New Zealand native, Berlin-based Noah Slee is gaining a reputation as one of the most unique and raw talents within the future soul movement of Australia and New Zealand and I definitely have to agree. You can just tell when you press play on his music.
The genre-bending artist is currently on tour around Australia and New Zealand, and plays his first headline show in Sydney tonight!
The 5 to 9 Life received an exclusive opportunity to interview Noah about his “melting pot” of sounds, his songwriting process and the differences he’s seen within music scenes around the world.
1. Introduce yourself.
Greetings world. I am n o a h s l e e.
2. You’re playing your first show (ever!) in Sydney this weekend! How do you feel and what can your fans expect?
This is my first headline show for real. I’ll be leaving everything on the stage so come and experience my experience.
3. Can you give up any insights in regards to your new record?
I will be dropping a single or two, potentially on vinyl. And when I’m feeling it, I’ll drop the full LP. I wrote the whole record in Berlin so the city’s influence plays a big part in the sound and stories. I can’t wait to start to share my music makings.
4. Walk us through your songwriting process – do you write lyrics to music or music to lyrics?
I usually write the music first then add lyrics. I do have pieces of paper with lyrics and poetry written. My phone is full of melodies, sounds, and lyrics/poetry and so is my laptop.. I have a lot of content and actually can’t keep up with it.
5. Your music has been described as a mix of contemporary soul, alternative R&B, future beats and a bit of indie electronica. Would you agree with this description; and which artists have influenced you to create that sound?
That’s quite a melting pot, haha.. I wish it was simpler, but I do like to experiment a lot with sounds and genres so I can relate to all of these. Thom Yorke (Radiohead) released a solo album a few years ago and this record totally changed my musical world.
I come from more of an organic background (jazz/soul/reggae) so to begin to discover electronica was so refreshing to me and I didn’t stop there I started creating it.
6. You’re from New Zealand, you’ve lived in Brisbane and you’re currently based in Berlin. Have you noticed [any] major differences within the music scenes of each city/country?
I think the music that is being created in Australia and New Zealand is very refreshing to the whole world; sometimes we don’t see this until someone cracks it overseas or we leave our nests.
Berlin is its own world within Europe so it is really exciting to be amongst all forms of art there. The streets speak; a city that has experienced so much has developed itself a very nice expressive and artistic culture and I am constantly inspired by Berlin. I am looking to spending more time in the UK and EU.
7. You worked with local German producers Kitschkrieg on the [currently untitled] new album. How did that collaboration come about?
It was unexpected. I was originally in Berlin to connect with a label and it didn’t work out in the end, which was totally fine.
While in Berlin I had connected with Fizzle (soul force) through Soundcloud who then invited me to the studio. Within a month, we had recorded 11 songs. I went back to Berlin a few months later and wrote a little more, which turned out to be a very fluid and creative experience.
8. Name five artists/musicians that you would love to collaborate with on a future record.
Justin Vernon (Bon Iver)
9. What element of yourself do you always put into your music?
All of it.. I am heavily inspired by new and old folk music. And I feel like I write like a folk artist sometimes because of this but the backing music is a different palate. When I perform live I am very honest and I also write about everything and anything so my music is very personal.
10. Pay it forward: What’s the best advice you’ve received that you would be happy to share with others?
These moments always seem to be drenched in cheese sauce… but the clichéd advice I read from other artists is completely relatable:
Music is simple but surviving from it can be a trip. Create what keeps you inspired internally and eventually your truths will attract the right ears.. In the meantime, work on your craft, [stay] +++ and be patient!