New York City based Istanbul born singer-songwriter / producer SIRMA takes cues from broken beat and house with her peppy new double A side single On/ 24 Hours featuring guest producer Mallow.
What was the first album you bought?
Damn, this is a tough one! I honestly can’t remember, it might have been “The Young and the Hopeless” by Good Charlotte though. Either that or “By The Way” by Red Hot Chili Peppers. I have vague memories of listening to both of those albums on repeat.
Who are some of your biggest musical inspirations and why?
I know it’s a cliche at this point, but I can’t deny the influence of Björk’s music in my artistry. I basically look up to musicians who are self-sufficient. I love the way Imogen Heap melts sound design into her compositions, for example. I like Grimes’s fearless and reckless attitude. I’m loving AURORA’s and HANA’s projects lately as well. Flume is another producer I look up to.
What are some non-musical inspirations that motivate your music?
Whenever I go through a form of existential crisis, I always come back to music, because it feels like my purpose in life. I just can’t not create. I might get busy, I might get depressed, but time and time again, I come back to making music. There’s nothing that makes me happier than being alone in my apartment, creating a brand new track out of thin air. Every composition is an adventure. I think that drive that I have within me is my biggest motivation. It’s a lifestyle.
Tell us about your new track ‘On / 24 Hours’.
So, it’s actually two tracks. On and 24 Hours were two songs I was working on separately, and I decided near the end of the production process that they should be released together as a double single. The reason why is that they represent the two sides of the coin. They’re both about the same couple, going through the motions. “On” is about them fighting over trivial things, and realizing time and time again how pointless it is to fight, because they won’t be going anywhere, you know?…
They love each other, and they know that this, too, will pass. I wrote On because that feeling of getting frustrated in such a fight is so familiar to me. It’s a waste of time, and it’s a disruption- and when I’m in the zone, working at my own pace, I can’t stand such disruptions. But then, you also get to experience some incredibly warm and exciting feelings in a happy, healthy relationship- and that’s what 24 Hours represents: the other side of the coin.
24 Hours was inspired by this thing my boyfriend and I used to do: we were busy, we lived in separate apartments, he would go on tour, I would travel etc. And so, about once a month, we would set aside a time where we spent a whole day in bed. 24 hours, in bed, catching up, cuddling, watching movies or cooking shows, having breakfast, drinking some good wine- you get the idea. Now I’m too career obsessed to take such breaks on a regular basis, but it can do wonders to hit pause like that every now and then.
Past On / 24 Hours what can we expect from you in 2020?
I’m actually typing these words on a flight from New York to Istanbul- I’m plotting some projects over there as well at the moment. There’s another collaboration on the way, and I’m also working on a 4-track Turkish EP, as well as an English album. The EP will arrive early 2020, and there will be a campaign surrounding it. As soon as I’m back from this trip, I’m going to start putting together my live show in New York. Looking to book some dates in the US and in Turkey in the Spring and/or the Summer. It’s been a long time coming, and I really, really miss performing my music live.
Photo by Bảo Ngô