What is your name?
Cyrano comes as the medium for sharing the music and words that for years have been only for myself, echoing the theme of the play Cyrano de Bergerac and the inspiration behind the project.
What is your genre of music?
Indie/Electronic/RnB/Chill/Pop/None of the above
Give us a little bio about you.
I’m Cyrano – a Scottish born, London grown songwriter and producer, and I make music for the late night overthinkers. I hope you feel lifted when you listen to my music, and inspired to make your own.
What made you go into music?
Eric Clapton’s Bad Love. Listening to it on cassette in the Ford Mondeo, soundtracked our family holidays to France. There’s just something so incredible about that track for me; it still gives me the equivalent of a sugar rush every time I hear that drum fill into the guitar solo at the end!
Who are your influences?
Growing up I loved Motown, especially for the drum sound and vocals. Throughout my teens, I became a huge fan of indie bands like Foals, Bon Iver and The National, who’ve definitely been an influence on my writing alongside Arthur Russell, Bill Evans and Talk Talk. Over the past few years I’ve been really enjoying Arlo Parks, Nilüfer Yanya and Celeste, and Frank Ocean is definitely my go-to for late night drives home from the studio. I often look to film and literature for inspiration too, as a great story can kickstart a new idea for a track.
Are you a signed?
I’m an independent artist, self-releasing through a distributor and my own label called Fourth Wall Records. I took the name from the idea of breaking the fourth wall, when the actor breaks from character to address the audience directly. By releasing my music, it feels like I’m finally breaking that fourth wall of my studio and allowing an audience in to hear it. Longer term I’d love to give artists their first chance at releasing music too, with a focus on finding artists who are perhaps limited simply by their access to instruments, studios or the knowledge of how to even go about bringing their musical ideas to life. Mentors have been a big part in my own development and I’m really grateful to people I’ve had around me to learn from.
You released your single ‘White Wine’, tell us more about the single.
White Wine is a track celebrating the friendships I made while recording in Los Angeles one summer, inspired by Arthur Russell, Frank Ocean and Maribou State. I became fascinated with the idea of consequential strangers – those people that pass through your life in a fleeting moment and can somehow change your worldview in one late night conversation. I made some amazing friends that summer, and always loved meeting people who I had no immediate connection to, except the moment we were in.
Describe the track in two words
What was the writing and recording process like? Who did you work with on the single?
The original demo was born out of frustration from not being able to play Spit It Out by The Maccabees on piano. I chopped up a drum break onto my MPC, adding some delays and reverb to give it that swing and just started jamming along in my bedroom. Once I took it to the studio, I started throwing down some vocal lines while thinking back to my time in LA and what it means to be a consequential stranger; the lack of expectation either of you has of one another is part of what I think makes those friendships so special. When I began recording the track, I decided it would be cool to multi-track everything and pan things hard left and hard right, so that if you listened to the track entirely out of one speaker you’d essentially be listening to a different performance of the same song to the other. I took my demo to Oli Barton-Wood, after being blown away by his production on Nilüfer Yanya’s Miss Universe back in 2019, especially on tracks like Melt and Tears. That’s when we got Jazzi Bobbi involved, who also plays in Nilüfer Yanya’s live band and makes great music of her own (check out her cover of Rihanna’s Needed Me) – her sax and backing vocals really took White Wine to the next level. I then took the track to Sam Johnston from Leif Erikson, who added some Nelly inspired acoustic guitar and we honed in on the lyrics and structure. The final step was to hand it over to Jamie Ward, who applied his secret sauce in the mix to make everything really cohesive and vibey, before Felix Davis mastered it at Metropolis Studios in London.
Will we see a music video for the track and if so what can we expect?
I’ve created a lyric video as part of a bigger campaign I’ll be announcing after the initial release. I’m also waiting for things to open up a bit to start filming my own video but am working on a visualiser video in the meantime.
What else can we expect in 2021? Will we see an EP or Album and if so, what can we expect from it?
I’ll be releasing my debut EP this summer along with some exciting things around each track on the EP, including fundraising for a charity with each release. I want all my releases to share a story and give people more than just a song. With everything feeling so disposable at the moment, my focus is on creating pieces with meaning and depth, exhibiting more than one dimension. Hopefully I can open some meaningful conversations, especially around mental health, and enable people to learn something about themselves too. Ultimately, I hope people to find comfort, energy and confidence in my music and can carry it into their own lives.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I’ve got a few musical goals I’d love to achieve. Sonically, I’ve got two more concept EPs in mind that I’d love to bring to fruition, as well as more collaborations – I loved having Jazzi Bobbi on White Wine who brought so much to that session and was really cool to work with. Hopefully this can be incorporated into my plans with Fourth Wall Records too. For Live goals, playing shows in New York and Tokyo have always been on a pedestal in my mind, as well as the usual ones like playing Glastonbury, Brixton Academy, Red Rocks and Jools Holland. I’d love to make it back to Los Angeles again soon and spend some more time in Asia too.
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
If you can’t get out of something, get into it.
As someone that can feel quite anxious, I’ve found this to be a great way to make the best out of a situation by accepting it for what it is. Sometimes it’s better to go with the flow and make things the best they can be, instead of resisting them without even trying to enjoy yourself. Keep an open mind
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
Tickets – wouldn’t be a first!
Lyrics, though again I can barely remember my own. That’s actually why I got into jazz.
ID for a decent pint (or bottle of white wine!) – there’s always one who’s “forgotten” it when it’s their round
The encore – of course they’re going to do one, just wait!
Happy to forget my phone though. Sometimes it’s nice just to tell the story, even if you had to be there.