Singer / Songwriter Garvie has just released his debut self-produced single 'Bad Person'.
Garvie spent too much time playing video games during lockdown, now he's trapped in one. The new single reflects his new world, fusing a guitar-based hook-laden chorus with generous scatterings of bit-crushed synths and videogame-style sound effects. The production brings Glass Animals to mind, the melody and lyrics encapsulate the fun and energy of early Wombats tunes and the straight-forward vocal delivery evokes shades of Panic! but with an unapologetically British accent and delivery.
Garvie's brutally honest and literal lyrics leave no room for misinterpretation - but his tongue somehow remains firmly in cheek. In 'Bad Person', he silences his critics by agreeing wholeheartedly with them.
We spoke to Garvie on the release and more as part of our Introducing series...
Introduce yourself and tell us a bit about you!
"I’m a singer-songwriter/producer who got trapped in a videogame! I used to play live a lot in London and write for other artists, but since lockdown started last year I got very introspective and used the time to learn to produce and also to play way too many games… and now I’m here stuck inside one. But I kinda like it to be honest."
Where are you from and what’s your favourite thing about it? Do you feel as though your surroundings have inspired your sound in any way?
"I’m from London, but this new sound really came about when we were all in lockdown last year. It was obviously a bad time, but it was a perfect opportunity for me to really try to develop a style of my own – I usually collaborate quite often but I didn’t have much chance to in lockdown so what came out is very ‘me’. London itself has definitely inspired my songwriting though – I spent years on the open mic scene and you see some incredibly talented people out there, so I think all of the people I used to do that with have left their mark on me in some way."
When did you start making music?
"I’ve been making music of one kind or another since I was about 8, but I really started seriously dedicating myself writing pop music in 2013."
Who are your biggest inspirations?
"Anyone who writes great music really. I love proper pop stuff, and I write for other artists too so I’d put writers and producers like Ryan Tedder, Max Martin, Benny Blanco or Jack Antanoff in there. Artists-wise I’m very much a new music person so the inspirations change really often – I get bored quickly. A few recent inspirations are Little Simz, Griff, Dan D’Lion, Royal Blood and Remi Wolf. Wow, that’s 9 people! Sorry, bit of a cop-out."
Who would be your dream artist to collaborate with?
"Daft Punk, I can’t imagine a more fun artist to collaborate with. Shame they split up, I’m convinced they would’ve called otherwise."
You’ve just released your debut single ‘Bad Person’! Tell us a little about it!
"I have! It’s the first thing I’ve produced myself which I’ve actually released, and it’s about being yourself even if you’re a ‘bad person’ and just owning your choices. Everyone is scared of being branded as ‘bad’, but I think we’re all always in a grey area between that and being ‘good’ and we all make bad choices sometimes, so we shouldn’t be so scared of it. The title is a big, cinematic, Hollywood-type phrase which I really liked and that’s what started the ball rolling. The sound of it again is pretty OTT – lots of huge distorted guitars balanced out with a few retro gaming-style sound effects, and BVs everywhere because I can never resist myself with them. It was mixed by Jamie Biles who is a really, really talented producer and songwriter – he’s worked on some of the future singles I’ve got in the pipeline too. It was mastered by Cicely Balston who I’ve been working with for years now and she always does a brilliant job."
Do you have a favourite lyric or part of the track and why?
"I really like the second verse – it goes into a double-time beat that sounds a bit drum-and-bass-y to my ears. The line at the end of that verse is my favourite – “was born like this, it will say on my grave I’m a bad person”. It’s just so overblown and ridiculous, I hope it doesn’t say that on my grave."
It’s accompanied by a music video - what was the inspiration behind the visuals?
"In January I was desperate to find a big project just to keep me sane, so I had the idea to make an 8-bit videogame for a music video despite not being able to draw and not having any idea how to program (I still can’t draw). I started and got really addicted to It, and after a couple of months I’d managed to make something that looked OK with the help of hundreds of YouTube tutorials. It really went up a gear when Vicente Nitti come on board to draw and animate the Garvie character – once he’d made that, I loved it too much not to keep using it in my socials and everywhere else. The story follows Garvie, a musician who is so desperate for a record deal that he ends up killing for it… no idea where I got that idea from. It’s irreverent and silly, and I think we could all use a bit of that right now! It’s out on June 2nd!"
What’s coming next for you?
"I’ve got some more singles ready to go after this one’s out which will make up my first EP, so there’ll be some fun new videos for those coming really soon. Once things go ‘back to normal’ out there in the real world I’m looking forward to playing live too, although it’s going to take a bit of time to work out to do that since I’m now animated!"
'Bad Person' is out now.
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