Gear Talks: serpentwithfeet

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Gear Talks: serpentwithfeet

Image by Denzel Golatt
Words by Mixdown staff

The new serpentwithfeet single "Damn Gloves" precedes the album GRIP, the new single "Safe Word" offering a little more of the forthcoming album.

The last few years has seen serpentwithfeet slowly rising through the ranks, building a reputation as both a stellar songwriter and production as well as writing songs that honour the spaces that kept him safe and accepted him when growing up.

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“Safe Word” ushers in a new era for serpent personally and sonically, one that he unveils on GRIP, a striking body of work that is brimming with poise and tenacity in a fully realised form proving to be his best work to date. GRIP celebrates and fosters the spirit and magic of Black queer nightlife while also honouring the communities that are nurtured within the walls of these intimate spaces and the monumental impact that they have on the lives of many people on the margins.

Congrats on the release of “Damn Gloves”! How and where did writing for this one begin? 

We started creating this song in Los Angeles a few years ago. Then gradually we added layers to the cake. The song began with bassline and drums and then it began to grow into something larger. 

How do you usually begin writing? 

Honestly, the genesis of each song is different. Sometimes I begin on piano, sometimes it’s exploring sounds with a bunch of producers in the room. For me there’s no prescribed process.

We understand “Damn Gloves” is a deeply personal song about closeness in romantic relationships. What made Ty Dolla $ign & Yanga Yaya the right choice to feature on it?

I’m a fan of both Ty Dolla $ign AND Yanga YaYa so I knew they would bring so much additional magic to the song. 

Your forthcoming album GRIP honours the Black queer nightlife that gives people a safe space within the walls of clubs. Are there any clubs or spaces in particular you feel aligned with?

GRIP honors club spaces that prioritize Black gay and queer men;  this album also honors the private spaces where lovers feel comfortable and safe. I wanted to celebrate the body and physical closeness. 

You’ve had huge success as a songwriter and collaborator – how do you think this influences or impacts your own music?

Thank you so much. I learn so much from each collaboration. Working with other brilliant artists makes me a stronger creator and I’m so grateful for the experiences.

Is your writing process the same across different projects or is it a tailored approach?

There’s no singular approach. Every project is different.

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How was “Damn Gloves” recorded, mixed and ultimately mastered? Did you book out a studio for a block of time or do it piece by piece?

“Damn Gloves” was mixed by Mike Irish and mastered by Tony Dawsey. The song was recorded and produced in a lot of different places.

Was this a similar workflow for the whole album?

The album was worked on in multiple settings which I think helped supply the project with variety.

Keep up with serpentwithfeet here.