As you learned in the first part of this interview, Seraph. just released a new album, Memento, with Tabula Rasa. While we discussed all things Memento in the first part, this second part details what the future holds for this ‘lofi wave’ artist, as well as his recovery from creative burnout.
If you need to catch up on this, you can find ‘Part One’ here.
As you read, be sure to take a peek at the album, linked below.
A continued conversation with Seraph.
AM: You had posted on social media about the “future of the Seraph. project” and your decision to step away from producing music after your album comes out. Are you open to talking a bit about this decision? Do you have any advice for other artists who find themselves in a similar spot?
Seraph.: Sure! So, this decision comes from wanting to explore other avenues of my life, as well as focusing on keeping my mental health in check. There are a lot of sacrifices involved in pursuing a passion like music, and it can really be overwhelming at times.
I didn’t create music as a potential career path; I did it because I wanted to express myself through art.
As fulfilling as it has been to be able to release an album I’m incredibly proud of, I feel like I’m in a great position to focus on my [actual] career. Like I said earlier, I felt pretty exhausted after finishing this album, so I feel like I need to recuperate before I commit to future music projects.
If I’m going to follow up this album, I want to make sure it feels like a new era of Seraph.
When I think of my favorite artists like Radiohead, Björk, Deftones, and so on, I think about how each of their albums feels like a distinct era within their catalogue. My favorite example here is Radiohead. When they released OK Computer to critical acclaim in 1997, they could have easily continued the formula from this album throughout the rest of their career. Instead, their follow up album Kid A was a significant departure [from the musical formula they had used previously]. [They focused] on experimenting with drum machines and synthesizers, as well as incorporating elements of ambient and IDM into their sound palette. I have so much respect for this level of artistic ambition, and it’s how I think they’ve maintained their legendary status over the years.
Hear for yourself.
Seraph.: Just to be clear–I am in no way comparing my work to Radiohead [laughs]. I just want to make sure that my return to music is justified.
As for giving advice to artists who feel similarly, I think it’s very important to know when to take a break. I feel like the current state of the music industry has conditioned us to feel like we need to be constantly creating music to maintain relevance.
I think this approach to art is very counter-productive, as forcing creativity when you’re not in the right headspace is sure to lead to burnout.
From my experience, you need to accept that there will be times where you need to prioritize self-care, and disconnecting from social media can help you stop comparing yourself to your peers.
I remember this time last year where I announced that I was just completely burnt out from making music–and then at the beginning of this year, I suddenly had an urge to open Ableton. Then after a week or so, I decided I was going to make an album.
My burnout didn’t last, and learning to indulge in my hobbies was the best thing I could have done for my music.
AM: How have you been managing this (creative) burnout post-release? What activities do you find to be the most restorative?
Seraph.: Honestly, I haven’t been too creative since sending my album off for distribution [laughs]. I’ve just been playing Guitar Hero and the piano, as well as indulging in some games and films.
For those who don’t know me, I am a huge fan of Zelda. It’s my favorite franchise ever, and the most recent release of Tears of The Kingdom was an absolute joy to experience. For about a week straight, I was playing that game with a huge smile glued to my face. I genuinely felt like I was too happy, and that I had to put the controller down to give my dopamine receptors a rest [laughs].
It was just a really great reward for finishing that album after months of work.
Also– if any Zelda fan is reading this–I’ve hidden a sample from Wind Waker in one track off my album. I’m very curious to see if people can point it out!
I also went to see Across The Spider-Verse on my own in the cinemas, and again, it was just such a great experience.
Seraph.: It’s been so great to indulge in art as a consumer again–especially when there’s so much love and passion being poured into it.
Similar to Zelda, experiencing this film on my own in the cinemas was just pure, unadulterated joy from start to end.
Since I’ve been spending a lot of time recently working towards a career in game audio, indulging in media such as these has been a huge source of motivation for me lately.
AM: Lastly, what is something you’re most looking forward to as the year comes to a close?
Seraph.: I’m not sure if there’s one thing I’m most looking forward to for the rest of this year, but I am excited to be starting what feels like a new phase of my life.
I don’t want to tempt fate, but I’m fully focusing on my career at this point. I really hope I can land my first job in game audio by the end of this year!
Creating this album has given me so much confidence that it made me realize that I am capable of a lot more than I previously thought. I really think that this boost in confidence will really help me elsewhere in life. So, I’m going to celebrate the release of Memento by getting a tattoo of a moth from the artwork–shoutout Meg Idle!
The victory lap doesn’t end there, though. My close friends and I are planning a road trip around the UK where we can record a bunch of footage on my family’s 25-year-old camcorder. I would absolutely love to go camping and immerse myself in nature, but I’m not sure if the weather will be in our favor for much longer.
I’m also planning on collaborating on some merch… now that the album is out.
Basically, I’m going to milk this album for all it’s worth while I still can [laughs].
Now that you know Seraph. a bit better, and have listened to his new album, it’s time to explore the rest of his offerings. Prior to Memento, the artist released a several singles as well as an EP. He also has mixes available on SoundCloud.
You can check out last year’s mix for vibe.digital, below.
Keep up with Seraph.:
Spotify | Soundcloud | Instagram | Twitter
Keep up with Tabula Rasa:
Bandcamp | Instagram | Twitter | Web
Looking for new music? Keep up with our weekly Spotify Playlist, Fresh Hunts. Updated every Friday with all the latest releases. Whether it’s the newest drops from Seraph., all your favorite artists, some old-school, or underground…we just want you to hear it.