Monday, August 05, 2019

Interview: "Sour has allowed me to be true to myself" reveals the duo's Connar Ridd 

“Everyone needs a little bit of Miley in their life.”

Words: Jack Jolly

Funky, alt-pop band Sour seem to be making waves at the moment with their new sound - a sound unlike any other band or artist in the industry. Their debut single 'Separate Ways' has just been remixed by EDM geniuses Wideboys, storming into the UK Top 40 Pop Club Charts to reach a high of No. 6; and follow up, 'Waiting For You', now also has a remix, this time by Sebastian Perez.

Believe it or not, Sour frontman Connar Ridd used to formerly be the man known under the indie punk solo project moniker FREAK, before exapanding to a trio. Now downsized to a two-piece with former FREAK bassist Jonn Downham, and reinvented as Sour, the duo are heading to the top with their blend of synth-pop and edgy, new age lyrics covering all aspects of love, life and loss in a beautifully subtle queer light.

I sat down with Connar to discuss new single 'Waiting For You', his journey to Sour and the biggest influences of the sounds that Sour are producing. We even played a little game at the end.

Okay, so who are your musical and artistic inspirations for Sour?

So, at the moment, I’m listening to a lot of Raye, a lot of Jax Jones, so much Britney Spears, Years & Years, just kind of like that commercial, fun, clubby pop. We love it.

Can you tell us about the sexuality aspect, and how that may have influenced your new music? How has sexuality influenced the sound of Sour?

I wouldn’t say sexuality has directly influenced the sound as much, but on a personal level and considering lyrics, it’s nice to be able to open up and it’s something I feel more comfortable with. Sour has allowed me to be true to myself and be able to approach subjects like talking about guys, and even allowed me to feel like I can dress in a way which is more reflective of the person I want to be. The music has been very therapeutic in helping me to do that.

Aw, so do you think this music is more of an honest representation of you?

I’d say so, I think it is THE most honest. The lyrics are really relatable to me, hopefully to other people as well but they feel very close to my heart and detail my experiences and I love the genre, I love making this music every day.

Let’s talk about 'Waiting For You', your new single, what inspired it? Is it a personal experience?

Yeah, 'Waiting For You', it is quite personal. It doesn’t necessarily mean waiting for a person, but waiting for something you might not be ready for.

Waiting to see what happens?

Yeah, the whole song is meant to describe that feeling of waiting for someone or something no matter what, it’s about that gravitational pull towards someone but not being able to express it. So yeah, the song is personal but also relatable.

Right, let’s talk about the change in direction and musical style from FREAK to Sour. How did the change happen and looking back what would Connar Ridd today advise his 18-year-old self of early 2016?

It was just something that just started happening really. The music I was writing in FREAK was becoming more pop based, and the music I was listening to was changing. We got dropped by our label and our management starting going silent and It just felt like the perfect time to start something new and refreshing as well as something that felt really honest. Advice I’d give would be to enjoy absolutely everything! Don’t feel overly stressed about things that are out of your control, but equally, work really hard on the things that are in your control. Stay true to what you want to do and love what you do.

Do you regret FREAK?

No, no, not at all! It was one of the best times of my life, it was amazing. I’ve made friends, contacts, I played amazing shows, met amazing people, had such a loyal fanbase: it was incredible. If anything, it’s given me more of a platform and more confidence to do what I do now and to be able to express myself and express a different side to myself musically.

In terms of influences, or perhaps just personal interests, what sort of music are you listening to right now?

I listen to so much varied music, so at the minute I’m listening to a lot of Avril Lavigne, I’m also listening to a lot of this band called Postmodern Jukebox on YouTube which is a lot of modern jazz stuff, but then in contrast to that I love listening to Raye and the new MEDUZA song. 'A Piece Of Your Heart'. I love listening to Banks as well. It allows me to be so much more creative, taking in so many different elements from different genres. Oh yeah, MILEY! Miley Cyrus is everything right now.

Okay, so what are you loving about Miley?

I love her new EP, her new single -'Mother’s Daughter' - I love how she can be so inspiring and active with her views and opinions. She’s so expressive and unashamedly herself and she doesn’t care what anyone else things and I think that is so important, everyone could learn something from Miley. Everyone needs a little bit of Miley in their life.

I want to play a game with you, as I know Britney Spears is one of your biggest inspirations for your new music, I am going to give you four sets of lyrics, and you have to tell me if they belong to Miss Britney Spears or not?

Ahh, love that, okay!

“We can turn the heat up if you wanna
Turn the lights down low if you wanna”

Erm, no, I don’t think that’s Britney Spears.

That is Britney Spears - 'Break the Ice'. Sorry!

Oh no. Oh, Britney, I’m so sorry!

“There's a place downtown,
Where the freaks all come around”

That can’t be her... Nah, that’s false.

Correct. So, do you know who it is?

Can’t say I do.

That’s Kesha - 'Take It Off'.

“Ooh, sweat dripping over my body
Dancing gettin' just a little naughty
Want to get dirty, it's about time for my arrival”

*sings* It’s about time for my arrival. Yeah, that’s Britney!

It’s not! That’s Christina Aguilera - 'Dirrty'.

Oh, I even sang it! Poor Miss Britney.

We’ve got one left.

“Everybody's talkin' all this stuff about me
Why don't they just let me live (Tell me why)
I don't need permission
Make my own decisions”

Yeah, that’s her, that’s Britney!

Correct! Second point: which song?

Oh, is it erm, 'My Prerogative'? No. I don’t know, what is it?

It is 'My Prerogative'.

Oh yeah, I love 'My Prerogative'!

Well, hopefully Britney Spears doesn’t see this! Finally, can you talk to me about any new music coming out soon, any new music you’re working on?

We’re working in the studio every day at the moment, we’re making some really exciting songs and we can’t wait to release them. We’ve got originals and we might even have an exciting cover up our sleeve. At the moment we’re trying to sort out some gigs. Our main thing this year is to get out as many quality songs out as we can, we have enough for an album, but we aren’t too focussed on releasing an album just yet.

That’s great, sounds like there’s lots of things to look forward to!

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