Silas Armstrong caught our attention at the end of 2020 when he released his very first single ‘I Love You Always Forever’. Now his first original track ‘Liar’ is already available and we wanted to get to know more about his journey as he had quite a ride over the years.
I got to be honest that talking to Silas was a very personal one for me as I felt that even though we haven’t met yet I could feel what he was going through personally when all the bands that he was a member of didn’t really go the way it was planned.
Everything happens for a reason. We can only hope that Silas will leave the baggage in the past and focus on making his solo career the one to be remembered!
You started your solo career during the year that will be remembered for all the wrong reasons. Tell us about your journey until the moment you released ‘I Love You Always Forever’.
Long story short: I come from a musical family, I played drums since I was 10 and picked up piano in my teens. I always loved to sing. I used to write songs for girls I liked at school. After studying music I worked in radio at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club for 5 years, then joined a digital agency helping major pop artists with their social media. All whilst playing in bands, touring Europe and honing my skills. In 2019 I decided to focus on my own career as a songwriter.
You already have 5 songs self-produced songs. What inspired you to introduce yourself to the world with Donna Lewis’ 90’s classic ‘I Love You Always Forever’?
Honestly, I just loved that song. I love to learn great songs so I can better understand their structure, melody and chords. The 5 original songs I’ve produced are all quite dark and emotional, written out of heartbreak during a pandemic, I wanted some juxtaposition to balance the tone of the project and I feel the original by Donna Lewis is a lost gem of pop brilliance that deserves a new audience.
You are no stranger to the music industry. You’ve been a member of multiple bands and projects (Kid Champion, Youth Club, Rocky NTI, LNLY). What do you think was missing that you didn’t have a big break yet?
Every band I’ve been in has suffered from some sort of burn out or implosion.SILAS ARMSTRONG
Each project came to a natural end in one way or another, we were good but something wasn’t quite right. Sometimes it was unfortunate timing, other times it was politics or personal battles. It almost always happened when we felt like we were at the cusp of breaking big, major tour support, bigger festivals, national radio play, then the bubble would burst and I had to adapt.
What is the biggest lesson you learnt while trying to make it in music?
I’ve learned that in order to really fulfill my destiny I can’t rely on riding someone else’s wave. I’ve learned so much from mistakes and past failures, it’s important to me that I don’t give up.
Where do you find the energy and inspiration to still continue working towards your dream?
Inspiration is all around, sometimes it takes a while to tune into the right way of thinking to see it. Sometimes it can take a few days to switch from business mode to songwriter mode, then it’s like a tap turns on and I could write for days.
I find inspiration for lyrics and melody in the early hours of the morning when my brain is processing dreams or making sense of situations, I often wake up before dawn to note down ideas on my phone.SILAS ARMSTRONG
Can you tell us how your latest single ‘Liar’ was born?
‘Liar’ was born out of distress, deceit, and depression. It was the first song I wrote during the start of Lockdown 2020. I was going through some personal hardships with my family and writing the song was a way of dealing with my emotions at the time, a form of musical therapy. ‘Liar’ is also an attempt to get through to those involved in a way they might understand.
You openly talk about the power of the community. What would you recommend for those who would love to learn how to network and connect with fellow musicians. Especially when now everything is only virtual?
Networking and connecting with people is about listening and learning. Looking for opportunities and making the most out of certain situations. That goes for the real world as much as it does digitally. You can’t just broadcast your message and expect people to come to you. Speak to people as individuals, find common ground, suggest ideas of mutual interest. Whether that’s over a Zoom call, a DM, or backstage after a show.
2020 has been an extremely challenging year. What kept you sane and how did the lockdown impact your creativity?
Exercise and alcohol kept me sane, both in mostly responsible amounts. At first, Lockdown gave me time to pause and process, then eventually it allowed me to dig deeper than ever before and the music started to pour out. I’ve always enjoyed writing to a brief, for other people or projects, but to write something so personal that only I could sing it was something I couldn’t have done without the pressures 2020 provided.
What is the biggest highlight of your music career so far?
Playing Glastonbury 2016. It was a bittersweet day because it was the morning the Brexit vote was announced and the atmosphere sucked. It was my first time ever at Glastonbury and we were opening the BBC Introducing Stage at midday on Friday, live on Radio 1. We put all our energy into that performance, the explosion of adrenaline was like nothing else.
Your debut EP is ready for 2021. What can we expect sound wise?
Musically it is the most ME sounding I’ve ever been. I’ve tried many sounds over the years, punk rock, indie pop, house/dance music (I even had an alter ego as a grime rapper), my sound is based on my mood and the sounds I have available. As a drummer rhythm is so important to me, as a keyboard player I love synths, as a vocalist who loves everything from Lady Gaga to Dr. Dre, I appreciate catchy melodies and lyrics that roll off the tongue. I also love the 80s, so there’s always a bit of that.
What would you like to be remembered for?
I’d just like to be remembered. I have so many ideas inside and outside of music, though music is underlying throughout, I don’t know what it will be that I make my mark with. Success as a songwriter to me would be hearing a song I wrote on a remote island, miles from home. If I keep writing and releasing songs I hope that I get remembered for at least one of them.
Music to me is like breathing, I couldn’t live without it.SILAS ARMSTRONG
We all need this right now, when you feel down and you want to feel better, what is the first song that comes to your mind that is guaranteed to make you smile?
‘You’ve Got A Friend’ by James Taylor. When I was a child we had a lodger who was a singer – she sang that song at my birthday when I was 8 and hers is the definitive version for me.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our audience?
If you’re reading this I would love to hear from you. As a collaborator, a fan, friend, or whatever you’d like to be. I’m most active on Instagram but you can find me everywhere else too 🙂
Make sure to connect with Silas Armstrong
Introducing » Artists We Interviewed