An Interview With UK Singer-Songwriter, SOHAM DE!
Posted On 15 Dec 2018
On October 12th, the twenty-one year old UK native, Soham De released his debut, The Next Nowhere. Atwood Magazine premiered the first video, “Confession” and raved, “Soham De has been going on a purely upward path with each piece of music blowing expectations out of the water. His music and vocal performances provide a wave of inventiveness that so many artists strive for, and De nails it with songs like “’Confession.’ De has a promising path ahead of him, and with the release of his EP, us at Atwood Magazine will be ardently awaiting the gorgeous performance that he is sure to deliver.”
The songsmith began writing at the tender age of ten years old and honed his craft regularly performing for close friends and family. Of his debut, Soham says, “it’s been (it still is) a process of trying to find what I want from music and what kind of music makes me happy, in terms of writing and performing.”
Learn more about Soham De in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time today! Where does this interview find you now? Is there music playing in the background?
No, thank you for having me! And yes haha!
Now that we are on the back end of the year, how do you think 2018 has treated you and your career? What has been one goal that you have had this year and how close are you to reaching it? Or did you already reach it?
I think it’s been a good year and just lots of progression, bother career wise and just in life in general! I’m really happy to have started releasing music and I’m so proud of what we’ve put out, I think just as a goal of releasing music I’m proud of, we’ve definitely succeeded in that.
Growing up, how important was music to you? Can you recall the moment when you decided that you wanted to be a musician? Was it an easy or difficult choice to make?
Music was very important and I loved humming a tune and just making up whatever to sing or to write. I loved that as a child because of how personal and unique to you it was.
I wanted to become a musician probably around when I was 13, that was when I started singing and playing to friends – that feeling of playing to other people and connecting with people even if it was just a friend sitting across from me through a song I’d written was so special I wanted to take that further and start doing gigs. I was really unconfident growing up so it was a while before I started gigging properly but every time I performed the feeling was second to none.
What has been the biggest surprise so far about making music your career? What has been an unexpected or welcome challenge to it all?
I can be a really impatient person and this process in music require the opposite of that – you’ve got to be patient and confident if what you can do and you’ve got to be willing to learn and grow as a musician as well. I’ve really grown and developed my songwriting each year and regardless of how impatient I can be, I’ve always been patient with music and my confidence keeps improving as well. There’s so much good music out there which is a great thing and you just want to share that piece of you as well and let it be heard. This is a welcome challenge because it means I constantly try to make the best music I can.
How do you think you and your music have been influenced by your hometown and where you live today?
I’m not too sure there’s any specific hometown influences but where I live currently is very quiet and peaceful which clears my mind and gives me space to breathe and develop my songs. I love cities but there’s can be too many things going on or too many people talking and it’s great to get away from that and just develop on what you have with your full attention.
Generally how do you go about writing all of your music? Do you follow the same process for all of your songs?
I don’t think there’s a set process for songwriting and you should just do what comes naturally to you each time and as you write more songs you’ll find what works for you and what you can do to improve and break habits that you’ll undoubtedly get yourself into. If I’ve got a tune or words in my head I’ll just take it from there, or if I’m messing around on guitar/piano and something sticks out, I just follow that and see what happens.
What was it like putting your debut EP together? Did anything surprise you about the overall process?
I loved putting it together and I was surprised how quickly we got it all done! It was amazing to work in an environment where you could throw around ideas and try out new routes as well as use production to let the song breathe and grow – I’m so used to just hearing the barebones version of my songs to it was such a treat to take these ones and give them more of a character.
How was it making the video for your track “Confession”? How creatively involved were you with the process of making it? Why did you decide to shoot videos for all of the EPs four songs?
It was such a fun time! Before shooting you always discuss ideas and use references and this one was just quite a simple ‘this works great’ sort of thing – a long take video that keeps you immersed into the songs and the songs are quite intimate so it works really well I think. Shot by Raja Virdi who’s excellent.
While it’s difficult to pick, can you choose a few of your favorite tracks on the EP?
I love Forest and Confession – they just really hit me and connect with me right now, though my favourite songs always change for the EP I’m sure they’ll fluctuate around.
Why did you decide to film a documentary to go along with your EP?
I thought for the first EP it’d be a really good thing to document it as a sort of insight into parts of the creative process and something I can look back on in the future just to see how I’ve developed and and to see how things are in future recording processes as well. It’s always a strange feeling when you see something you did years ago and look at where you are now.
Since you began writing music at just 10-years-old, I am curious what those songs were about? Have you been able to use any of those earliest songs as an adult?
There were kind of nonsense and me beginning that step into the world of songwriting. With that came insecurities and confidence issues in both performing and the thing I was writing about. Regardless I loved the process of creating something and of performing something I’d made, though I was really nervous when I performed. I’m not really sure what the songs were about, I think i used to write stories or some weird sorts of love songs but I can’t quite remember. Haha absolutely not! I can’ still remember some of the tunes and well…let’s just say I’m happier with my writing now!
Since the beginning of music, people have turned to it for support and as an escape from their realities. How do you want your music received and appreciated?
I think escapism is very important and you absolutely should have a way to get out of reality and immerse yourself in something else, it’s something I’ve been doing a lot if books, movies, TV seres and video games, just seeing the creative process in different forms and trying to appreciate the work that goes into it. I think for my music, it’s really about a connection whether that’s grounded in reality with past experiences or if it comes from an intense emotion or if it’s a form of escape that immerses and resonates with people. I think for me it’s the power of connecting with people through a mutual feeling or sound or story that you can do with performing something you’ve written.
What has it been like keeping up with your social media accounts and all of the different platforms? Is it hard to stay up to date on it all? What would you say is your favorite way to connect with your fans now?
I try to post when I can and keep everyone updated but I get wary about being on my phone or laptop too much – it can happen and it’s not good. It’s really good to live in the moment where you are and move forward that way and I think social media’s quite a toxic environment. So I post and keep people updated but try not to stay online for hours and hours. I love posting a video of a song I’m writing/have written though – love sharing new material when I can!
Who are some of your favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? Who would you absolutely still love to work with in the future?
For me, I love an artist with a distinct, human voice and quality in their music. Currently Hozier’s really someone I’ve been listening to but I just tend to listen to artists who hit me right through the chest you know? I usually try to stay away from mentioning things like influences because once you do, people tend to pigeon hole you into that ‘type’ of musician and I’d rather prefer just listening with a blank slate and if you like it then great! But I’m the type of person that if I like an artist, I love that artist, if that makes sense?
If you were going to be stranded on a deserted island forever, what musical item would you take with you and why?
Probably this album of pan pipe music I had a kid, just very nostalgic and beautiful.
If your music was going to be featured on any TV show that is currently on right now, which would you love it to be on? Or if you prefer, what is a movie that you love that you wish your music was featured in?
If my music featured in Peaky Blinders that would be amazing – love that show!! If it was still on, Hannibal would be top of the list, that show is a masterpiece I think.
Do you have any tour dates you would like to tell our readers about? How will you be spending your winter?
I’m playing the Boileroom in Guildford and at Little buildings in Newcastle for Independent Venue week and I’m also doing a headline show in London at Paper Dress Vintage on February 28th, can’t wait! Working on new music this winter and just getting immersed in creative things.
At the end of the day, what do you hope your fans take away from your music? I’d like to know more about how you want your music to be timeless?
I think a connection is key in music, connecting to other people through sharing the same emotion or experience and making music that cuts through someone. I love it when a voice or a song or even a word just hits me and it’s all I can think about because the message and meaning just resonates with me. I’d love for people to feel that with my music. I think timeless music is music that stands on its own, in its core, that when you strip it down to just what it is as words and melody, it’s so powerful.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourself or your music?
It’s not directly about me and my music but writing and performing music is such a special experience and I’d encourage anyone to just sit down and write a song, I think there’s just someone unique in every person’s approach to writing a song and what it means to them. Songwriting’s really helped me as a person and I think everyone should try to write a song at some point in their lives.