Los Angeles-based artist Saro has been intricately preparing his debut EP, a work titled In Loving Memory that is due out tomorrow. Production on this work must have been an incredible experience, as the list boasts both David Burris and Robin Hannibal. Saro had a large part in the entire undertaking, and the EP is the first release on his very own label, Mateo Sound. But before any of it is available to the public, we’ve got your exclusive first listen to the seven track wonder.
We nabbed a few moments with Saro himself to get some insight into the release.
What’s the Saro origin story?
Aren’t origin stories for superheroes? I haven’t discovered my powers yet. Saro is the veil separating the ideal me from the real me. Saro is the shield I hide behind in the event of failure… or success. I am Saro but Saro is not me. The name was inspired by “Pretty Girls Make Graves” by The Smiths. “And sorrow’s native son he will not smile for anyone.”
When did you choose to pursue music? Was there an “aha” moment?
I’ve been singing all my life but I was a closet singer. Only my parents and sister knew and they tried to get me to pursue something but I was too busy playing video games and riding my Razor scooter. I was shy and didn’t think I was good enough. When I was 19 my friend Simone Battle broke me out of my shell a bit when she forced me to sing and write with her. My “aha” moment was the first time I worked with good friend and long time collaborator David Burris. With him I felt I could reach a new depth of expression when writing. Making music became something I had to do for my health.
In Loving Memory is exquisite. Do you have any fun anecdotes from the recording process, by chance?
Thank you! Hmm well the first night after building the Mateo Sound studio, where In Loving Memory was recorded, we opened a Pro Tools session and named it “Test” to make sure everything had been wired correctly. “TEST” was born and the name became sentimental so we kept it. The song took 2 years to finish.
Early versions of “Looking” were made up of ONLY sounds derived from sampling one vocal take of me singing “I hope you find what you’re looking for”. We boxed ourselves in for fun and the song took forever to make. Even the percussion used was from effecting spit pop sounds and breaths between vocals. Later, we decided to round out the song by writing verses and a bridge and added more substantial kicks. If you listen closely you can hear that the majority of the production atmosphere was created from samples of that one vocal.
Do you have a favorite song off In Loving Memory?
That would be like picking a favorite child. But, I just looked in my iTunes library and the one I’ve listened to most is “Two Suns”. I’m rehearsing for live shows right now and my favorite song to perform is “Rampart”.
“Two Suns” has the only two word title on the work. Was there a specific reason you made an exception for it?
Not really. Every song on the project with the exception of “Looking” was named before any production or writing took place. “Two Suns” was named by David and he was inspired by the Star Wars desert planet Tatooine.
How did it feel to get such amazing media attention for “Test” and “Looking”?
Honestly it just feels crazy to have music out in the world and it is surreal that people are receptive. I feel thankful and eager to make more music.
What do you hope people feel when they listen to In Loving Memory?
When I wrote In Loving Memory I was stumbling in and out of depression. When I listen to music inspired by loss and trauma I feel a sense of solidarity and it makes me feel better. That is what I hope people feel… like they’re not alone in their suffering.