Soaky Siren is ready to strike out on her own. After building an impressive array of songwriting credits for some of the biggest names in pop (think Jason Derulo, Pitbull and Camila Cabello), the multi-genre powerhouse started recording and releasing music all her own. Her latest single, “Dope Boys” explores a story drawn straight from her formative years in the Bahamas, and the darker side to the high life. Atlas spoke with Soaky Siren about her newest EP, musical inspirations and finally getting to tell her own story.
Atlas Artist Group: Your new single, “Dope Boys”, takes a different direction for your sound and lyrics. What inspired this track?
Soaky Siren: The song has always been a story that I’ve had in me. I’ve just really never had the right opportunity to tell it because it’s basically based on a period of time when I was back home. Being young and impressionable, you saw these people living their lifestyle that we’re in, you know, these dope boys were living a lifestyle that a lot of girls sought after. It was super misguided and over time, you just got faced with the harsh reality and the brutal reality of why that lifestyle is obviously something that you should stay far away from. Eventually, you saw these people going from rags to riches and then they actually ended up losing it all because of course you end up getting caught, you end up getting put in jail or going on the run or even worse.
It’s just really one of those things where all that glitters isn’t gold. And that was pretty much the inspiration for me because I remember seeing these people living this lifestyle and I was like “ooh, okay” and you’re young, you’re impressionable and you’re like “okay, this is probably goals” and it probably shouldn’t be the older you get. And you just start seeing people ending up in jail and the consequences started to kick in and it’s just like, it’s never worth it. That’s the takeaway of the song.
AAG: What’s the story behind your latest EP?
SS: The EP itself, collectively, all of the songs are pretty much pieces of me, obviously, but it’s also loosely tied to my life growing up in the Bahamas. The EP is titled after one of my favorite areas on the island that I’m from called Lucaya. I spent a lot of time there and we did a lot of growing up there- probably doing a lot of shit we shouldn’t have been doing there too. I feel like, with me, I’m a lot of things as an artist- I grew up listening to a lot of dancehall, I grew up listening to a lot of rap- so I wanted to take all of those elements and tell all of those stories. Naturally, it was going to come from where I’m from, so that’s how it ended up being what it is.
AAG: What artists do you draw inspiration from when you’re writing music?
SS: That’s a broad question because I listen to so many things. It just depends on what space I’m in. I’m a huge fan of Missy Elliott but I also listen to a lot of dancehall and conscious reggae. But then I also flipped the script and started listening to Bon Iver. It really just depends on my space.
AAG: With all of these influences, do you ever end up pulling elements of inspiration from them when you’re making music?
SS: I wouldn’t say I try to pull those elements. I think, creatively, that kind of comes together organically in the room because I never really have that intention when I’m making music. I think just naturally, when you grow up listening to certain things, it’s probably going to be somewhere in your toolbox for you to call on when the time comes but it’s never actually a conscious thing for me to pull from. When I have chords, the song ends up writing itself, so whatever comes out, whatever wave is in stock that day, that’s the wave I’m going to surf.
AAG: What are your plans for more live shows going forward?
SS: For me, I definitely want to get on the stage. I’m getting the bug to perform now, so that is all being discussed and planned. I don’t know if it’s going to be touring, but I think it’s going to be a few live shows at first and then building from there.
AAG: What message do you hope to communicate to your listeners? What do you want them to take away from your music?
SS: I just want them to get a sense of me, for who I am. I know that sounds so standard, but in the sense [of] don’t necessarily have a ton of expectations. Just understand that I’m going to put out a bunch of waves, a bunch of different things. I don’t want to play in a particular box. I see myself as a multi-genre artist. People that just love all kinds of music- those are the listeners that I want. I have a very particular perspective and lens so I just want people to come to know me and all of my ‘isms’.
AAG: Where do you hope this project takes you?
SS: To the next project. And then on to the next one. This is my dream and I’m finally coming around to it fully as opposed to just writing for other people now. It’s a little different when you get to tell your story exactly how you want to tell it. I’m also just learning so much about the process of being an artist and actually focusing on myself as an artist. I honestly am enjoying the process, lowkey don’t want it to stop anytime soon so I’m going to continue building from here.
Stream Soaky Sirens’ new EP, Lucaya, here!
Photos courtesy of Soaky Siren