Since unveiling These Days, we've been writing a great deal about the city's continuously changing dynamics sound-wise. That trend continues as we team up with local producer Elias Abid and singer CHAI for the premiere of "About Me", the lead single off the duo's upcoming full-length project, re:set. These two complement a growing cross-section of dance-informed production alongside sinewy vocals, a concept we've seen with fellow hometown duo DRAMA; it is one that seems to be finding a niche amongst some of the more musically-informed beat makers around town. From early conversations, I know this particular single and EP came about through a deep connection between the two artists involved and I caught up with both of them just ahead of CHAI leaving town for South Korea where she is currently competing in a singing competition. Per usual, we get a little extra on the creation of the song and where things are heading from this point onward. Check that out below, the song above, and keep it locked to These Days for more info coming soon on this exciting new act.
-Take us through the concept for the song.
Elias: For me, the concept is just about calling back certain memories and interactions that defined, and still do define, a relationship. The song is essentially the summary of what we went through this past summer. I love how ambiguous the song is though; you’re left not really knowing how to feel. The lyrics go back and forth from being in love to being confused and conflicted, which I think is so real. Ultimately, our concept is irrelevant - we want people to associate it to whatever they may be going through.
-There's a lot of emotion felt throughout, where is that coming from?
Elias: During the course of creating the EP, we were both going through these different phases of getting to know each other. Our writing and recording sessions were the only times we could really hang out so every session, for the most part, was always really fun – It was a time to work on music but also a time to just relax and be comfortable. The first writing session for “about me” was the day we realized we both felt this connection past the music so the song is like this snapshot range of emotions we were going through at that direct moment in time. It’s like a selfie.. with sounds.
CHAI: I think a lot of this emotion also stems from the honesty and communication we’ve had throughout, and even after this project. We, as humans, tend to have a wall up for protection and only allow each other to see glimpses of who we are or how we feel. This song and EP in general really opened my eyes to the possibilities of pure success when you allow yourself to be honest not only with yourself, but also with someone you’re working with..even if that leaves you in a vulnerable state. Throughout this EP the topic of being present would constantly come up and I believe that also helps this flow of emotion. By being present, you have to face yourself and face all the emotions and stressors that you’ve pushed behind you. Hopefully our music can help everyone remain present.
-How would you characterize the sound of this project?
Elias: I’d characterize the sound as like this beautiful soundscape narrating two people dancing… There are so many different dynamics in the EP - each song really has its own personality. Sonically, I think re:set falls somewhere in between electronic and neo-soul, with some house and hip-hop influences.
CHAI: I agree with Elias indefinitely. We both have different ideas in terms of what where we would want our music to go as individual artists but by us coming together and combining our own interests, we’ve been able to create some crazy beautiful music that will take you on a sonic rollercoaster.
-What should we expect coming up?
Elias: I’d say just expect to tap into the story of CHAI and Elias Abid. There’s so much behind this music, it’s hard to even begin explaining everything that has gone into making this happen. We’re both working on stuff independently but we have some really cool videos and hopefully events coming soon that we’re super excited to share. I’m definitely just trying to live in this moment though.
CHAI: I would like to warn everyone that their ears may become impregnated at some point. But Elias and I will gladly take full responsibility. This EP is definitely going to stir up some feels.