Welcome to the feature where we talk to musicians and artists to find out in depth information about their brand new singles and music.
Today we speak to New York based artist SYTË about the brand new indie alt pop track Where Did The Love Go. The word SYTË means eyes in Albanian, the group is formed of vocalist Nita Kaja, Drin Tashi, Granit Havolli and Fatlind Ferati. I caught up with the group to find out all about it.
How did the song come about?
“Where Did the Love Go” was written after my first 6-foot-distanced outdoor meeting with a friend during quarantine in 2020. It had been about 3 months of only being able to see Drin (my bandmate and partner), since we live together, and I finally had the opportunity to meet (in the most restricted way possible… masks, physical distance, outdoor ambient) with one of my best friends. We hashed out all of our feelings about this insane global crisis and we began talking about how we feel so disconnected from ourselves and overall just extremely depressed from the circumstances at hand.
At the time, Drin and I were struggling in our relationship because we were both so frustrated by what was happening (we had just released our first full-length album and were supposed to go on a European tour but we were stuck in quarantine) and we tried to make up for these losses by attempting an obsessive level of productivity with our music. But I simply could not write! I was totally uninspired. I retreated into myself, and my first instinct was to blame my relationship for my unhappiness. This is a habit I had even before the pandemic, but being stuck at home 24/7 forced me to finally acknowledge this issue and confront it. After speaking to someone new for the first time in forever, the lyrics just started pouring out of me and the song was born!
How long did it take to write?
The lyrics came out in about 10 minutes, but we took our time building up the layers and fine tuning them. This song has been in the works for almost two years now! We really gave ourselves the space to let this piece settle. Rushing through a song and releasing it without allowing the time to absorb it leads to a lot of “I wish we had done ___ differently..”. We’ve officially adopted this principle as a part of our writing process moving forward.
What is the main theme of the song?
The song is basically about me acknowledging and admitting my unhappiness about my circumstances at the time. I thought my relationship was the problem but the real problem was hidden within me and my repressed frustrations about the pandemic, quarantining, and losing all the opportunities I had been working and looking toward for the past year.
What about the production process, what was the most tricky thing about recording the track?
The trickiest thing about this track was knowing when to finally release it. We were so preoccupied with fine tuning it that it almost became difficult to settle on a release date.
How do you approach a new song in the studio?
It really depends. I have a whole reservoir of poetry, random thoughts, interesting sayings, etc. in my notebooks, so sometimes I’ll just piece together fragments of lyrics to accompany a tune that Drin composes. Sometimes I’ll write something from beginning to end on the spot and Drin will compose a song based on that. Sometimes we sit down and build a song together, lyrics and all.
How do you feel on the release day of a new song?
Extremely anxious yet wildly excited. Getting a lot of attention makes me wanna throw my phone out the window and go off the grid. But then 5 minutes later I’m obsessively checking and feeding off the influx of notifications coming in by fans and listeners. Definitely a highly charged day.
How do you think your fans are going to react to the new track?
Before we released it, we were sure the fans would be pleasantly surprised. This song ventures slightly out of our typical style, though it is still very “SYTË”. And we were right! We’re getting a lot of positive feedback on it which is always so amazing to see and hear.
Tell us about the music video? What was the inspiration?
I really wanted to portray how trapped, anxious, and helpless I felt during the time I wrote this song. I felt like a backseat passenger in my own vehicle, or life. Days started blending into each other and I sometimes couldn’t tell what was a dream and what was my reality, and I think that’s clearly shown in the video, too. Gregory Crewdson was a huge inspiration for the music video. His photography perfectly captures the melancholy I felt then. His photography spoke to me like no other piece of art. We sprinkled Hitchcock and Kubrick elements in there when emphasizing the anger and anxiety I felt, too.
Was it fun to film?
Working with your friends is always the greatest fun. Shout out to my co-director Andi Gola and our DOP Agon Mehmeti.
What is your favourite lyric in the track?
“I’m lightyears away from what I perceive”. I often experience derealization and I think this lyric perfectly describes that.
For those who are new to your music, where can they find you on social media?
@syte___ on instagram, tiktok, and twitter! Syteband.com is our website.
Finally three words why people should listen to your new single?
Because I want them to. “Please and thanks”