Interviews

BLESSED is creating more freely and the results are magnificent

Since signing to Matt Corby’s new label Rainbow Valley Records, BLESSED has taken the chance to show off his outstanding talents with his new single No Changes.

No Changes is perfectly described by BLESSED as an “anthemic commentary on what seems like an endless battle”.

The single sounds a little different to what you’ve heard before from the songwriter, which only highlights the important messaging further.

BLESSED has also released a documentary-style music video to accompany the single that gives the viewer an evocative view of his world.

HAPPY: Okay BLESSED, let’s speak about your new single, No Changes, it’s fantastic, wow. Great job, I love it, it’s stuck in my head right now – that’s always a good sign. I wanted to know first of all when did you write it? How long ago?

BLESSED: I wrote that song in 2020, like around the start of 2020 so it was towards the end of the bushfires and then towards the beginning of, life as we know it today.

HAPPY: Yeah. Wow okay. Yeah so, it’s interesting because you know, it feels like you’ve just written it because of everything that’s been happening in the last couple of years since. So, very interesting. I know that, you know, the song, it is quite optimistic, it covers so many issues that the world’s going through, a lot of things that are driving people crazy and it’s clearly made you quite emotional because you can hear that in the single. Yeah, but as I said, there is a hopeful air to it, but at the end of the day, it’s still called No Changes, so I guess I’m wondering – do you have a sense of optimism about humanity? Not to get too deep too quickly.

BLESSED: Yeah, I love deep, I love deep, I’m not one for small talk. Yeah, to me I feel like I do have a sense of hope for the future and like, for us as humans, but it’s mainly because of the younger generation. Gen Z, the way they come together like, it’s still on the internet, but the way that they’ve come together… there’s no more boundaries in terms of like either like gender or you know, preference, or religion or where you’re from, what colour your skin is, they don’t really care about that as much as we did or the Baby Boomers before us. But like, I feel like there’s like so much change happening right? That’s the kind of ironic thing about the song, it’s called No Changes, but I feel like there’s so much change happening, but then at the same time the system isn’t changing, we’re still living in a fricken ancient world where we are all new thinkers now and we’re all innovative in different ways but the actual system we live in hasn’t changed in like the last 200 years or more.

HAPPY: Yeah, yeah absolutely. It’s definitely something that, you know, you’re commenting on, and people are commenting on – it is changing. How on earth can we change the system?

BLESSED: I’ve got no idea. I feel like if we finally get this, it’s like, it’s a community thing, you know what I mean?  If we come together as a people and we… we’re the ones that really have the… we have the power to affect that change and, you know, it starts with the individual first of all, you know, you change yourself, you change your environment, you change your mindset, and then you start to change the people around you, and that has a ripple effect on, you know, communities, it has a ripple effect on countries and societies, but like it… yeah, it starts with the individual, but we all just got to wake up and come together and just like take over, you know.

HAPPY: Haha, yep, yep, I think that’s spot on, it’s pretty cool as well, you know, to be putting music out there that can help influence that especially on the initial individual level but like, it’s music, you listen to music with people, so it becomes like a community thing. Very cool.

BLESSED: Thank you.

HAPPY: Yeah, of course. So, No Changes, it’s very melodic so, other than of course the pretty serious lyrical content, it feels like it is a bit different to your other singles, your other songs, and I think that helps the message stand out a lot, but I guess I’m just wondering from a music standpoint if you were listening to anything different while you were writing it, or like, what your influences were?

BLESSED: At the time, I can’t really remember what I was listening to. I have the worst memory; I can’t remember what I did last week. But like… just more, I don’t know, I don’t know what I was going through or what I was feeling but it’s more so, when I make music, it’s based on feeling, it’s all about like… because I’m an empath, it’s more like I feel so much all the time and then I channel it into my time in the studio and that’s kind of like my therapy as well – it’s my way of letting out emotions that might not even be mine, I just might be around people that, you know, are probably going through something or they’ll tell me about something they’re going through and that weighs heavy on my shoulders and then I kind of find ways to, you know, to release those emotions, to release those thoughts through music. So it’s not really like I’ve been like listening to certain artists and I feel inspired by them, but also at the same time I was definitely inspired by Tupac because I love Tupac and his messages and like his duality of being such a revolutionary but also like, you know, thug life and a gangster, and like just a regular person in, you know, the early 90s, so it’s like for me, that… yeah I resonate a lot with Tupac and his message for, just bringing people together.

HAPPY: Yeah, and he definitely struck a really good balance of that, like, exactly what you’re saying, being able to kind of talk about just this huge stuff and then also what’s going on with him, that’s great. I can totally hear that influence in your music overall. Very cool. Do you think then, with that writing style, because you’re an empath and you know, you’re getting all these things coming from every different person, do you tend to write about other people’s stories a lot more?

BLESSED: Yeah. Yeah I do, I mean, I guess most of my music is introspective, but then I do have a lot of songs where like, I’ve finished a song, because before I didn’t write my music it was more just like freestyle, I just get on the microphone and whatever comes out, comes out. Then I listen to the start of it again and be like ‘I don’t feel like that at all, I’ve never been through that elation’ and then it’s like, I’m very big on awareness and self-analysis as well so I definitely look… I mediate a lot so I look within to be like ‘oh maybe this stems from this and this stems from that’ but then I end up figuring out, oh it’s from like, my friend who just got out of such a bad relationship, and it’s like such a toxic environment that she was in, and that weighed heavy on me because like I feel… I feel connected to people that I really love or that I’m around, so it’s like… I feel like, when I’m making music, it’s from me but it’s not, it’s like about someone else, from someone else, but it channels through me and then I kind of have my own perspective on it because we all live in a mono experience, so I don’t know the actual… I don’t know exactly what it’s like to be said person and go through said thing, but I do know how that person’s feelings made me feel internally and I just figure a way of voicing that over a cool beat or something.

HAPPY: That’s incredible, I couldn’t think of a better job for you then. You’re nailing it. Good. Okay, the main guitar riff in this song, is that a sample or did you write that?

BLESSED: Nah, so that was written by a good friend of mine Chunky, Chunky Luv. So, he sent me like… that’s how the whole song started actually, just with that guitar riff. So, he saw that guitar riff and then I’d like freestyled the chorus over the riff, didn’t have any drums, didn’t have any… anything else and that’s how I knew the song was special because it was like, I could listen to it, just guitar and just my vocals and feel something, you know what I mean?

HAPPY: Yeah.

BLESSED: So, yeah, I’m glad you pointed that out because that’s like my favourite part of the song, the guitar riff.

HAPPY: Yeah, I mean everything… I can tell that it started there because everything just follows it and like I said, it’s just in my head, it’s awesome. It’s really cool. Okay, so I want to know a bit more about the music video as well – where did you get the footage from because there’s so much!

BLESSED: Yeah, so much footage. I guess most of it was filmed in my area, like Blacktown and New South Wales, with like my friends, my family… it’s the first time having my family involved in anything I do musically, so it’s really special. And then also just like random people, like, just everyday people around the street in Blacktown and then mix that with footage from the bushfires because that’s around the time I was writing this song and then all the protests that we had for like Black Lives Matter and all of those kinds of things, I feel like the director, Michael Gupta, just the way that he pulled it together as a… in a documentary-style was so like raw and real and just like, just those portrait shots that’s just so emotive, you know what I mean, you don’t really do anything, but you feel something and it conveys an emotion and you resonate with that, you know what I mean? It’s just that everyday person, kind of like, ‘that could be me’ on the screen right now, or that could be my sister or my son or my husband, whatever, you know what I’m saying?

HAPPY: Yeah, yeah absolutely. You feel connected straight away, it’s really cool. Also, now I know you said earlier that you hate the small talk and I hope you don’t consider this to be that, but I do have a question… I read an interview that you’d done years ago where you said you had asthma, and that’s why you wear a bag, keeping your puffer in there, and I wanted to know because you can’t hear it when you’re singing or when you’re rapping, have you found that singing and rapping has helped your asthma at all?

BLESSED: I have never been asked that question – I’ve never even stopped to think about it before.

HAPPY: I had asthma as a kid so when I read that I was like ‘oh that’s so interesting’.

BLESSED: Oh you did? So, you get me?

HAPPY: Haha yeah, I get it.

BLESSED: That’s the thing – the thing about asthma is like nobody understands it unless they’ve had it, you know what I mean? You say it like ‘I have trouble breathing’, okay, whatever, but when you’re in it, and like you’re having trouble breathing, it’s like, feels like the end of the world.

HAPPY: It’s terrifying. Yeah.

BLESSED: But yeah, that’s a good question. I think it 100 per cent would because I’ve never experienced any asthma symptoms while I’m making music… it’s all so free-flowing. But then like, I’ll go play basketball for an hour and I’ll just be like, dying.

HAPPY: Haha, yep. That’s good to know, we’ll have to get the medical experts on to some studies there and get all the asthmatic kids singing. That sounds really nice actually.

BLESSED: Yeah, we could start a whole program and change the world.

HAPPY: Haha yes. That’s sounds good. Okay, so you’re signed to a new label, Rainbow Valley Records, big deal, very big. It’s so cool, it’s Matt Corby’s label, right? I guess I want to know a little bit about if there are any noticeable differences, and I imagine there are, working for a label that is headed by actual artists compared to the huge conglomerate that is Sony?

BLESSSED: Yeah, I mean, already there’s been such a big difference and such a big blessing to have Matt involved in my project and also Alex who helps run RVR, just having it be artist-focused and led by artists, it’s just like how we were talking about the asthma thing like, we relate on that, you get me, right? It’s like having an artist lead a label, the artist understands the artist that they’re signing. They understand what it takes to become an artist, what it is to break an artist, what it is to be an artist, and, you know, especially someone like me who’s very self-sufficient, very confident in myself and my abilities, it’s like… I’m like 100 per cent creative control, I’m like holding everything by the minute – I was going to say by the balls but I didn’t want to say it.

HAPPY: Haha, you can say it, that’s fine

BLESSED: Haha, okay, but yeah, so it’s like having someone that understands and appreciates the art first, before the business, it’s so important to me because it’s like… it’s just a healthier environment of creating music because like I make a song, I send it over to Matt and to Alex and they’ll just be like ‘yep, we loved this, because of this, you know x, y and z’, not like ‘oh we love this because it’ll do good on radio, or Spotify will play this, or this will go well’, no, ‘we love this because of how it makes us feel’. So to me that’s the most important thing and I’ve been really blessed and really lucky and I’m grateful to be part of any situation where the people believe in me as an artist and not in me as, you know, a money machine or a ticket to, yeah, building up the company or whatever.

HAPPY: Yeah, God that’s got to make life better, right? Got to make your quality of life better actually being able to feel your art and just do it, that’s awesome. Okay, so, I know that the last couple of years have been very busy for you, you have your lockdown tape, and you co-produced for Milan Ring’s album, performing on some of her tracks, huge stuff, very cool. It sounds like you’ve been staying pretty busy, so I guess I want to know as things are seeming to maybe open up, do you have any plans to get on the road?

BLESSED: I’d love to, I don’t know what’s going on with this whole government, COVID, whatever, like I don’t pay attention to any of that, I don’t watch the news, I don’t even know what’s happening outside of like, my world, but I would love to get back on the road. I think what we’re working on is putting some shows together, but that all depends on the government really, it depends on what the restrictions are going to be like and… I think people are hungry for it, people are just like itching to get out and be around live music and be around each other again and just have that… you know what I mean? Just know that they’re not alone, we are all in this together, you’ve got to be reminded every now and then.

HAPPY: Absolutely, yeah. I know I’m dying for it. And in terms of work in between then, as I said, you’ve been pretty busy, so I imagine you still have your plate full? Do you have any new projects that you’re working on?

BLESSED: Yeah, I’m working on a few, I mean I’m working on my own music, which now that I’m set up with Matt and Alex, I’ll be able to just release music on the regular and just continue doing that, but I’m also working on the production side with a few other artists, like, I don’t know if they want me to name them, but like, just a bunch of artists.

HAPPY: Haha that’s okay.

BLESSED: Yeah, I’m working with a bunch of up and coming artists and a bunch of established ones, and just really trying to… just trying to do the most I can do really, just music and help out where I can, I don’t really know, just that’s it.

HAPPY: Yeah, no, that’s cool, that’s all great. Awesome, well we’ll have to wrap it up now anyway, but I really appreciate you chatting with me, I loved the single, yeah great work, thank you so much.

BLESSED: Yeah, it was nice to chat with you Chloe, you’re really easy to talk to.

HAPPY: Oh I’m so glad, thank you, so are you!

 

No changes is available on all streaming services now.

Interviewed by Chloe Maddren.

Photos supplied.