On the heels of his newest video release for the intimate track “The Man I Am”, we got a chance to sit down and chat with singer-songwriter SYNES. His newest promotional clip is a somber and simple, yet introspective three and a half minute work of art. Directed by Carlo Anthony Media, it challenges gender stereotypes and allows you to find the grays in the stark black and white scenes and revel in the buoyant colors of the saturated secret world of SYNES.
CHAUNCEY: Hello SYNES. Congratulations on the new video for “Man I Am”. It’s beautiful! How did the concept for the video come about and who helped you make it happen?
SYNES: Hi Chauncey! Thank you so much! It’s been a labor of love. We wanted to abstractly capture the complex emotions that we humans go through in self-discovery especially in the wake of a traumatic loss. My brilliant director Carlo Anthony and my label president, Michael M helped me bring the vision to life.
C: There are moments in this video where you are giving us some major modern dance freestyle moments. Do you have a dance background?
S: I do actually! I studied and trained at the Rock School of Dance in Philadelphia when I was in high school. I’ve always loved dancing as a form of expression!
C: Obviously this song is very personal to you and it shows. Tell me about your inspiration for the song and the video.
S: It’s very much is. This song was written as a thank you to my late mother who sadly passed in 2017, who even though she battled with alcoholism and depression, still did the best that she could as a mother and I wanted to immortalize that message to her in a song. The inspiration or perspective starts immediately after her death as I am going through her house and cleaning up her things.
C: You’re a busy boy bouncing around to different parts of the country to perform and have been hitting the New Orleans scene quite often. What makes NOLA so special to you that keeps you going back?
S: NOLA has such a vibrant music and art scene unlike any other I have experienced before. The vibe is just so inviting and it feels like a family down there. I also have made some great friends in the music scene down there which keeps me coming back for sure. 😉
C: Your music definitely has a new wave and a somewhat gothic vibe to it. Who were some of your most unexpected musical influences growing up?
S: Oh so many. I was very much into the goth/industrial scene in Philadelphia so my influences reflect that. But I also loved disco and house. So my early influences ranged from Donna Summer to acts like Underworld and Nitzer Ebb to opera and Irish fiddle music. I Definitely had an eclectic taste in music growing up.
C: What would you consider your greatest accomplishment so far as an artist?
S: My greatest accomplishment thus far as an artist has to be reaching top 40 (#38) on the Billboard chart my first time on.
C: A lot of people ask musicians what is next for them, are you someone who thinks of your upcoming goals or do you stay in the moment with each new project?
S: I have to think of the long game, you know because I’m not getting any younger. However, I have so much going on at any given time that my head is usually in the now and I’m being yelled at to think of the future. haha
C: There’s a beautiful moment in the video where you are dressed in colorful sequins and sporting some impossible heels. Considering the title of the song, how do you feel about gender and its place in society and the LGBTQ community?
S: Awww thank you! Those heels were a nightmare to walk those boxes with. You know I thought about that for that exact part… “how would this be received?” And really to me the only reason it’s the “man” I am is that that is how I personally Identify. My pronouns are Insignificant really, You can say He/ His or She/her Or They/ Them I don’t really mind, But I identify as a Queer Man, but again to me, these are just words. To some, they are more than that. I feel comfortable wearing heels and a sequined jacket. Who cares? If I’m not hurting you what business is it of yours what I wear to express myself? And that is how I feel about that part. It’s really all about how you want to identify. It’s really about how you feel inside, not what society dictates you’re supposed to wear. So if we’re saying that the LGBTQIA community is a community of how we identify, then absolutely gender and gender identification have a place within the LGBTQIA community.
C: Finally, where’s the best place for listeners to find your music and support your artistic endeavors?
S: Wherever digital music is sold! Apple Music, Itunes, Spotify (follow me), Instagram @iamsynes, Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, Google Play.
Check out SYNES’ brand new video for “The Man I Am”