An Interview with SMAIBLUE
SMAIBLUE is a project that began in Indonesia in 2016. It has six albums (one being a split EP) and tackles a broad range of music genres.
With his single, “I Blushed Before Your Kind Soul,” out now, we took some time to hear more from SMAIBLUE. Read below to learn more about SMAIBLUE, the story behind his single, and what’s to come.
Hi SMAIBLUE! Let’s start with how did you get your artist name?
Smai is my name. I’m half Indonesian. Blue is the colour of this energy.
What city are you from and where are you based now?
I work in London and Brighton.
At what point in your life did you decide to pursue a career in music? How did you get
Music’s always been a part of my life. I’ve always been able to naturally tune into music and collect its beautiful sources from wherever it comes from. I love everything about art and music, the sense of individuality and community for people. It’s the best thing ever and can be there for you in any situation. I love it, but I do always want to stay grounded and approach it with humility. It’s always a form of gratitude, listening, and learning is just as important at times.
Has your upbringing played a role in shaping who you are and defining your sound
today? If so, how?
Yeah. I’m more interested in doing and completing the work than going into my own personal life and backstory. I will say that I grew up in a very racist and conservative backwater type place that had no room for any kind of arts. There were pockets and places where it’s embraced, but most of my life has been a struggle – it still is at times. But, that’s not unique to myself. There’s a spirit in music that keeps me going though, and I’d rather offer that in a forward momentum than look backwards.
How would you describe your sound to readers who may not be familiar with you?
You really got to listen for yourself. People tend to pick up and be drawn to different songs. I’m looking into all kinds of different moods, genres, and ideas. It’s creative freedom, but it’s also pushing to make something the best it can be. My favourite kind of work is the work that pushes the envelope in an exciting way, but doesn’t go so avant garde that it loses something or becomes self-indulgent. There is a lot of nostalgic-esque piano in my work.
Do you have any hobbies outside of music? What do you do to stay creative?
I’ve written a novel. I do different visual arts projects…which rarely go well. I’m a dork as well and am into all forms of art, which makes up for my uselessness at sport.
Who are some of your main musical influences?
There’s a broad range of different musicians and different ideas. The list would take a while. There are some artists that have impacted me more than others, and some that meant and still do mean a lot to me. I try to avoid copying other people though in what I do because I’m daft enough to believe it defeats the purpose of creating something unique.
What are some of your future music career goals?
Play more. Create more. Release more.
Now onto your release, “I Blushed Before Your Kind Soul.” What inspired this song?
That’s a special one. I’ll never tell.
What is “I Blushed Before Your Kind Soul” about in your own words?
Walking around London is like walking around a simulation sometimes. It’s filled with these billboards of pristine models and things for sale. We exist in a world where everyone is telling each other what it means to be beautiful, seen, and how we matter. Kindness is the answer. It always will be. That makes you beautiful and that will always be of value, despite any hardships the world presents us otherwise. It kills me.
What is your favorite lyric in “I Blushed Before Your Kind Soul” and why?
I really don’t know what to say.
What message do you hope fans take away from your music and from “I Blushed
Before Your Kind Soul?”
People are open to interpret or use your work how they wish. It’s an enormous gratitude to just have people interested in what you do. The songs are open, sure we could go into what it’s about, but I don’t know that one… That’s a bit of a special one.
What’s one of your proudest moments of your music career so far?
I think it’s all one big beautiful thing. What comes next is part of that as well, and that’s the most important thing to think about outside of rehearsals and practice.
What would you say are the greatest lessons you’ve learned so far?
Preparing for performing, practicing, and honing your craft is always important. The art comes first.
On a personal level, it’s needing to prepare for the other stuff, the social stuff. That stuff’s challenging sometimes. I hate crowds. I can play in front of them, no problem, and if I’m at an event for work, I believe in we share something beautiful, but there’s a lot about London that can overwhelm sometimes. And, I need to keep a handle on that.
What’s next for you? Are you working on any upcoming projects, or do you have any
upcoming shows that we should be on the lookout for?
Yes. Wait and see.
Where can we follow you on social media?