New York hip-hop artist Souly Had released their debut EP, B.L.I.S.S. with Island Records.
Harrison McQueeney, the brain behind it all, grew up on the east side of New York, miles away from the hectic vibes of the city.
“Emerging from a decidedly ‘unlikely’ setting, his future-facing style remains a quiet phenomenon bolstered by over 20 million total streams and a deal with Island Records in 2019,” states his biography.
B.L.I.S.S. is a six song collective that blends R&B notes with modern hip-hop vibes. The emotional themes of relationships gives powerful insight to McQueeney’s honesty in his work.
McQueeney recently released an acoustic rendition of “Hills” that you can stream here.
We spoke with McQueeney regarding the new EP, and the inspiration and honesty that went into it.
KH: Tell me a little bit of background of how the Souly Had project originally started.
I just started focusing unintentionally on a lot of love based records, kind of just happened naturally. I had been through a few relationships during the recording process so i had a lot of mixed feelings about it and they came out in my records.
KH: Were there any obstacles along the way?
Not really everything seemed to happen very smooth, I’d say the only obstacles were figuring out what verses to use on what songs, and what songs to actually put on the EP.
KH: Your bio notes the importance of your hometown and it’s contrast to your work. How did growing up in that location impact your musical influences?
I think it introduced me to a variety of different music. Growing up in the middle of nowhere there’s not much really to do so I would surf the internet looking for new music all the time, and a lot of different people had different music tastes that rubbed off on me.
KH: Where do you draw your inspiration from, lyrically and with sound?
I’m not sure, it’s all subconscious for me I never hear an artist and think “I want to write like him” or “I want to sound like her” it all just comes out naturally. I think that’s really important for the process of finding your own sound so you don’t end up sounding exactly like your favorite artist.
KH: How do you think your work progressed since you originally started?
I think it’s become much different since I started expanding and using other producers beats. More of a mainstream sound but still keeping to my roots as a producer/singer/songwriter.
KH: Congrats on your debut release with Island Records! If there was one thing that you wanted fans to understand through the work, what would it be?
That my music is very personal and everything you hear me saying is real life experience coming from me.
KH: With B.L.I.S.S, is there any song that resonates more with you? Why?
Probably “by myself” because I stepped out of my comfort zone and worked with an awesome producer (Jordan Manswell). That was one of the first records outside of my me or my friends production that I completed during the same session same day. I was really in my bag when I wrote that record haha it’s one of the saddest ones on the project.
KH: Your work shows a lot of raw emotions, do you think it’s important for artists to impose this honesty in their work? Why?
Yes it’s very important to impose honesty because that’s how you connect with an audience. I get tons of messages a week like “bro it’s like you know my life you’re song just helped me through this break up”. The only way you can get that kind of connection is being honest to yourself and your fans, you can’t make that stuff up. I’m definitely looking to make more “bangers” records you can play when you go out and have a good time because that’s what I’ve been doing a lot lately, I’m in a happy relationship so you can expect less sad songs but here and there I always have to get something of my chest.