And in this moment, where fans are gathered for an intimate concert at American Express’ Savor and Soul event amid all the hustle and bustle outside during a busy Essence Fest weekend, the crowd is eager to do things SiR’s way. (Sorry, Usher.)
Whether that looks like swaying from side to side to one of his recently released singles, “Satisfaction,” or letting their “Hair Down” and grooving to the various melodies present as he serenades us with various hits off his 2019 project Chasing Summer, what’s obvious is that listeners are undeniably picking up every note, every movement, essentially everything that the Inglewood native is putting down.
And why wouldn’t they? Since the “John Redcorn” artist seemingly came on the scene in 2015 (looking at you Seven Sundays), he’s put out nothing but fire—track after fire track, soothing sound after soothing sound, outstanding album after outstanding album. And this upcoming project will be no exception.
While he couldn’t divulge much about it as we chatted backstage after his set was finished, what he did share was that the forthcoming album was a true labor of love and that he hopes fans will be able to feel that love when they finally listen to it.
“Hopefully fans are in a good place when they listen to it,” he explained. “When I was writing a lot of this music, it was kinda like I was in the toughest time in my life because we were all going through the pandemic and things like that. So the music, it’s got two sides to it: there’s the dark and the light. And I’m really just hoping that fans connect with the honesty. I’m very honest and I’m trying to just speak from a place that I know best. And [with] the music, I think we did a great job at choosing the right musicians, choosing the right players, choosing the right background singers. So this is a labor of love. I just hope the fans feel the love when they listen to the music.”
I know I can’t speak for all of them, but let me just assure you right now, SiR: they will. And if you needed further proof of that, just one scroll through the November artist’s Instagram comments will show that loyal listeners wouldn’t dare “love him today and leave him tomorrow” (unlike the lover he alludes to in “Satisfaction”). But instead, they’re down for the ride and willing to wait as long as possible for his musical greatness to be fully developed.
However, that doesn’t mean they’ll be left high and dry until the day comes. In fact, as of this article’s publishing, he’s already wet our whistle with another hit: “Life is Good” featuring Scribz Riley. Prior to that, he released the seductive “Satisfaction,” which SiR says was inspired by true events.
“With ‘Satisfaction,’ I was going through a real tough time in a relationship,” he explained. “Things were getting kinda toxic and...it was inspired by true events. Let’s just say that. And I think my best music comes that way, when it comes from a true place. That’s just a great example of something that came from my own situation.”
He later added, “I just want fans to know that I’m always being honest. If you hear a song, it came from a very personal place and with this next album, I think I did very well to just be myself. I’m always gon’ be me. Whatever you hear, whatever you see, that’s always gon’ be me.”
Despite the consistent tales of failed and fruitful relationships (and/or situationships) present in his songs, at the heart of them all is the desire to connect with fans in the realest, most honest way possible. Creating from that place of relatability and authenticity has undoubtedly been the secret sauce to everything the “Still Blue” singer has put out. It also happens to be one of the biggest lessons he’s derived from his career thus far.
“I’ve learned that the best thing I can do for myself is to be real,” he said. “A lot of people, they get into these positions—like the position I’m in—and they kinda become different people. I’m just holding on to my chivalrous nature and the realness. I wouldn’t be able to look my Mom in the eyes if I wasn’t as real as I am. So I’m just trying to be honest with myself, be self-aware when I’m out, hold myself to a higher standard as a Black man, as a father, and just be true to me.”
Staying true to ideals and moral grounding that his family instilled is paramount to the “Dreaming of Me” artist. He shared with me about his upbringing as a PK (that’s preacher’s kid, FYI) who was in church his whole life and how his mother instilled both musical and common sense in him that traveled well into his adult life. He mentions his older brother, Davion Farris specifically, as the impetus for his now successful career—explaining how he was the first person to get him Pro Tools and set him up to record a song that got him interested in pursuing music in the first place. “My family is everything,” he said with a smile.
And perhaps it’s a mix of all the aforementioned things—love, relatability, authenticity, and a firm grounding—that make SiR’s music so undeniable. Whatever it is, and whatever it evolves to be next, fans can take solace in the fact that it will always be 100% SiR. Contrary to the lyrics in “You Can’t Save Me,” they can also be grateful that they were in the right place, at the right time, with the right one, in this exact moment.
“Life Is Good,” “Satisfaction,” and Chasing Summer are all available to stream now.