Sid Seth Shares “Clean Slate” Single and Lyric Video, More New Music Coming Soon
New York-based singer-songwriter Sid Seth is in the midst of working on and releasing new material in collaboration with music producer Torna (Sesame Street, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Jesse Malin, Jukebox the Ghost, A Great Big World). Following the release of his recent singles “Sunday” and “Hopeless War,” now, he now returns with a brand new output from those sessions, a single entitled “Clean Slate.”
As described by Sid, the track’s story initially kicked off years ago, with the end product resulting from the baggage he noticed he’d been carrying that he had been hesitant to write about. One night, he realized he needed to let go: “I guess the universe just forced me to pen it down,” he wrote. Once he evaded the uncomfortability of writing about his real life, the song came flowing in a fashion of stream-of-consciousness.
He continued: “Though ‘Clean Slate’ was finally written, I refused to let go of it until I felt that it was doing more damage to me [than good]. In some ways, by just letting go of it, I think I will be a little calmer. For this kind of track, which is actually much more resonant to a lot of other unreleased songs in my discography, I wanted it to be true to its storytelling. I didn’t want bells and whistles, and just wanted the audience to witness the raw moment.”
For more context, Sid Seth grew up in India and eventually made his way to New York City to pursue music during his collegiate career at the Manhattan School of Music, chasing the dream he forged in reference to his diverse childhood musical influences (including Western mainstays such as The Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, The Carpenters, Abba, Michael Jackson, and Stevie Wonder). Since his arrival in the States, he’s utilized his unique upbringing and the guidance of the classic musicians he looks up to in the process of bringing his own truly special blend of soul, pop, and rock to life. Throughout his releases, he has also explored a wide variety of vulnerabilities, crafting music that is not only sonically interesting but emotively potent, all on his own. In doing this, he has worked with the likes of Kris Crawford (Ariana Grande, Shawn Mendes, Josh Groban) and Grammy-winning mastering engineer Alex Psaroudakis.
In celebration of his new single and forthcoming releases, Galore spoke with Sid Seth about his creative process, musical inspirations, and more.
When did you fall in love with music?
I must have been an infant when my dad held me and placed me next to him. He would sing ragas and gently tap beats (taals) on my fingers. I had no idea what I was listening to, but he says I would be very calm and at ease hearing that. Every morning growing up, we would rise to my father’s beautiful voice echoing through the walls of our house. I had no idea I could sing but I was very keen to listen to a lot of music and play with musical gadgets. My mom kept introducing me to classics like Simon and Garfunkel, the Beatles, Boney M and my dad would hum golden age melodies of Bollywood. I didn’t think about it much, but it was all there. I want to say I was maybe a teenager when I realized I could sing and then I just kept going on. There was no one moment where I could say I fell in love with music. But the scary thought of me losing my voice as an angsty teen really freaked me out. You name the high note, and I could sing that. And here I was a teenage boy, with a low baritone. I hated it. But I worked very hard, and that made me love music and the process even more. It just became my thing and it’s something that I am extremely interested in continuously learning and exploring.
Who are your heroes?
Too many! The Beatles, Stevie Wonder, Coldplay, Bruno Mars, Adele, Michael Jackson. Probably some of my favorites.
Can you describe what your musical process is typically like?
I love to challenge myself to write in different ways. So there isn’t one method for me. However, in general, I prefer writing with just a guitar or piano or sometimes, it’s just a vocal melody. I strongly believe if it can stand on its own then the job of a producer is super easy and the direction is clear. You can love or hate the production but as long as the song works it will find its audience.
How did your collaboration with Torna come about?
Through the internet! I was looking for producers and couldn’t find someone with a sound for these tracks. I heard a few of Torna’s releases and something clicked. This was the third track I did with him and I’m so glad he did this one.
As an artist you can get clouded by your own thoughts. I had written, sung, demoed, co-produced the track. So by the end, I was still adding more elements. Torna insisted that this is a very intimate song and it has a strong message. I am so glad he helped the message and my voice shine. I can be harsh at times with my own self but he kept the focus on doing what’s best for the song.
How would you best describe “Clean Slate” on a sonic and thematic level?
Let me paint a picture for you. Imagine a very cold day in New York, your radiator is on but the apartment is still cold, you wear your sweater and your body is cold, the sound of sirens are chilly and the only thing that is trying hard to add warmth is the upright piano. That’s what I hear when I hear Clean Slate. The singing and piano are trying their best to fight the cold situation but the words keep getting colder as we keep listening.
On a thematic level, it’s about a failed relationship. There is nothing left and you can try as hard as you want but you’re not getting it back. At that moment you are giving it your best. Because you’re still there. You haven’t moved. It’s an important song for me as I haven’t showcased a vulnerable side from the songs I’ve released yet. And more of my unreleased music shows different angles to the story. If you hear the previous singles, you might start putting together some pieces of the puzzle.
You described that this track was born on a rainy night, based off of a story that originated years before. What inspired you to take from that experience and finally wipe the slate clean via this cathartic writing experience?
I absolutely hated it and I still hate that experience. I wouldn’t wish that on anybody. More than any inspiration it was desperation to close that chapter and move on. I’m a private person and I have a hard time discussing the vulnerable side of myself with others, so the songs become my outlet. It’s funny I say that because on the contrary, my friends love talking about their experiences and I really appreciate that from them. But for me, I find it the easiest to channel that energy and write it. Also, not every sobby moment becomes a song haha. A lot of them just end up in the trash can 🙂
With your recent singles including this one considered, how would you categorize this new Sid Seth era, and how does it point toward what’s next for you?
‘Clean Slate’ focuses on the songwriting and vocals. It’s quite a bare bones track. Sometimes when I listen to it, I feel a little shaken because it’s a direct voice talking to me. There is no filter between the listener and me. Releasing this track helps me open this vocal and songwriting focused artist side of me. Not that the other tracks don’t. But, I hope that when the audience re-listens they start connecting dots in the story lines and get a taste of my songwriting style. I see genres as trends, and songwriting and vocals as your signature style. You can always play with genres but it’s the songwriting and vocals that tells the real story.
What’s coming next is me delving into more of my songwriting and showcasing different shades of me. I am a new artist and every time I release a song will feel like a new era. It’s not because I am trying to make it feel like one but I guess it’s just a different side of me that I haven’t shown to people. It’s like going on a date with someone. If the spark is there, there is always new information to learn. All I can hope is that you (the audience) will show up to the next one, ok?
How is your music disrupting the traditional cultural standard of Indian music?
I wouldn’t say it’s disrupting any style of music. Rather it’s bringing out the beauty in the styles I enjoy. I am grateful to have access to beautiful and endless Indian melodies. Indian music is very melodically driven and my music is honoring that. In terms of the culture, my music shines a new light on South Asian artistry and adds some spice to the current day roster of pop and singer-songwriter music 🙂
Stay tuned for more new music from Sid Seth, coming soon.