Sound Off: Ant Saunders
Sep 11, 2020
Attention Populars, new release alert!!!
Ant Saunders‘ new single “Effortless” is out NOW and it’s the first song following his record “I Had A Love Song”, a partnership with the Nigerian R&B duo and sisters VanJess.
After crashing the internet with song “Yellow Hearts” (the track was certified Gold in the US with over 400 million streams and a position on the Billboard Hot 100), Saunders followed up with the release of his highly anticipated EP, “Bubble” !
Saunders kick started his music career during middle school writing and recording songs. He has always been inspired by R&B acts like Frank Ocean, John Legend, and Daniel Caesar, but developed his essence and identity characterized by the honest storytelling and flawless vocals.
The German-born artist sat down with Popular TV and shared with us the creative process behind “I Had A Love Song” and how the partnership with VanJess.
1. Tell us about “I Had A Love Song” and the inspiration behind it.
The song was actually something I had started writing back when I was 16, after a short time period where I was hanging out with this girl and we liked each other. It was probably my first time developing feelings for someone so I didn’t know how to deal with the emotions when I found that she didn’t want to be in a relationship. I remember while we were talking though, I started writing a song about how I felt when we were hanging out. This was a really corny thing to do and this is one of the many things I hate my 16-year-old self for doing, but when I started writing “I Had A Love Song,” I thought it would be interesting, kind of lighthearted take on a heartbreak song.
2. The song features the incredible Nigerian R&B duo and sisters VanJess. How did this partnership happen?
My A&R’s were talking to some people over at RCA Records one day, and they were coming up with ideas for a feature on the song. VanJess eventually came up and I was already familiar with them and I’m a big fan of their sound and style and thought it would fit nicely on the track. I was really happy to hear that they were down to do it and I was really pleased with all that they came up with. The melodies, lyrics, harmonies, etc. were all just beautiful!
3. You became viral in 2019 with the smash single “Yellow Hearts”. Did you ever imagine this happening?
Absolutely not. I had been trying to gain attention online for my music since I was a young kid and it just never worked out. Eventually I just kinda accepted that it was too hard and I stopped trying so hard until it actually did happen. My mind was not ready for the kind of processing it had to do.
4. Tell us about how this song was born.
The song was technically ‘born’ in mid-2018 as a track on my SoundCloud mixtape, ‘bettertrash.’ I rebirthed it on August 7th after I realized how much the song represents who I am, and the label was a big fan of it and came up with the idea of reworking it.
5. Your 6-track EP “Bubble” is amazing and each song completes each other. How was the creating and producing process? How long did it take since the idea until the release?
First off, thank you so much! The creative process of the EP consisted of a lot of reworking old songs in order to make them sound less corny and picking different ideas from my brain that would fit the theme. I’m influenced by so many different styles of music and I definitely wanted to showcase that as well. The EP took about 6 months to finalize. While in the studio, I would usually get all these random ideas for beats but few would make the cut. I don’t like to force my music, so I would take a lot of breaks to find inspiration.
6. Do you have a favorite song from the album?
I would say Yellow Hearts because it helped me get to where I hoped to be in the music industry, but I just feel like MISCOMMUNICATIONS is filled with so much more emotion than the other songs of the bunch. I encapsulated all of the feelings that I would have too hard of time-sharing any other way.
7. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your story. How did your background and culture shape you and what creative expression means to you and why?
I grew up an average, quiet kid in South Jersey just hanging out with friends, playing sports, and going to school. I’d been singing all my life too, and I had a lot of support from my peers, so I just kept working on my craft and showing my progress on the internet on the way. I think the internet and social media culture shaped me the most by introducing me to so many different styles of music and fashion, and different personalities to be influenced by. Creative expression is everything to me because it gives me the freedom to be the person I want to be. Growing up, many people would judge me on how I presented myself, but over time I just realized that I wouldn’t be happy trying to be anybody else so I just dealt with it. You shouldn’t have to fall down to anybody’s standards but your own.
8. What is your dream collab?
I think my dream collabs would be with Frank Ocean, Kanye, Daniel Caesar, or Jacob Collier
9. You were confirmed to support Camila Cabello on her Romance tour this fall. How did you guys meet? Should we expect a song together?
Camila’s team contacted my manager and said that they wanted me to join and I was in complete shock. I didn’t even think she knew who I was and I was just so honored and grateful. And jeez that would be sick..I hope so haha!
10. As an artist, do you feel more comfortable being on stage than off-stage?
I honestly don’t have much stage experience at all, but when I’m on stage I do have a lot of fun performing. I’ve always been somewhat a hermit though, so I’d have to say I’m more comfortable off-stage.
11. How do you think quarantine influenced your music?
I think with being in quarantine and not having much to do, I’ve been able to do a lot more thinking and reminiscing on past experiences. So I think it’s been kind of beneficial towards my creative process, and I have all of my recordings and producing equipment at home so that’s definitely a plus. I just wish I could collaborate with people face-to-face every now and then.
12. What are your biggest inspirations in music?
Growing up, I listened to a lot of what was popular at the time, and I also listened to a lot of classic rock. Basically, I wanted to be a pop-rock star up until around middle school when I was introduced to electronics, R&B, and hip-hop, and I was really confused at which route I wanted to take. Eventually, I just decided to let my influences of John Legend, Ed Sheeran, Chance the Rapper, James Blake, and XXXTENTACION to come together as one.
13. Do you remember the first song you wrote?
I technically started writing music when I was about 6 and the first song I wrote was a Halloween song called “Oh, Halloween”. It was a banger.
14. What do you want people to hear and take away from your writing/music?
I just want people to take away the fact that you don’t have to please anybody but yourself. Just be the best person you want to be. Make your own rules as long as you’re not hurting anybody or getting in trouble.
15. Tell us about your upcoming projects!
I’ve been coming up with a lot of new ideas under quarantine and I want to release another project by the end of the year. I’ve got songs to scream, dance, and cry to! I also want to design some cool merch!