#PopularPlay: Spencer Barnett
Jul 11, 2020
Rising artist Spencer Barnett is pushing the genre-bending narrative with the release of his new song “Welcome to My Mind”.
The moody alt-pop single finds Barnett opening up like never before and is the focus track off the final installment of his ambitious three-part EP series, which follows I’m Fine (“Waste My Time”) and debut Reckless (“17”) that have garnered critical acclaim and landed him on Spotify and Apple Music’s most coveted pop playlists.
Throughout my project, I focus on the themes of loneliness and isolation, despite living in such a busy and chaotic world,” says Barnett. “On my new song, ‘Welcome to My Mind,’ I discuss my fear of opening up to new people and how it affects me. In the past I’ve written about my feelings through the lens of a relationship, but with this new single I didn’t want people to read between the lines to understand me as a person and an artist.”
The three-part EP journey has Spencer taking the audience through three stages across his life in what he describes as “Quest, Breakthrough, and Arrival”. The final part of this ambitious feat is still yet to be released or named, but we’ll be sure to keep you posted on that. Keep reading for our exclusive interview with the multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter!
1. Tell us about your new song “eta” and the inspiration behind it!
I wrote the song with my friend Jackson Lee Morgan about someone I had just started seeing and the exciting feeling of being in something new. Hoskins and the 23rd, some producer friends from London, got it sounding right, and helped create this darker soundscape that was inspired by my first European clubbing experience in Paris a couple of days earlier.
2. We hear you’re working on a new EP, which follows “Reckless” and “I’m Fine”. Can you share with us how the production process has been for this new project and how the idea of creating a series was born? How do these 3 EPs complement each other?
After finishing the first EP, I had initially planned to work on a full-length album, but didn’t feel like I knew exactly where I wanted to go with it yet thematically. So instead, I decided to create a trilogy of 3 shorter projects, that all shared the common thread of my experiences growing up and my search for identity. Each project was written within a short period of time to capture a specific moment in my life. ‘Reckless’ was written when I was 17, ‘I’m Fine’ when I had just turned 18 and was at the end of my high school experience, and EP 3 (title still to come!) at 18 right after I had graduated school and moved to LA to make music full time. All these feelings and experiences are summed up both literally and metaphorically in each project.
3. Can you describe each EP in 1 word?
4. You are only 19 and known as a multi-instrumentalist recording artist. What was your relationship with music like in your childhood?
Ever since started messing around with instruments at a young age, I’ve always been interested in music, but I didn’t discover my genuine love for it until around 12 when I got my first Spotify account. I had grown up listening mostly to the radio, so when I was granted access to a library of millions of different songs with so many unique sounds and feelings, I dove in and was hooked. So I started a band with my friends back home and began to experiment with songwriting.
5. Do you remember the first instrument you learned how to play?
I started on a piano when I was 8 I believe. But soon after that I discovered guitar and immediately dove in. It’s definitely become my instrument of choice because it’s portable and the way it’s played makes way more sense to me than keys.
6. You were born in NYC and raised in San Francisco, which are two completely different cities. Do you think that both cities helped you to shape your music style?
Both cities affected the way that I was raised and my experiences growing up, which definitely informed the music that I make. But I think even more than just the cities, I am a product of the people around me, family, friends, collaborators, mentors, strangers. My interactions shape my music more than anything.
7. Tell us about your upcoming projects!
I’ve been staying busy finishing my new EP and working on some really cool visuals and interactive experiences to pair with the music. I’m about to share the 3D world of my mind online with rooms to accompany each song on the project. Details to come soon!
- Photographer Bellamy Brewster @bellamybrewster