A fixture of Toronto’s music community and a sought-after collaborator, Lydia Persaud has finally released her highly-anticipated debut album, titled Let Me Show You.
I got the chance to talk with Lydia about how she originally got into making music, her songwriting process, what she’s currently nerding out about and so much more! Keep reading to see what she had to say!
Tell me a little bit about how you first got into making and performing music.
The timeline for performing and writing music is a bit disconnected as I started performing when I was about 8 years old while attending church. I started writing music more seriously when I was in college studying Jazz. It was while I was in school that I learned about beautiful and dense harmony.
Was there a specific moment or person that made you realize that music is what you wanted to pursue professionally?
I had a lot of fun performing in different high school productions. I had many teachers supporting my involvement and I loved performing with so many of my peers. Even though I didn’t have much of an understanding on how to many music into a career, this was a pivotal time for me to recognize my love for making music.
I’m always genuinely curious about what artists want to convey with their music. Your sound would typically be classified as soul, but if you had to describe it without using genre names, how would you describe it?
I can only hope that this music conveys the vibes of uplifting, reflective, groovy and concise.
Going off of that, who are some of your musical influences?
Some of my notable musical influences are Stevie Wonder, Bill Withers, Donny Hathaway, Carole King and Marvin Gaye. Aside from those amazing artists, my Toronto music community constantly continues to inspire me in every way.
Let’s talk about your debut album, Let Me Show You, which came out on May 10. Where did the name for the album come from?
The album name came from one of the songs with the same title. The sentiment of the song felt applicable to the contents of the album. The song “Let Me Show You” is relatable, telling stories and encouraging empathy so that we can connect. I feel like some of the stories that I want to share can be found in the songs within this album.
What was the recording process like for this album? How long did it take for this to come together from start to finish?
The recording process was a lot of fun. The band (drums, bass, guitar, uke/voice) recorded the bed tracks first and then the bg’s vox, strings, synth, vibraphones and so many other textures were overdubbed later. We recorded the whole album to tap which I can attribute for that warm, blended sound from the records that we all know and love.
The second single from the album is “More of Me.” What’s the story behind this song?
This song is about feeling as though someone wants more of your time, energy, attention and care. Sometimes you have the ability to give it and sometimes you don’t.
I always love hearing about the songwriting process so I was wondering if you could give me a glimpse into what it was like specifically for this song.
“More of Me” was a song that I immediately knew would need a band. I wrote the song on ukulele but knew that it needed the driving force of drums and bass. My producer Robbie Grunwald and I later workshopped the song finding where the beat would sit and added the epic key change.
Are you someone who always has to write by yourself or do you like collaborating with others?
Currently as it stands, I do a lot of writing on my own. I am definitely open to writing collabs, however there is a level of honesty that I know I will only be able to achieve when I write on my own.
Were there any major changes made to “More of Me” once you got into the recording studio, whether it be in the lyrics or something sonically?
“More of Me” was fairly established as we had been playing it live for a little while and everything was feeling good (i.e. the beat, the guitar hook, the shots etc). Two special elements were added while recording the album. I do remember wanting to add background vocals but didn’t know where they would fit. When approaching the parts I had to “give in” to the slightly latin undertones in the harmony of the song (the chords) and added some rhythmic backgrounds parts to compliment things while adding a more intense lyrical twist within the song.
Like I mentioned earlier, Let Me Show You is your debut full length album. What does it mean to you for this project to finally be coming out?
This project means the world to me. These songs and the players involved, not to mention the team being the promotion of this album has been one of the biggest undertakings of my life. I am so proud of this work and excited to enter into this new musical stage.
You’re still relatively new to the music game, so what are some music industry-related goals or benchmarks that you’re aiming to reach in the next couple of years?
Although I am new to music in the sense of being a solo artist, I have a been performing with different projects for close to 10 years. Some of the industry goals that I have would be to continually connect with different artists throughout Canada and internationally. I would love to be touring and sharing music with people and I would love to continually be creating.
Last question — we’re called Talk Nerdy With Us because we all have an inner nerd so what is something that you’re currently nerding out about?
Love me some nerds! I ended up getting pretty deep into how vocal chords work along with vocal health issue after experiencing some personal vocal damage myself. Did you know the your vocal folds are roughly the size of the moon on your finger nail. They vibrate and almost slither rapidly to make any sound, and without proper functioning you would be unable to make any sound at all.