changing. On July 31st, SiR will release his debut LP, Seven Sundays on Fresh Selects, and with it step out of the music industry's air-conditioned backrooms and into a more sunlit space.

Featuring productions from some of the most forward-thinking figures in the American beat scene, including Knxwledge, Chris Dave and DK The Punisher, Seven Sundays is an immersive, powerful debut, and although it's packed with creative rhythms and clean melodies, SiR has paced it artfully; it drifts and breathes easy at all times. The singer took time to speak with Okayplayer about his budding career, the importance of respect, the new record, and his brand new single "The Real," which features production from DK The Punisher and is making its world premiere.

OKP: Who exactly is SiR (in your words)?

SiR: I'm a singer/songwriter from Inglewood, CA. I love music and I love people. My family is filled with talented musicians. Kid at heart. Fool for Love.

OKP: Where did his name and stylizing originate?

SiR: I was born Sir Darryl Farris. That name was given to me by my Grandmother, Mattie. She says she gave it to me because when anyone meets me, they have to respect me. She grew up in a time where that wasn't always the case for Black Americans.

As far as my style, I literally feel like it took its own form. Years of finding what I like to say and hear. I don't really have a formula. I just do what feel is right at this point

OKP: How did he end up writing for so many incredible artists? How long has he been at it?

SiR: I've been writing for close to 8 years now. It definitely didn't happen over night. I started out as an engineer for Tyrese, and at the same time, I began releasing my own songs independently and getting a great response. I would play songs for people any time I had the opportunity, hoping to have a chance to work with the writers and artists I looked up to. A few records were passed to the right people, and I got to be a part of some great situations

OKP: What led to his debut project? Was it always in the cards or was there a catalyst / defining moment that said "yeah, it's time to do this”?

SiR: I guess it was just bound to happen. I had so much more music that i wanted people to hear. If i didn't put it out myself at first, no one else would have. It was the only way. Best decision I ever made. It is such a gratifying feeling to know you're doing what you're supposed to be doing.

OKP: Who or what has had the greatest impact on shaping your art?...

Lenny Kravitz, Grace Jones, Lauryn Hill, Lion Babe, Thundercat, SZA & More Rock The Afropunk Festival 2015 in Brooklyn, NY.

SiR: I pull my influence from a lot of places. I grew up listening to gospel, rap, R&B, and pop music. I try to blend a little bit of everything in my own.

OKP: So many songs on Seven Sundays have this very progressive beat structure to them. How do you conceptualize these sounds, and the kind of prevailing modern state of R&B, it's popularity on Soundcloud, the rise of groups like Soulection, etc?

SiR: The music isn't something I'm very particular about. If I thinks its dope, I'll write something to it. Sometimes, I like tracks but I can't hear myself on them. Sometimes I find special tracks that I can't part ways with. Those are the songs on Seven Sundays.

OKP: Working with Chris Dave to produce a track--can you walk us through that process?

SiR: Chris Dave is my OG. working with him is easy. He's one of the most talented musicians in the world, and he's always working, so the hardest part is getting together and working nowadays. But we stay in contact as much as possible. Definitely some future fire in the works

OKP: Are there touring plans in the works for these songs? What sort of live setup would you hope to take out on the road?

SiR: I have no plans for a tour as of now, but who knows what the future holds. I'll definitely be doing more shows in the LA area. My band consists of myself, plus musicians on Keys, Drums, Bass, and Guitar. I keep it simple and straight forward.

SiR: We're doing a release show this Sunday in LA @ Zanzibar in Santa Monica for the record, as well.

OKP: Tell us in detail about "The Real," take us through it from its inspiration through the recording process and final execution.

SiR: "The Real" was one of the last records I recorded for Seven Sundays. DK The Punisher played the beat for me, and I started writing to it almost immediately. The concept is simple. Just a song about taking a leap of faith. We've all been in a position where we knew what we wanted, but didn't know how to say it. This is what we all should have said the first time around.

OKP: If there's a central idea you're trying to get across with Seven Sundays, what is it?

SiR: I feel like this project represents my life. It shows the good and the bad alike, not favoring one or the other. Most of the songs come from a very personal place. I just want to show people it's still okay to be real. Nobody is perfect. But you don't have to be perfect to enjoy life. I just hope that my music moves people to be themselves, no matter who's looking.

>>Pre-order SiR's new LP Seven Sundays here.

Lenny Kravitz, Grace Jones, Lauryn Hill, Lion Babe, Thundercat, SZA & More Rock The Afropunk Festival 2015 in Brooklyn, NY.