We’re only in the third month of 2017 and we’ve been blessed with some amazing music. We’ve gotten two drops from Future, a new album from Migos, Sampha came back to give us a piece of his heart and R&B princess, Kehlani, dropped her debut album as well! I love all of the new albums, however, some of the most notable releases belong to The Internet’s Syd, Matt Martians and Steve Lacy’s individual projects.
When the group’s solo ventures were first announced, everyone immediately clutched their pearls, ready to shed a tear in fear of The Internet breaking up. Syd assured us that that isn’t happening, as we should be expecting an album from them this spring. It’s commendable of the group to do their own thing in music and still come back together to create amazing music. It truly proves this is a different era of music and not every group has to break up to achieve solo careers.
In an interview with Pharrell Williams on his Beats1 Radio show, OTHERtone, Syd mentions with these individual projects, you will be able to decipher who contributes what aspects to The Internet as a whole. At first, that sounded strange to me because, as naive as it sounds, I never thought of The Internet as separate entities coming together to create their sound. But the first three expected solo projects from Matt Martians, Syd and Steve Lacy have released, the contributions of style, swag and originality that is offered from each individual are clear as day.
Let’s break it down:
This drop was exciting because hearing Matt Martians in his element is always amazing. Being a musician who doesn’t use samples is almost rare these days, so it’s always cool to see what Matt creates. On the very last song of the 12 track album, he makes sure to let us know this will be his only album. I high key think he should reconsider. I like to classify his sound as Funky, Trip-Hop and R&B. His synth sounds and drums always create a colorful image in my mind. He definitely contributes to the breakdowns and funkiness of most of the Internet’s tracks. But, let’s not forget Matt’s voice–his ability to hold an off-key tone to match his synths are impressing as hell. Although he usually has only a few lines in most of his songs, they are the true definition of a vibe. Nothing more is needed with his instrumentals. This album shows the pure influence he had on The Internet’s very first project in 2011, Purple Naked Ladies– when the Internet only consisted of him and Syd. Matt mentions how he went back to his childhood home to record this album and I totally get the nostalgic feeling of sitting in my room trying to write my own songs when I was younger.
Favortie tracks: “Where Are Yo Friends,” “Southern Isolation,” “Callin’ on Me”
Syd – Fin
As exciting as this release was, I don’t think anyone expected Syd’s debut solo album to be this good. Syd executes, what seems to be, a journal of thoughts on ego, sexuality, anxiety and more. Syd has a magical way of relating to just about anyone through her music. Listening to this album makes me feel that much closer to her. Syd’s lyrics are simple, to the point and relevant– showing that she definitely rules the writing for the Internet’s songs. One thing I have always admired about Syd is her ability to not care. Her transparency is what helps make her and the music so much more relatable because there is no filter. What you see is what you get. She’s always been herself before the Internet was well known. I love how she embraces her sexuality and sings about it openly, normalizing homosexuality in mainstream music.
Favorite Tracks: “Know,” “Nothing To Something,” “Over,” “Insecurities”
Steve Lacy – Steve Lacy’s Demo EP
While I knew Steve Lacy as the guitarist of The Internet, I couldn’t anticipate what to expect from him as an individual artist. With him being the youngest member–he just graduated from high school last year–I also wondered what would come from him as an individual. What I was certain of is the combination of how handsome he keeps getting and his talent with the guitar makes a sure recipe for a heartthrob. When he released his six track EP, I quickly learned that my recipe assumption was right. I can tell Steve is an innovator who tries to play around with the sounds created. I think he may even contribute to some of the melodies to the Internet’s songs in combination with Syd. He definitely has an old soul and that can be seen in the composition of his music. Although it’s hard to nail what genre he may fall into, his soul reminds me of late ’70s funk mixed with modern R&B. And his voice? Cool enough to put the ladies into a trance. The most notable thing about this demo? Most of it was recorded right on his iphone!
The context, quality and composition of the songs are absolutely amazing. I can’t wait to see more from him as an individual artist as people are already calling him a musical genius.
Favorite Tracks: The. Whole. Damn. Demo.