Brighton based singer-songwriter LUAN MEI finally released her debut single “Elements”.
We first discovered a live version of the song near 16 months ago. It totally captured our attention and our friendship with Ruth began.
‘’Elements’’ is a song about feeling disoriented in some kind of way, with an optimistic background.Luan Mei
Tell us about the journey until the release of “Elements’?
Wow, it’s already been a long long time since then!. I used to play as a solo artist and at the moment I’m performing with my band, such a different sound!
I wrote ‘’Elements’’ in April 2017, and I remember perfectly that I finished it right before an open mic at the pub The Dorset because I wanted to test it out there and see the reaction of the audience. It was mad. Everyone loved it and the waiter who used to work there took a video of the whole song. I was feeling very happy.
In June 2018 I met Batz, the producer of ‘’Elements’’ at Pitcher & Piano, at a jam an open mic they used to do. He arrived in Brighton from Zaragoza (Spain) in April that year. As soon as we met, we started planning music projects, leading us to start ‘’Elements’’ around November. We put ideas together, references, influences, music maps, objectives, etc. We started with the guitar, with little music and rhythm, patterns, bass lines and other elements (haha).
In January 2019 we recorded all the vocals in a 2-hour session at Small Pond in Brighton. The rest was in the hands of Batz, who used to send me ideas and little by little between us we shaped the track.
Working with Batz has been and is such a pleasure and very enriching, as we both are very creative and we have very clear ideas and objectives in common.
It was all mastered and finished by the end of January and due to life (university, work, gigs, friends family), I decided to release it at the end of May, which I think it was a very appropriate date for this kind of tune, fresh, summer vibes, chill!
What was the inspiration behind the song?
I wrote it seven months after I decided to start another life here in England. Another language, culture, weather. In that stage of my life, the feeling of not having a home was quite overwhelming and I enjoyed more spending days out of the room I was living at. That’s why the first line of the chorus says ‘’Grey ground is beating, oh, my heart is dreaming all the time’’ – The streets (grey ground) make me feel alive (is beating), between all that people and the different sounds going and coming, make me wonder about myself, about others, about what to do next, where am I going, why am I here. (my heart is dreaming all the time).
‘’It’s been a long and grey day, sitting alone, not coming home. Four walls make me feel wasted, outside the sound is rough and warm’’.Luan Mei – ElemeNts
How would you describe your sound?
I personally hate labelling my music, putting it in just one ‘’box’’, but I guess I have to!
Each song has a different vibe. As a general concept, I would say that my sound is absolutely rhythmic, energetic and full of catchy melodies, like pop music. My guitar playing is more funky and indie. My vocals bring soul vibe. Pop, funk, indie, soul? Yeah. How do we call it? I don’t know.
A friend of mine, Meison, calls me ‘’Soulzzie’’, which is basically a made-up term referring to the blend between soul, indie and jazzy vibes (I guess because of my tendency to play chromatic progressions sometimes). Soulzzie maybe?
What are your musical inspirations?
Amy Winehouse, Milky Chance, Parcels, Phum Viphurit, Tash Sultana, Ady Suleiman, AnnenMayKantereit, Tom Misch, Alt-J.
Is there any cool story related to the recording of the song?
When Batz and I were recording the vocal harmonies at the studio, there were some quite high pitched harmonies I thought I couldn’t reach just by singing them, without using falsetto.
Batz told me to shout them out, standing one meter apart from the microphone. I was feeling quite embarrassed shouting that high and not nailing the note, but I finally did it. And the result was amazing.
Feel like sharing anything else?
You should all check Phum Viphurit out. He is an amazing emerging artist from Thailand. I would love to do a collaboration with him (just saying!).
And please, to all of you, be natural. Be the natural you, it feels great. There is too much superficiality within this industry and this world. Keep it natural, and honest and don’t forget to support emerging artists!LUAN MEI
What you got planned for 2019?
I just finished my Songwriting Degree at BIMM Brighton which means I have more time to focus on creating and developing myself as an artist.
I have different surprises for the summer of 2019! I don’t want to reveal them yet. Let’s be patient. Stay tuned. Releases? Videos? For now, I want to improve my sax skills, I’m considering playing it live on my shows in the future, let’s see!