New York based singer Lee A. Davis' upcoming single "Mad at Me" takes a more sophisticated look at romance and relationships. We sat down with Lee to talk about this single, real vs. fairytale relationships and how this pandemic has affected romance.
What was the inspiration behind "Mad at Me"?
There's definitely a trend in terms of the songs I write over the years. I'm sort of known for the more complicated love songs, the real side of romance as opposed to the fairytale version. I would say it [this single] fits into that mold. In terms of inspiration, I feel like I'm probably not the only person, but if you're in a relationship during this pandemic time, it's a lot of time. You do spend a lot of time trying to navigate the weirdness of being together a lot so I think that's sort of where this came from. I wrote it at the same time as some other songs that randomly came out about this sort of...paradox of love and anger together. It's sort of a complicated take on the realities of romance where sometimes you're trying to figure [it] out...The simple answer is that it's more about the complicated side of romance and the realities of not getting relationships; trying to make someone happy but also accepting that they're not always going to be happy and that doesn't mean it's your fault.
How long have you been working on this single?
One thing that is interesting about this, I have always had a tendency, I feel, to take way to long writing songs and to me to write and rewrite on this kind of paper, and then on this kind of paper and then type it and this one just like BOOM. This was a record for me: 2 days, from the time I started my chicken scratching notes to having it finished and performing it for people live and was able to perform it right away. Sometimes I need to sit with it and practice it and readjust but it just BOOM beginning to end it came out really fast. I feel like that's the best part of this song. The feedback I've been getting from people is it's simple and complicated at the same time. It's one of the simplest songs I've written in terms of just being straightforward but then, in terms of what it's really about, it's actually pretty complex. So it's one of those songs that's sort of like a paradox I guess. Which is why it seemed like a great song to release during this time because it's got a lot to say but it's also simple and soothing at the same time.
Did you work with anyone else on this project?
This was independent. I mean I did, in terms of mastering, I did get help mastering. This was the first [time] I used remote online mastering services, which...I had a really positive experience with that. I plan to do that more. I was able to...in a way workshop it which was really helpful because with the weekly show I performed it right away. It worked out because I've been....occasionally hosting this indie music show on Saturday mornings with someone I know who runs a site called Offstage Tunes. I was able to perform it as part of her show because her show is all about new music and new releases. It wasn't even released yet but it was really great to be able to just perform it live and see how it feels and get feedback from people.
What would would you like your listeners to get out of this song?
I guess, in general, to know it's okay if romance for you isn't like it's supposed to be in fairytale books, if that makes sense. Because as you grow up more you realize that being in love and romance in general is actually pretty complicated and it's different for everyone. There's no perfect way to be in love, there's no perfect relationship, there's no model that's like "your relationship is not good unless it looks like this". I guess that would be my message to everybody, that it's complicated for all of us and even more complicated during a time like this where you're either separated from someone more than you usually are or, on the flip side of it, together with someone more than you normally would be. It's okay if everyday doesn't feel like it's perfect.
What else can we expect from you this year?
I have definitely another single that I'm looking forward to releasing. It's interesting I didn't realize how many songs about anger [I wrote]. They're not like angry songs necessarily, there just seems to be this reoccurring theme that I didn't even realize. "Angry Man" is one that's been really popular. It's sort of a bluesy tune, which is like a totally different vibe but also again, anger. That one is definitely going to be my next one to work on as a single. I will be releasing the EP, my EP [Smile] that was previously released but I've sort of revamped it with the new name and everything and that will be the next release out.
Is there anything else you would like to share with your fans, listeners and our readers regarding "Mad at Me"?
I guess just that I'm really excited to be releasing it. I am...such a creature of live performance that I....have a lot of gratitude for people who have been to go along with me on that and enjoy the fact that I have been releasing, in a sense, so much music just because I've been doing it live for people. I really am grateful for those fans who have followed me on that journey because now as I officially release things as singles, it's so helpful to have already had that time even if it's virtual performing with people, to have already tested them out and performed them for people and gotten feedback. I find that so helpful. It's not like it's just out of the blue you're throwing it out that because....some of these songs, some of my diehard fans have already given me a lot of feedback on so I'm just excited to be officially releasing them to a wider audience.
"Mad at Me" available on all streaming platforms on March 8th.