The Last Thing Syd Wants To Be Is Bitter

Although her first solo album in five years was delayed by heartbreak, she now finds herself content and focused on the things that truly matter to her.

Music 
2,965 Hypes 2 Comments

For anyone asking why it took Syd five years to release her sophomore album Broken Hearts Club, it’s all in the title. The Internet frontwoman, who’s two weeks shy of her 30th birthday, experienced her “first real broken heart” — one she admits she never saw coming. She reveals that fact with a laugh in the present day, as she sits on the floor of her Los Angeles home with two foster dogs, but the painful ordeal caused her to take a long break and put the creation of her Fin. followup on pause.

While Broken Hearts Club was released five years after its predecessor, it took the artist approximately two years to complete. Within that two-year time frame, Syd took a three-month break, restarted the record, removed and added songs to the tracklist, wrote new songs and took her sweet time with the mixing process, “because sometimes you need time to really see how they sit with you.” Although both Syd and the album were going through major overhauls, she found that her bitterness from the breakup was being translated into the music she was creating. “I didn’t want to go out like that,” she shares. All the ill feelings pushed her to self-reflect and, in turn, transformed her songwriting in a way that allowed her to open up about the breakup without loathing, “Those couple of songs that I wrote right after the breakup were really good for me personally, because I was able to see myself from the outside and realize what changes I needed to make before I could continue writing.”

As Syd began to move on from the breakup and Broken Hearts Club began to take on an improved form, she was faced with another ordeal that is a little harder to control: the pandemic. This, she confirms, holds the heaviest influence over the album’s sound, as she was at the mercy of the several producers she was working with and the issues they were going through. It took her a while to dig through their creations and find what fit her, “I don’t write to just anything. I don’t write to beats that are works in progress. I don’t write to anything that doesn’t feel like it’s finished for me.”

I think my voice should always be a work in progress, if anything.

Despite the several factors in play and the inspirations the album takes from, Syd still believes that she generally walks the line between R&B and alternative, and that those who follow a similar path like her’s and The Internet’s are outliers. “I don’t necessarily want to fit more into one box than another,” she says. “I’m comfortable straddling that line and I’m proud of it, because I feel like I’m in good company, being in an alternative space.”

The “good company” she finds herself surrounded by joins her in the new album; the guest appearances of Kehlani, Smino and Lucky Daye — the latter of whom was actually introduced to Syd by her mother — all came together with time, as there were bonds already in place between her and the three. Syd is friends with Kehlani, with whom she shares the Disclosure song “Birthday,” and Smino, who sent back his contribution almost immediately. Daye’s feature, however, was a full-circle moment for both artists as the Candytrip singer initially reached out to The Internet via Instagram a few years ago. The DM remained unopened, Syd explains, because “we just don’t check our Internet Instagram,” and it was her mother’s admiration for Daye that put her on his music. “She introduced me to him in full,” she confirms. “I’d heard a single or two, but my mom was actually the one who was like, ‘Yo, here are the songs from his last album that I love the most, and that I think you’ll love the most. Please work with him for your next project.’” Mother Bennett’s good taste in music, which doesn’t come as a surprise considering she once aspired to be a DJ, was beneficial and eventually resulted in the single “Could You Break A Heart?”

If we can get the [Web3] technology and the infrastructure right, we can just create a system that’s transparent and honest and true, and nobody will really be able to complain about a label ever again.

Throughout the gap between Syd’s solo albums is a lengthy one, she has remained a formidable face in music, fashion and modern technology. She hopped on several collaborations, learned more about her voice during the creation of Hive Mind (“I think my voice should always be a work in progress, if anything”) and founded the wellness and meditation DAO $UEMS, Universe Eaters Meditation Society. The collective is inspired by her manager who does yoga and meditation everyday, but it wasn’t the rigid rules of the practice that influenced the ethos of UEMS. “He’s one of those guys that’s been to every class, he’s studied the hardest yoga and the most serious types of meditation. At the end of the day, he’s like, ‘It’s personal. It has to be what you want it to be,’” she explains. “Meditation doesn’t have to come with all these rules. Just find a quiet place, a comfortable place, and close your eyes, you know? And so he’s the one that kind of got me into yoga and meditation and I just wanted to kind of help share his ideals.”

Web3 supports the self-sustaining principles that the foundation of Universe Eaters is built on, which Syd casually explains is just doing your own thing similar to meditation. “Unlike most and typical societies, it doesn’t have to work one way. We’re working on a community-governed DAO where it’s truly decentralized, and it’s not going to be necessarily run by anybody. It’ll be powered by the community. If you guys want it, it’s there,” she says. “Which is what meditation is — if you want that peace of mind, it’s there.” But don’t expect her to come out with a large-scale NFT any time soon, as she’s still observing and wishing that this new technology will, in some ways, cut out one middleman or replace a middleman with something else, “This could be the future of music, you never know.” She adds, “If we can get the technology and the infrastructure right, we can just create a system that’s transparent and honest and true, and nobody will really be able to complain about a label ever again. It’ll just feel like you can use a label for what you need, and if you don’t want to use a label, if you don’t need a label for certain things that a lot of artists do, you have another option.”

Now that I don’t have to pay so many dues, I’m learning how to juggle doing what I want with doing what I need, and how to reprioritize what I want over what I need.

If Syd does decide to release an NFT in the coming year, however, she shares that it will probably be a merch-type NFT that’s connected with a physical item. “As far as music goes, I’m still trying to see how that space plays out. I’m really curious,” she reiterates. “The system we have in place now is best when you want as many people to hear your music as possible, and if there comes a time when I want to release something for a select number of fans, I’ll probably utilize the blockchain for that. But when it comes to music that I want to share with the world, that I want to spread for whatever reason, I’m probably still going to utilize the DSPs that we have at our disposal now.”

Heartbreak may have been the major cause of delay for Broken Hearts Club, but looking back on it with the introspection and experience, Syd thinks there was more to it, “I don’t know, maybe I’m content with where my life is, and I’m happy. I’m not in a rush to do anything.” Her rise with Odd Future, the success of both The Internet and her solo career and her ventures in fashion and tech all took place over more than a decade, and with the work she’s put in, she’s finally slowing things down and doing only the things that matter. “I’m learning how to operate. Now that I don’t have to pay so many dues, I’m learning how to juggle doing what I want with doing what I need, and how to reprioritize what I want over what I need,” she shares. “My needs are met for the most part, and I’m grateful. That’s a luxury for sure. So now that my needs are met, what do I want?”


Read Full Article

What to Read Next

Rex Orange County Wants To Know 'WHO CARES?' in New Album
Music

Rex Orange County Wants To Know 'WHO CARES?' in New Album

Featuring a sole guest appearance from Tyler, the Creator.

Conway the Machine Is at His Most Vulnerable in New Album ‘God Don’t Make Mistakes'
Music

Conway the Machine Is at His Most Vulnerable in New Album ‘God Don’t Make Mistakes'

Featuring guest appearances from Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, Benny The Butcher, Westside Gunn and more.

Best New Tracks: ROSALÍA, Charli XCX, Syd x Lucky Daye and More
Music 

Best New Tracks: ROSALÍA, Charli XCX, Syd x Lucky Daye and More

Dive into the weekend with these music projects.


The Weeknd Welcomes the Light in New Album 'Dawn FM'
Music

The Weeknd Welcomes the Light in New Album 'Dawn FM'

The dawn has finally arrived.

Yung Lean Returns to Form With New 'Stardust' Mixtape
Music

Yung Lean Returns to Form With New 'Stardust' Mixtape

Featuring FKA Twigs, Skrillex, Thaiboy Digital, Bladee, Ecco2k and Ant Wan.

Hiroshi Fujiwara Reveals fragment design x HEYTEA Collab
Food & Beverage

Hiroshi Fujiwara Reveals fragment design x HEYTEA Collab

Dubbed the “Black TEA” range.

The Nike Dunk Low "Graffiti" Surfaces in an Alternate Navy Colorway
Footwear

The Nike Dunk Low "Graffiti" Surfaces in an Alternate Navy Colorway

The pack continues to grow.

John Cena To Star in Action-Comedy 'Officer Exchange' for Amazon Studios
Entertainment

John Cena To Star in Action-Comedy 'Officer Exchange' for Amazon Studios

Following an incompetent cop who must bust a diamond smuggling ring in India.

The Weeknd Is Auctioning Off 25 "Out of Time" Vinyl Records Pressed on Real Saw Blades
Music

The Weeknd Is Auctioning Off 25 "Out of Time" Vinyl Records Pressed on Real Saw Blades

Bidding starts at $1,000 USD.


Casablanca Taps LA-Famous Erewhon Market for Special-Edition Juice and Tote Bag
Food & Beverage

Casablanca Taps LA-Famous Erewhon Market for Special-Edition Juice and Tote Bag

Available at all seven Erewhon Market locations for a limited time.

'Russian Doll' Season 2 Trailer Sees Natasha Lyonne Return as a "Time Prisoner"
Entertainment

'Russian Doll' Season 2 Trailer Sees Natasha Lyonne Return as a "Time Prisoner"

Premiering on April 20.

Here Are the Biggest Moments From Inside the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards
Music 

Here Are the Biggest Moments From Inside the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards

HYPEBEAST attended “Music’s Biggest Night,” which took place In Las Vegas for the first time.

First Glimpse of Stüssy's Nike Air Force 1 Mid "Fossil"
Footwear

First Glimpse of Stüssy's Nike Air Force 1 Mid "Fossil"

Are these better than the lows?

Bremont MBIII Rapha Special Edition Brings Together British Watchmaking and Cycling Brands
Watches

Bremont MBIII Rapha Special Edition Brings Together British Watchmaking and Cycling Brands

The all-black titanium GMT features Rapha pink second hand.

More ▾
 
Subscribe to our Newsletter

Gain access to exclusive interviews with industry creatives, think pieces, trend forecasts, guides and more.

By subscribing, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Looks like you’re using an ad-blocker

We charge advertisers instead of our readers. Support us by whitelisting our site.

Whitelist Us

How to Whitelist Us

screenshot
  1. Click the AdBlock icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Under “Pause on this site” click “Always”.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the AdBlock Plus icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Block ads on – This website” switch off the toggle to turn it from blue to gray.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the AdBlocker Ultimate icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Switch off the toggle to turn it from “Enabled on this site” to “Disabled on this site”.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the Ghostery icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Click on the “Ad-Blocking” button at the bottom. It will turn gray and the text above will go from “ON” to “OFF”.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the UBlock Origin icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Click on the large blue power icon at the top.
  3. When it turns gray, click the refresh icon that has appeared next to it or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the icon of the ad-blocker extension installed on your browser.You’ll usually find this icon in the upper right-hand corner of your screen. You may have more than one ad-blocker installed.
  2. Follow the instructions for disabling the ad blocker on the site you’re viewing.You may have to select a menu option or click a button.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.