Monday, March 23, 2020

An EXCLUSIVE Q&A with THE SESHEN’s Lilan St. Juste


THE SESHEN’s Lilan St. Juste

STEPHEN SPAZ SCHNEE: CYAN is just about to be released. How are you feeling about the album and the reaction to it so far?
LALIN ST. JUSTE: We are thrilled to be releasing new music. The reaction thus far has been positive and we can't wait to connect to our audience with these new expressions of ourselves.

SPAZ: The album blends many genres and touches on many different emotions. What is the songwriting process like? Does the music dictate the direction of the lyrics or vice versa?
LALIN: The songwriting process takes many forms.  Usually the music comes first... and it may illicit an emotion and the words will come from that. We love being expansive with our sound and exploring the vast human experience. It’s a constant exercise to be vulnerable and see what and how we can share ourselves.

SPAZ: Which artists influenced the band’s sound? There’s a really nice blend of American Pop and Soul with British Electronica and Dance.
LALIN: We’ve been influenced by a lot of artists and our influences are all over the place. The past couple of years we’ve been listening to Mount Kimbie, Smerz, King Krule, Channel Tres, Earl Sweatshirt, Peggy Gou, Tirzah, Broadcast, Radiohead, Jessy Lanza, Erykah Badu, Jai Paul... We love anything that embraces honesty and a bit of weirdness.

SPAZ: In many ways, the album may contain some dark and emotional moments yet it is still filled with a sense of hope. What inspired the lyrical approach to this album?
LALIN: The reality is that a lot of us go through a hard time... overthinking, sadness, anger... being uncertain of who we are. My art is a process of unraveling this and finding resilience through introspection and connection to others. This is the healing process; sharing stories, digging up what is buried within. I’m trying to let a lot of things go and embrace who I am, and this record is a part of that process.

SPAZ: It has been over three years since the release of your second album, FLAMES & FIGURES (2016). While that album was quite an accomplished affair, CYAN is a bigger, bolder project. Did you approach the songwriting and recording differently with this album?
LALIN: We decided to go less pop and add some rock influence. We wanted to feel more grounded and direct. I wanted to explore different parts of my voice that I don’t normally share. We took some time to step away, working and writing in Mt. Shasta, one of our favorite places. We really wanted to let ourselves not be bound to any expectations yet we knew we didn’t want to stay in the same place as the last record. I am always asking myself - how can I share more of who I am? And what haven’t I done before?

SPAZ: “Dive” and “Don’t Answer” have already been released as singles. Do you normally decide what songs will be released as singles/featured tracks or do you leave that to the minds at your label, Tru Thoughts?
LALIN: Deciding to release which songs is s collaborative process. We share songs with our musical peers as well. We work with Tru Thoughts to see what would be best and trust their opinion.

SPAZ: On the same subject, is there a particular track on CYAN that you feel is the perfect gateway song for someone that is unfamiliar with The Seshen?

LALIN: “Dive” is a good gateway song because it is energetic and has an appeal that many people seem to relate to. It gets folks moving.

SPAZ: The album is a wonderfully produced blend of electronics, real instruments, and pure heart. Is it easy to transfer the feeling of these recordings to a live setting when you go on tour?
LALIN: We have a method of transferring songs to the live setting that ensures the electronic elements and production value of the recordings. The songs are then free to take on a life of their own and the emotions have more room to play as we bounce off the energy of the crowd.

SPAZ: What’s next for The Seshen?
LALIN: We are looking forward to putting out CYAN and connecting to more people. We are also always writing, so we are continuing to explore who we are sonically and how to push our sound forward.

SPAZ: What are you currently spinning on your CD/record players?
LALIN: Currently listening to: Mavi, Exploded View, Archy Marshall, Angel Olsen, MIKE, Teebs, Slauson Malone.

Thanks to Lalin St. Juste
Additional thanks to Steve Dixon and Dave Rayburn


Available NOW!

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