FAULT Magazine In Conversation with Saint Raymond

We are fast approaching April 16th and the release of Saint Raymond’s long-awaited second album, ‘We Forgot We Were Dreaming’.

Today Saint Raymond released his brand new track, ‘Soft Landing, ‘ which explores the musician’s tumultuous musical journey. Taken from his upcoming album, the track is hypnotic in its production despite the sometimes heavy subject matter.

We caught up with Saint Raymond to find out more about his upcoming music, musical journey and, of course, his FAULTs.

What was emotionally the hardest song to write on ‘We Forgot We Were Dreaming’?

Probably ‘Alright’ – it’s the first proper time I’ve spoken about mental health on a song. I wrote this song whilst away in Finland, working with some amazing people from across the world, so the whole week was very emotionally charged and the most beautiful week I’ve had in a long time. The meaning and lyrical process of that song for me probably made it the emotionally hardest to write but, in a weird way, the easiest at the same time because of the surroundings I was in. 

You explore mental health in track Alright, do you find songwriting to be a therapeutic relief through difficult times?

Yeah, definitely I’ve always been someone that’s found it hard to talk about stuff in general, not just mental health, so I think having an outlet like music is a massive relief for me and something I can put my words and emotion into.

As we approach the release to ‘We Forgot We Were Dreaming’, what would you say is the most nerve-wracking aspect about putting new music out there?

I think just the idea that you’ve put a lot into something – time and emotion, and then you kind of just hand it over to the world. There’s always part of you that will be worried about whether people like it or not, but I think having already released one album, a lot of those nerves have gone away, and it’s turned more into excitement to just release more music. 

How has lockdown impacted your songwriting?

Quite luckily for me, I’d finished my album coming into this, so I didn’t really have pressure to write a lot. However, I’ve always just enjoyed being around other people and being creative and having that side of it completely stripped away has been really hard, I think. I’m not a massive fan of the ‘zoom’ side of it all. It just takes away all the fun of being around people. 

What’s been the most challenging aspect of your musical journey so far?

Probably the transition from Album 1 to 2. I always said I didn’t want to be the artist that took ages in between records, but then I realised how difficult that is because when I wrote that first record, I was as young as 16, so that’s ten years ago! So trying to make sure that the music still felt like Saint Raymond but that it had also progressed was important to me, and that’s probably why I took so long; I wanted to make sure that it was right.

The music industry moves so quickly; was it difficult to spend the last two years crafting at your own pace?

Definitely, I think more than ever now the demand for music because of streaming and how easy it is to access music, people are always ready for the next song. You can release a song every week now if you really wanted to. So having to work at my own pace and take my time with it was difficult because I wanted to get it right, but I’m glad I did.

Do you ever think about who it is you’re making music for, and if so, who are they?

I think you always think “will people like this?” but my main thought I’ve always had with music has always been “do I enjoy it” because soon as you start making music that you don’t enjoy just becomes a chore and I don’t think music should ever be that.

How did your upbringing in Nottingham influence your artistry?

For me, it helped massively because Nottingham is great; it’s not over swamped, and you never feel like you’re lost. Still, it’s a good size city and, most importantly, filled with great venues from small ones right up to an arena and having played most of them, I can say they all are so important to Nottingham. I think, especially with what we’re going through at the minute, I hope they’re all here to stay. It’s also filled with really supportive people, so from my very first gig, I always had advice and people there to help me.

What is your FAULT?

Probably’ doubt’. I think that comes with making music because you often question the decisions you make with every song, so that’s probably not helped with my music.