San Francisco Bay Area artist Simha creates worldly and modern R&B hybrid pop defined by his experienced intersection of different cultures. He has a knack for using both western and eastern musical influences to introduce a new element of discovery for his listeners with sounds from North Indian Classical music to Jazz.
Simha continues to break new barriers in his search for unique expression in soul music. Beyond The Stage (BTS) asked him questions about the meaning, influences, and goals behind his music creations that have brought him to where he is today and where he will be in the future.
BTS: Who are some musical influences that inspire your artistry as a whole?
I get a lot of inspiration from many different artists in many different genres. Stevie Wonder, Lianne La Havas, Erykah Badu, Radiohead, Jordan Rakei to name a few. I also grew up on Indian Classical Music, so I really love revisiting some of the maestros like Pundit Shiv Kumar Sharma, Ustad Shujaat Khan, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, and Ustad Ali Akbar Khan.
BTS: How would you describe your music?
I really love leaning into the jazz side of my expression, but also delving deep into the soulful songwriting. There’s something really special about being able to play with the versatility of both genres together. Soul/Jazz.
BTS: What does your creative process look like? Is writing music spontaneous?
For the most part, writing music is not spontaneous for me. I really need to sit down with an idea and spend time exploring it. Sometimes I might hear a melody or a piano riff in my head while I’m driving or making dinner, so I’ll record myself singing it on my phone so that I can use it when I’m back in the studio. Based off of where I am emotionally and mentally, I might start with lyrics first and no music, but if I’m trying to invoke a certain groove or feeling, I will lay down a beat and improvise some melodies and lyrics over it.
BTS: How did “Losing Focus” come to be and when did you begin working on it?
I started writing it about a year ago. It first began with the initial piano chord riff, then I came up with a melody. I kept hearing the lyrics, “I keep myself from losing focus”, in my head, so I tried to decipher what I’m trying to say. I was going through a writer’s block at the time and it was really hard for me to get past the feelings of self doubt, so I really channeled that energy to motivate myself to keep pushing.
BTS: What is “Losing Focus” about to you?
“Losing Focus” is not just for me, but also for all the other artists out there who struggle to find a flow for their expression. Trying to balance this line between the artist ego and being vulnerable with imposter syndrome is something that is overlooked by many music listeners. As losing focus is about imposter syndrome, its also for those who struggle with mental health issues — for those, whose voices seem to be muddled and muted with anxiety and depression.
BTS: What feelings and thoughts does “Losing Focus” serve to evoke?
Empowerment, self-reflection, security, freedom, resilience, perseverance, inner peace are all feelings that “Losing Focus” evokes for me.
BTS: Are you currently working on anymore songs or even an album/EP?
Currently, I am working on another single and a larger body EP that I hope to release by the end of summer.
BTS: Do you plan on doing live shows in the near future?
As I see that California seems to be doing well with COVID response and some outdoor live shows have started up again, I really really hope to do some live shows.
BTS: What is your ultimate goal in creating music?
Honestly, I just want to garner and grow a community of artists that support and grow with each other. I want more recognition and appreciation for the indie music scene for both unsigned and signed artists. The music industry is very competitive, but that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible for everyone to find a place in it. It could be more inclusive, accessible, and diverse. I just hope to be able to contribute to that shift.
BTS: What is the best way for people to keep up with you
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