Sumera took a big step this year, releasing new music under Don Diablo’s Hexagon label. The Berlin and Madrid based electronic pop artist dropped the singles ‘Animal’ and ‘Faith’ and the third part of the trilogy, ‘Skin’, will be released soon. A Bit of Pop Music had a chat with Sumera about the story behind the trilogy, the path she took to where she is now and how to find people who believe in you as an artist.
Your latest singles ‘Animal’ and ‘Faith’ are part of a trilogy. What is the story behind it?
“It is all about a moment in my life where I felt physically burnt by a connection I had with someone. I could not escape it and I was constantly confusing physicality for emotion. I was trying to understand why I felt so physically connected to this person, while, at the same time, the other half of the story didn’t feel the same way.”
And what can you tell us about the concept behind the videos?
“Although they are dealing with the same subject, there are definite nuances in both tracks and videos. ‘Animal’ is a visceral physical thing, it’s about being absorbed. I wanted to show that moment of physical devotion in an intense, maybe even a little disturbing manner. The ‘Faith’ video on the other hand represents something more vulnerable and personal. At the same time accepting these feelings of vulnerability and hurt, makes me stronger. The bareness symbolizes fragility, but also openness. The editing also shows how people see fragments of you, but never the whole thing.”
Interview continues under video!
What can we expect from part three that is coming?
“I feel like I have found the sonic world I want to be in, so all three songs do fit in this electronic and industrial sphere. But third single ‘Skin’ is the most obscure out of the three. In comparison, ‘Faith’ and ‘Animal’ have a clear structure; you have your verse, pre-chorus and chorus. ‘Skin’ goes out of that a little bit. It is the weirdo of the three, but it is actually my favorite! Hopefully it will be out soon.”
You recorded those tracks in Berlin. Do you feel the city inspired the industrial vibe of your music?
“Definitely. It is such a lively and beautiful city that really sticks with you. There is a certain darkness to it as well that seeps into everybody’s work there. Berlin is like that cold temptress that lures you in every single time, but never sticks around. My producer XNDR and I spent a few weeks working in the studio in his apartment. It was intense and personal. All three songs actually happened in the time frame of a day or two.”
“YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE IN YOUR OWN PATH AND IT IS NOT EASY TO FIND PEOPLE WHO BELIEVE WITH YOU”
How did you end up with the Hexagon label you are releasing under?
“Don Diablo and I met a couple of years ago through my manager. We talked music and industry and there was a strong personal connection; two artists understanding each other. A year ago we hung out in a studio and I played my tracks to him. I could instantly tell by his reaction that he understood what I was about. Parallel to this, Don wanted his label Hexagon to be a platform that supports real and passionate artists, representing electronic music in a broader sense. His passion for what I do was so inspiring! I have been with a major label and released on my own as well, but within the music industry it is hard to find people that understand endurance. You have to believe in your own path and it is not easy to find people who believe with you. Don has always danced to his own beat and it took him time to get people to understand his rhythm, so he knows where I’m coming from. I had to try out a lot of things to figure out what I want and what I don’t want and I only got there recently. The fact that Don understands and supports that, makes this a truly wonderful collaboration.”
With your videos now ending up on the Spinnin’ Records channel on YouTube, you get more listeners, but also more opinions, from EDM fans for example. How do you feel about that?
“What Hexagon is doing, is quite different from the usual Spinnin’ releases, so I sort of expected that to happen. My producer sometimes shares the funny reactions. For example someone commenting on my video that I should take a shower, haha! Oh and I heard about the ‘RIP Spinnin’’ ones! Considering what they expect from Spinnin’ and what they are looking for, I understand some confusion. What I am doing is so different from what they usually get to listen to. In that sense it is an interesting move from Spinnin’. Not everybody will like it and that is totally fine.”
What artists did inspire your current sound?
“I’m huge fan of Arca. He is a Venezuelan producer. He did a lot for FKA twigs, Kelela and worked on Björk’s most recent album. I especially love his own stuff. It is really out there and doesn’t even have that much to do with what I create, but his soundscapes definitely inspired me. If I could ever work on a track with him, I’d be super happy!”
When ‘Skin’ is released the trilogy is complete. What happens after that?
“I want to continue writing, dive deeper into producing and make more music videos. Me and my producer XNDR have spent all summer in Spain writing and producing. If ‘Skin’ comes out in November, which I really hope, then I would like to release new material at the beginning of next year. We are still finalizing those tracks. They are in the same soundscape, but slightly lighter. They feel more hopeful.”
That sounds exciting! Thanks so much for your time!