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  • Writer's pictureDeborah Getachew

Sans Soucis: The Genre Bender

During this year's Great Escape Festival, I went on a mission to find an artist that genuinely made me feel something. While covering the festival for the Student Music Network, I sought out music that I’d wouldn't normally gravitate to and challenged my taste. This is when I stumbled upon San Soucis, a singer, songwriter and producer from London with a fresh spin on all things dance and pop. Originally born in Italy, she began her love for creating music early and values incorporating aspects of her Congolese-Italian heritage into her work. Sans Souci by definition means “without worry” which captures her pursuit towards crafting carefree music with the ability to move people.

Luckily, I was able to pop over to Komedia where Sans played her final show in the studio. The environment was buzzing and the room was packed to brim with old and new fans waiting to see the performance. One of the most unique parts of Sans’ production process is her ability to harmonize with herself and take a simple beat and turn it into a bop. For the first five minutes we watched as she ad-libbed and looped it over and over. After recording her on the electric and bass she began layering the pieces together to create the intro you hear in her song, “I’m On”. Observing this happen so quickly and effortlessly was by far one of my highlights from the festival. She had a genuine sense of innocence and sincerity in her gratitude for the overwhelming cheers and rightfully deserved applause that made me fall in love with her on stage. Soon after a dance or two, she shared a touching song sung in Italian that she has not yet released and I don’t know if there was a dry eye in the studio after this one. With festivals like Great Escape, it's rare to see an artist shut a room up the way Sans was able to at Komedia. All chatter at the bar and backstage was silent for about three minutes as we watched her sing line by line, not understanding a word of course, and watch the emotion in her face display the fact that she misses her home. “I wanted to have a taste of home all of the time, especially on my last day here. I really wanted to emulate the music I would hear at home when I was a child and keep the melody simple for me to always remember. This is by far the piece I am the most proud of up until now.” she says as she strummed the melody on her guitar, I would’ve been proud of it too.

In terms of genre, Sans music crosses all borders to blend electronic pop with soul and R&B. Taking influence from artists like Solange, Little Dragon and Rihanna, Sans has been able to create a place for new types of sound. “I want my music to sound like a feeling and I don’t think about genres. I just think about what feels right sonically.” she mentions in an interview with the Student Music Network. Her hit single, “All Over This Party”, is the perfect example of how the two worlds can blend harmoniously in a really fun and upbeat way. During her introduction to the song, she mentioned she is a “recently queer” person and this song was her way of celebrating her and her friends' pride. “All Over This Party was my tribute to those who live boldly in their truth and a reminder to dance, well… all the time!”

Lastly she ended the set with her newest single, “I Know Your Present”, a song she wrote for her sister. I wanted the chance to sit with her to talk about the single and learn more about what

the production process looks like for an artist like her. She brilliantly chose the Post House Cafe in Brighton, a venue for the Great Escape Festival, and we had our interview tucked away in the back corner of the garden. Curiously, I asked about whether she minded the loud show happening next door and suggested we go somewhere with less noise and she brilliantly replied, “I’ve spent most of my day in a dead quiet studio trying to record and honestly nothing makes me feel more at peace then hearing all this live music.” So we stayed and the show was fantastic.

They began taking me through their creative process and, more specifically, what inspires them to write. “I spend the first minutes of my sessions trying to figure out what is inspiring me to write. Immediately, it felt quite emotional as a song and I thought about who I was writing for.” Sans Soucis chooses to break down their walls as a songwriter to make even her dance tunes something that can carry emotional weight as well.

“It was a moment in my life where I started to see an opening to just understanding trauma and how you can deconstruct it. I wanted to be able to look at my past and feel those emotions come up and allow myself to sit in that space.” We ended our conversation by reflecting on how we'd describe our themes of the year and she landed on resilience. She elaborated by saying, “I have yet to find myself worse off after being on the other side of a dark place. We just have to get through it and keep our heads up. It's much easier said than done but I’m just still learning how to let go of control.”

I believe this single is, in a way, a wonderful encapsulation of whom Sans Soucis represents as a sibling, friend and songwriter. During our time together, I noticed her passion for her home and desire to reconnect with the joyfulness and purity of childhood that we all lose as we grow older. Writing and creating for them is a radical act of reclaiming that life and erasing the box altogether.

In “I Know Your Present”, Sans Soucis says,

Don't let me down

At the very start

Safe in between, your truth is not too far

Forever day, that's never way too far

I know your present and I know your future

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