Exclusive Interview: Brent Faiyaz breaks down ‘Sonder Son’ track-by-track
Over the past year, 22-year-old Baltimore singer Brent Faiyaz has become a hotly-tipped name amongst R&B fans.
Through an initially low-key project he put together with producers Dpat and Atu as Sonder and a feature on GoldLink’s now platinum record ‘Crew’, the writer and vocalist has watched his hard-work pay off.
As notoriety begins to unravel organically before him, the reaction to recent work has surprised even Brent himself as he’s faced sold-out venues across the US on Sonder’s first headline tour.
Now he’s taken the next step in sharing his story, releasing his autobiographical solo album Sonder Son, which sees him delve even deeper as a writer, with topics spanning his high school days, relationships, materialism, work ethic and even a song from the point of view of his mother.
So far his voice has largely been the topic of conversation, but with Sonder Son Brent’s penmanship takes the main stage. During an afternoon at home in L.A., he kindly took the time to break down the album track-by-track for us…
I started off where I’m super super into the music, I guess it’s like my high school days. It talks about when I first get introduced to music and fell out of school, pretty much where my head was at that point.
‘Gang Over Luv’
I talk about my loyalty to my friends at that point. A young n***a still trying to figure it out.
‘Burn One (Interlude)’
‘Burn One’ is a song I wrote about this girl I went to high school with, who I was really good friend with. I knew a lot about her and a lot of people would say s**t about her, but they didn’t really know much.
‘First World Problemz/ Nobody Carez’
‘First World Problemz’ was originally a song I wrote called ‘Death and Designer’ and it was about not wanting to die broke. I took a trip to [the Dominican Republic] and the s**t that I thought mattered didn’t really matter no more, so I flipped the whole concept into people being ungrateful for the s**t that they do have.
And then it goes into the song ‘Nobody Carez’ which is about thinking that s**t matters when it doesn’t, it goes into the concept that I’d just had when I flipped the last song. It’s a point of realisation.
‘First World Problemz/ Nobody Carez’ and ‘Missing Out’ are about when I moved to Charlotte. In those two songs I’m just working; I’ve got a job and I’m trying to figure it out. So ‘Missing Out’ is when I’m back and forth between L.A. and Charlotte, North Carolina. I wrote it in conversation between me and a girl that I’m trying to kick it with.
I guess I wrote it pretty much after ‘Missing Out’. The same girl I’m trying to kick it with in track five is the same one that I’m talking to in track six. We worked it out, we’re just trying to establish our loyalty.
I pretty much found love and then moved to the city that everything happens in. This one is about me in L.A. grinding, trying to see where I wanted to go with this music s**t while I was dead ass broke.
‘Talk To You’
This is a real bouncy, party record. That s**t is about when you see a girl in the club or whatever and you try to go up and approach her, but you don’t really know how to approach her because everybody always go up and say the same s**t to her.
‘Sonder Son (Interlude)’
It’s real personal for me. That one’s pretty much when you f**king with a girl and you don’t want to make her the only one. So she tries to tell you that the relationship is incorrect. But you’re not really doing nothing wrong, she’s just personally biased because she wants to be with you. That’s what that’s about.
‘So Far Gone/ Fast Life Bluez’
I wrote that from my mom’s perspective. She’ll call me and say certain things about how I’m living, or that she’s been trying to get hold of me but she can’t get in contact. So I wrote that from her talking to me.
‘Needed’ is about people trying to come around after it’s already easy to tell that this s**t is going well. So you’ve been grinding and grinding and nobody wants to tell you that you have something special, and then the moment everybody sees it, that’s when they want to be like ‘Oh I always knew.’ Where were you at when you was needed?
‘All I Want’
It’s just finding someone that you love, that you f**k with, and then rocking with them. It’s real easygoing.
Brent Faiyaz’ Sonder Son is out now via Lost Kids.