Baltimore-based Brazilian alternative rock singer, songwriter and producer I AM NIGHT has released her new single Delayed Afterlight. We caught up with I Am Night to talk about their new project.
AC: Let’s talk about your new single Delayed Afterlight. What does this track mean to you?
I AM NIGHT – This song represents nothing less than my discovery of who I am as a person and as an artist. I tried to pass myself as someone who can be more likable and “cool” before, and that involves doing the type of music that everyone else was doing. It was only two years ago, amidst a depressive meltdown that drove me away from my family and friends that I had the realization that you just can’t pretend to be someone you’re not. It is against your nature to do so. You have to allow your true self to flourish. Just let it out. When this Afterlight as said in the song came to me, so did the song itself – rock, jazz and brazilian blended together. The perfect mix of who I legitimately am.
AC: In the studio, do you have a fear you’d like to conquer?
I AM NIGHT – I would like to have more control over the urges that I have of wanting to make everything more commercial and digestible for the listeners. I second guess my work a lot, even going as far as stalling a release or the production of a track in order to fulfill my anxiety requests. It is purely a confidence and anxiety issue that I want to work on to be able to deliver my best and authentic work.
AC: What about outside of the studio?
I AM NIGHT – I’m scared of not being able to deliver the EP experience in a live setting. These recordings are so heavy and intense that I worry I can never recreate that atmosphere. That would terrify me because my main goal through this EP is to connect with people. First, let’s hope I ever get to play live. And when that day arrives, I will need all the help that I can get: band, production and audience.
AC: Where does the creation of a song begin for you?
I AM NIGHT – I am actually very thankful for the way my creative process runs. I usually just have a really good idea pop in my mind and try to work basic harmonies and melodies around it. It just flows very naturally. The lyrics on the other hand demand a couple of more days of work. But eventually, everything comes together.
AC: Who do you feel inspired by in the music industry?
I AM NIGHT – Right now I really look up to Run The Jewels. I know it sounds silly, but I look at Disney stars and Bedroom Pop teenagers that go viral and find myself too old to be entering the industry. Although I’m only 22, I feel discouraged when I see so many younger artists that already are artistically and financially successful. I think it’s just not for me. Then I remember LP and Killer Mike went through some very rough patches before they founded RTJ, and that it wasn’t until their late 30s. It’s been roughly 10 years and all of their albums are groundbreaking, millionaire and award-winning masterpieces. I am totally obsessed with them and I thank them from all my heart for inspiring young artists like me and so much more.
AC: As a music artist, what are you still trying to learn?
I AM NIGHT – What really has been catching my attention lately is the field of music ethnology. I get chills just thinking about the magnificent variety of sounds that we don’t even know that exist because all we do is to consume western music. I get perplexed just thinking about the scales, rhythm patterns and string instruments that I’m missing out by choosing not to train my ears to something new. But I’m trying to better myself at this!
AC: How important is social media to you right now?
I AM NIGHT – I hate to admit it, it is super important. As an independent artist, those are my only means of exposure and If I don’t master them soon enough, I may not get the best results that I could potentially get. Lately, I’ve been studying digital marketing and social media algorithms to get better at it. Wish me luck, everyone!
AC: Ahead of a gig, do you have any pre-show rituals?
I AM NIGHT – I will drink a single glass of wine to make sure I loosen myself on stage a little bit. There is also a mini self-esteem boosting speech I repeat to myself.
AC: How has Brazil inspired your music?
I AM NIGHT – Brazil has inspired me by simply birthing the best musicians I’ve ever come across in my entire life! Brazilian music is intense, complex, fun, and genuine. I can guarantee you 100% that if it wasn’t for both of my musician parents raising me in their environment and for the Brazilian band Charlie Brown Jr, I would not be a musician right now. That is simply a fact. Everything I am and everything I create, I owe to my Brazilian heritage and cultural baggage.
AC: What’s the biggest realization you’ve had this past year?
I AM NIGHT – I would say it is the EP itself. I got to write songs that are a perfect representation of myself and got to work with musicians that are WAY too good to be playing them. Artists like John D’Earth, Charles Owens and Carroll “CV” Dashiell III are absolutely out of my league, but the fact that Jack Kilby got them on the project and that they actually liked doing it it’s mind-blowing and it amazes me every day.
AC: What makes you feel nostalgic?
I AM NIGHT – Animation movies and tv shows, definitely. I am openly a huge Disney, Pixar, Dreamworks and Avatar The Legend of Aang nerd. Those shows have that magic appeal to your family and hometown memories, great music score, and sometimes, solid life lessons. To this day, I strive for trying to be the person that Uncle Iroh knows I can be.
AC: What do you want the world to look like in 10 years?
I AM NIGHT – I just want the same things that any other Millenial/Gen Z wants: wage growth, affordable housing, better policies on college debt and I’d much very appreciate it if polar bears didn’t die because the ice on which they depend to live on melted forever.
AC: If you had the chance to put something on billboards worldwide next week, what would it be? Or what would it say?
I AM NIGHT – Given the almost apocalyptic circumstances on which we globally live nowadays (politically, financially, and socially), I assume it would be wise to reserve my spot on the land of my dreams in advance, for when civilization eventually collapses. Therefore, my billboard would say: “I CALL DIBS ON NEW ZEALAND”. That or “WEAR A MASK”. I know it’s beaten to death, but some people really need it spelled out.
INTERVIEW: ADAM CROOKES