“One of south west England’s best kept secrets”, IYESAYA moniker William Dop talks about friends who’ve “got it made”, including an insomniac and someone on the verge of suicide – “wait till they hear about my day”.
Made talks about friends who’ve “got it made”. Like spoilt kids?
Not quite. It actually reflects on the fact that everyone’s got problems on some level and even though it sometimes may outwardly appear that someone’s got it made we shouldn’t be quick to judge because we have no idea what they might be going through.
In the song I sing from the perspective of the petty guy who truly thinks that they’ve got the worst problems in the world when in reality what they’re dealing with is trivial in comparison to the weight some people are dragging round. It’s strangely liberating to play the bad guy in songs (which is worrying).
What can you tell us about your debut EP?
It’s been a long time coming. Monster has been finished since November and I actually wrote 90% of Back Home in 2012. I’ve just been waiting for the right time to get it out to ensure it comes out the right way. Art Is Hard releasing Monster ahead of the EP was literally a dream come true (can’t thank those guys enough for the opportunity) and definitely helped get my name out there a bit so glad I was patient.
I’m always two steps ahead of myself though – I’ve just finished all the instrumentals for what might end up becoming my first album.
You touch on a number of dark themes. Are they something you’ve experienced?
Everyone experiences dark times I guess and it’s during these times that you tend to find yourself cut down to your rawest emotional state. The old saying is that you have to be sad to write good songs so I have just decided to play around in the darkness for my songwriting inspiration.
Things are never totally bleak though. I’m always trying to find the smiling silver lining in amongst the turd and essentially just trying to humanize it all – we all fall on hard times so let’s talk about it more openly please.
All proceeds go to Mind UK. What made you choose this charity?
I’m not lucky (or unlucky) enough to make a full time living as a musician. In fact, if you were to add up all the money I’ve ever spent on music and the return I’ve got on it I would be balls-deep in the loss column right now so rather than try and milk a really marginal bit of cash out of this release, I thought I may as well try to impact something bigger than me. Mental health has affected those close to me quite seriously and Mind UK are one of the best charities in this area so it seemed like a good fit to donate all the profits here.
What made you set up your own label?
To be honest I’m just a massive control freak. I think all musicians, especially in the current environment, should try take control of more than just the creation of their songs. Your overall aesthetic and, don’t hate me for saying it. “brand” as an artist have never meant more and it’s lazy to think that a musician’s job should stop at just creating and playing music. Running a label was always a part of that overall vision for me (perhaps after reading ‘Our Band Could Be Your Life’ one too many times). I’m totally broke now though so anyone with a label wanna be my buddy?
“One of south west England’s best kept secrets”. Tell us something you’ve never told anyone before.
Oh God, I’ve definitely done some shady things which I plan on keeping between me and my Internet service provider. I did once poop in a Doritos bag…that’s just the tip on the iceberg though, to be honest…
Interview: Owen Howard