“With a stop of the clock, you know time is hiding from you,” begins SEE‘s track, “She Cries”, bringing something darker to the optimistic strumming and gentle vocals. The song feels natural, with vocalization that reverberates as though calling through a forest before it explodes into the chorus “And oh, but it isn’t enough. She cries, she cries.”
SEE excels at songwriting, something that she hasn’t always been able to fully embrace on her own. A self-taught multi-instrumentalist, her EP Ties, is her first foray into solo work. The music video for her song “Potions” became a viral hit, and now she has released the much-anticipated video for “She Cries” to similar acclaim. (Check that out above!) I was very fortunate to have the chance to ask SEE some questions in the wake of her success.
Hi SEE! Your new video for “She Cries” tells a powerful story of addiction, and your hit video for “Potions” shows a love story that the media doesn’t show often enough. How important is message and story in your art?
SEE: Hey! Thank you for having me. Visually, I am always trying to create a compelling piece of art that can help bring out the best in the music and lyrics. With both of these videos, it seemed like going more of a story based route made sense. I think generally that’s where my head goes first, but down the line I’m definitely interested in experimenting with videos that don’t necessarily have a story and characters.
Youtube has played a role in the launch of your solo career. How does having an immediate international audience affect your songwriting and performing?
SEE: Youtube has been so amazing. I wouldn’t say that having my Youtube platform has changed my songwriting, but it has made me a lot more conscious of different cultures and countries around the world that I would have never been introduced to otherwise. Overall, if people from the US, Portugal, and France can be into something I’m creating, I know I’m on the right path.
How has the Long Island music scene affected your music?
SEE: The scene out here is very peculiar honestly. There is a huge amount of hardcore and pop punk bands and basically everyone who was into music as a teenager has experimented in bands like that. It was strange deciding to do a solo route because it took me a while to find the “singer-songwriter” community. That community is made up of people of all ages, some doing it as a hobby, others as a career, and all of the young people trying to make it all know each other pretty well because there aren’t a lot of us. It’s a loving group of people though and everyone is very supportive of each other.
Who are your musical influences?
SEE: I have a ton of influences, but the ones that have stuck around are Radiohead, Coldplay, Marina and the Diamonds, Paramore, As Tall as Lions, Moving Mountains.
Who are some artists you currently love?
SEE: I’m really into Meg Myers and Ariana Grande, and Wet right now.
You used to perform with bands before you branched out on your solo career. How do you find your solo project compares to playing with others?
SEE: Both have their pros and cons for sure. Back when I was in bands, I felt like I couldn’t have enough control of everything. I was having such specific visions for the sound and the look and the overall vibe, but with a group of people, obviously it would be crazy for me to be the only one making decisions. However, being in a creative environment with people was amazing and I felt constantly inspired and ready to create. Being a solo artist is definitely the right thing for me mentally because I’m able to create everything as I envision it, and there isn’t a struggle to schedule time with band members etc. It also motivates me to really work hard because nothing is going to happen for me unless I do it myself. Sometimes I think it would be easier to be in a band in some ways. There are moments where I feel alone, and unfit to be the front person of a solo project. But I’m learning and growing and I couldn’t be happier with where things are right now.
The video for “She Cries” blends dance, drama, and music. How do other art forms influence you?
SEE: I think all art is connected on some level, and I was stoked to have so many different forms of it in that video. I’m also a visual artist, so I am always working on art in some form throughout my day. Incorporating dance into that video was a very new experience for me, and it was fascinating to watch how the choreographer and the dancers were able to take my song and transform it into something so beautiful.
As a self-taught multi-instrumentalist, do you have a preferred instrument? What did you learn to play first?
SEE: I started on the drums, so I will always be in love with those and have a connection to them. It’s probably a tie between drums and guitar for my favorite instrument, but I think I feel most confident about my voice, if we want to count that as an instrument. I can play all of the other instruments well, but so can a lot of people. I think my voice is what sets me apart.
Now that your debut EP, Ties, has dropped, what does the future hold for you?
SEE: Right now I’m booking shows and really trying to hit the live situation hard. Down the line I’m looking to release another EP or maybe a full length based on how the next few months go.
Do you have any advice to anyone pursuing a musical dream?
SEE: I would tell them not to give in to the societal pressure to pursue something more normal. Going against the grain can be exhausting, but it’s worth it in the end. And it sounds cliche, but be yourself! I spent some time trying to mold myself into something I wasn’t, and I’m grateful that I had some positive influences in my life who told me that my unique self was more interesting that anything else.