Synthwave Sunday: SJae, “Acid Rain” (Featuring Hilaire)
Women are few and far between in the record production field, something British-born SJae (aka Sammy Jay) hopes and actively campaigns to change.
Her four-song debut EP, First, which will come out in March, is a big step in the right direction. With bangers like the EP’s lead single “Acid Rain” — featuring a vocal assist from Hilaire (Hilary Bernstein), SJae’s long-time neighbor in West Hollywood — it’ll be no time before the world stops to take notice. SJae explains:
“The purpose of my project is to show women can produce records, create more content and more visibility for us, so we can encourage other women to enter into the field. There are very few female record producers out there; in fact, I just gave an interview for a USC study funded by Spotify about why there are so few female producers in the industry. I believe we haven’t been encouraged to be technical within the creative industry. The assumption is that women exist only as performers, singers and songwriters, the introduction of a women who produces music, ‘makes beats’ etc. is met with surprise and a sometimes not so subtle air of disbelief, followed by much questioning on tech – ‘What software do you use?’ “Do you really know how to mix a really fat kick drum?’ etc.”
“I believe that if you don’t see yourself represented out there in the public media, you internalize the idea that you don’t belong there, or that there is no opportunity for you in that arena. I want to change that.”
“Acid Rain” was most likely conceptualized as a pop track, not synthwave, but its use of old-school analog tones and its ’80s nostalgic glow gave it the unmistakable aura of our favorite genre. Hilaire’s vocal hook is the icing on the cake, a positively infectious chorus that can hang with anything on pop radio right now.
Jam it below and stay tuned for the release of First in March. Keep up with SJae on Facebook.