IT has been great chatting with Sedric Perry…
about artists who inspire him and how music came into his life. Perry discusses his latest track, Naked, and the rather sexy story that compelled it; whether there is going to be more material along the way, too. The Philadelphia-raised, Berlin-based artist tells me about a few albums that mean a lot to him – I ask, as a black artist, if he has found it harder to get a footing in the industry.
Perry gives some useful advice to emerging artists and tells me what he hopes to accomplish before the end of this year; how he spends his time away from music; which rising artist we need to get behind – he reveals whether he will be coming to the U.K.
Hi, Sedric. How are you? How has your week been?
It’s been a good week. Been making music, hanging with friends from out of town and getting a lot of love on the project so far.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
Sure. I’m originally from Philly - so I started with R&B and Gospel. I moved to New York when I was seventeen and started working on Jazz and House tracks with friends. Now, I’m in Berlin making what I call ‘R&Bounce’. I haven’t had that many solo releases so this project is kind of like my introduction to the world!
Naked is your latest single. What is the story behind the song?
Me and my best friend have all these little phrases that we use to talk dirty about strangers. Like, if we see a guy pushing a stroller and he’s kind of attractive, I’ll say: “Oo; he made that baby”. Naked’s about this one time I went to this wild party they throw every two months in Berlin. I was making such intense eye contact with a complete stranger from the end of the bar that, by the time we got close to each other, neither of us could actually speak. We just laughed and said “hi”. The only thing that came to mind was ‘I really wanna see you naked’.
Which artists did you grow up around? Were you raised in a musical family?
I grew up listening to a lot of Gospel and Jazz; Whitney, Sade and The Winans. My grandfather was a guitarist and my uncle sang. He was so confident and sensual with his performances, I wanted to be him…then I found out about Usher and wanted to be him too.
As a young, black artist in music; do you take a lot of influence from Urban artists? Do you think it is harder for black artists to get recognised?!
Of course, I have a lot of love for our new generation. The range of music from artists like Daniel Caesar, 6LACK and GoldLink is so inspiring. I think, a few years ago, all music got funnelled into one genre and everyone was making EDM, i.e. ‘Dynamite’. Now; I feel like it’s spread out and anyone can do whatever they want. I’m sure there’s still prejudice, but I also notice that black artists on top have a reputation for pure excellence and innovation that you don’t see anywhere else these days.
What comes next in terms of material? Are you working on more stuff?
Constantly. I want my audience to grow with me, so the next thing they hear will have live instruments; different voices and more experimentation. I have a lot of new material coming soon!
What do you hope to achieve by the end of 2018?
I have a really wild idea for a music video. It’s probably going to cost a lot, so that’s a big goal for me. Beyond that, some performances, one more single and hopefully a cut with a major artist!
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music so far – the one that sticks in the mind?
Yeah, actually. Haha. I’d just started singing. I had debilitating stage fright, so I always closed my eyes really tight whenever I sang. I was in church singing We Need a Word from the Lord and I just remember singing my entire little nine-year-old heart out. When I finished, I opened my eyes and saw the whole church standing and clapping. It was really sweet.
Which three albums mean the most to you would you say (and why)?
Some albums were with me through my craziest transitions in life. Lianne La Havas’ Is Your Love Big Enough? got me through my first adult break-up.
Choose Your Weapon by Hiatus Kaiyote is just legendary.
The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (Lauryn Hill) made me want to be super conscious in high-school and want to be intellectual about the way I love and create art.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
It would be wild to go on a tour with Tyler, the Creator. I feel like we would get into so much trouble together. I’d use a live band - bass, keys; drums, guitar and backup singers and just go nuts. Of course, fog machines and good lighting, too.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Every individual path has its own rhythm. Sometimes, I get frustrated by not being as far along as I think I should be but that’s just comparison. The best thing I can say is put the time into it, the more you create; the more you’re inspired, the more you grow; the better you’ll feel about the process. You’ll be too grateful to compare yourself to anyone - especially in today’s world of social media.
Do you have tour dates coming up? Where can we catch you play?
No tour yet, but lots of shows here in Berlin! On November 9th, I’m doing Small Sessions Berlin. I’m really excited to present this music to everyone.
Might you come to the U.K. and play at some point?
Of course. I have a lot of friends in the U.K. It’ll happen very soon!
IN THIS PHOTO: Noname
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
I’m really loving Noname right now. She’s getting quite a bit of buzz and I think it’s well deserved.
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
Not too much lately, but I usually like to just go to nature and shut my mind off. I’m also obsessed with water so, if I can hit a pool, a lake or the beach after a long week, I’m good.
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Everyone should check out Lil Wayne’s verse on Let It Fly
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