[INTERVIEW] Singer-songwriter RHODES

Singer Songwriter Rhodes is back on tour after a year. Known for his hauntingly soulful voice and tender melancholic songs, he's a man of many talents. A true one man show belting out while strumming on the guitar or playing the piano. Rhodes have collaborated with various artists putting light on his ability to gel well with others such as Birdy and Kygo. 

Is this your first time in Asia  and what do you think of Malaysia?
I’ve been to Japan in the past. But yes, it’s my first time here. We went to Batu Caves. It was surreal to say the least. I couldn’t believe it, took my breath away. I was in awe, such a spiritual place. Climbed the top, there were many moments I thought I was going to fall off those stairs. The food is fantastic, very different from what I thought it’ll be. It’s kind of a mix of a lot of different things. But I tried Nasi Lemak and it was good. Last night we had lots of different breads and that was delicious too.

You’ve shared on Twitter that you’ll be performing new songs this Asia Tour. Are there upcoming plans for an album or EP?
That’s the plan. I’ve got a lot of new songs and have been recording in the studio. This will be the first time I ever play the new songs live so I’m trembling a bit. There will be some mistakes tonight but it’ll be really fun to play them for the first time.

Speaking of trembling, how do you overcome anxiety before performing?
That’s just me but once I’m up there I’m normally okay. I think every musician does; they say nerves are healthy. It’s hard not to but I think it is a good thing.

When asked if he writes on tour or does he take a break, Rhodes stated it just comes when the inspiration hits. He shared that he actually wrote a lot of words during the 12-hour flight to Malaysia. In addition to it, when he landed and could not sleep, he started writing in his hotel room. Rhodes expressed that when people do go on tour, there’s an intention to write songs in various beautiful places and be inspired. However, he shares that although there is inspiration involved, usually on tour there’s not enough time to write.

Compared singing to song-writing he mentions at times singing is tough but he do enjoy and love it but mentions that the feeling has to be there. Commenting on how certain days it feels great and other not so much but overall that feeling is unpredictable. However, he states that he genuinely love both the singing and songwriting aspect.

“Sleep is a Rose” is currently his favorite song. He loved the relatable sentiment, sort of timeless nature attached. "Morning" was one of the many first songs he wrote and it meant a lot to him. He expressed that writing the song showed him the ability to express in a clear way.

Do the melody or words comes first when creating music?
Normally it’s melody and then I’ll have some lyrics floating around but sometimes it’s different. Like with “Sleep is a Rose”, I had the title for a year and it’s from a book titled “Lolita”. Then one night I just wrote the song. It just happened very quickly but I was waiting for that moment for a long time.

You are known for ballads, do you have interest to try out a new genre?
I don’t suppose ballads are an intentional thing, the first record was written in my bedroom, very late at night trying not to wake up my housemates. So it kind of becomes this soft process. But yeah, I’ve been trying to break away from it. I do think it’s important to push your boundaries. It’s also important to know what your strengths are. I’m hoping on the next release, there will be some energy and different rhythms. 

Does the song making process differs when collaborating from one artist to the other?
I think there is a method which people do follow and it can get a bit tiring. I met Simone Felice, a producer who has produced for The Lumineers and Bat For Lashes. He’s a good producer in America but his method is very different and I loved it. It was really wonderful, we would go for long walks in the mountain and think of things. Read each other poetry and talk about feelings. The song would come from that rather than sitting in the studio trying to write a song. It does vary from person to person.

You’ve mentioned being inspired by the book “Lolita”, how does literature inspire you?
I read when I can, there’s a few people I really like. It takes me a long time to read a book. Sometimes I put it down and won’t pick it up again for a few weeks. Normally I read people that inspires me. I’m into poetry. I like to be able to read something and take it in quickly. The darker poets like Emily Brontë and Sylvia Plath. But I also like Beat poets, the more tongue and cheek approach as well. Naturally, literature inspires.

How important is it for you to be engaged with the fans?
I love it. I think it’s really important for any artist especially now. I always want to do something extra but talking is not my thing. I do a picture or a boomerang. I love Instagram.

Rhodes hopes to return back to Asia stating it feels dreamlike if he were to perform in music festivals across Asia. He sincerely welcomes and give thanks to those supports his music.We hope to see more of Rhodes in the future, his music will spellbind you into entering his world.  

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