Dubai based singer-songwriter Son Savage just released his debut album, Folie À Deux, and it is the ultimate pop whammy. Filled with some jazzy upbeat tunes, groovy music and heartfelt lyrics, this album is one to add to your pop playlists. Although music has always been his true passion, Son Savage spent much of his adult life working in the corporate world until the August 4 Beirut Blast, when his hometown in Lebanon was devastated by one of the largest explosions in history. Confronted with the fragility of his own life, he decided not to waste another day, and began pursuing music with his whole heart. Folie À Deux comprises 12 songs and has a 45-minute run time.
The album begins with the song Walkin’ Away. The song rings in the album in the best way possible with its jazzy, upbeat feel. The song Sinner picks up with the upbeat energy and reminds me of 2000s pop songs.
The song Superglue has more of an electropop feel. The bassline of Superglue really shines through the song. The bridge of the song has a Daft Punk feel combined with soft vocals. Son Savage crafts a really cool and groovy pop vibe with Superglue.
Sticky Situation, the second song, has more of a laid-back vibe, with a slower seductive groove. The River has a more of a late 80s pop-rock vibe. Love Therapy is the lead single of this album and has been received very well. The song has an interesting pop vibe that highlights Son Savage’s dynamic vocals. Love Therapy is your quintessential millennial pop song. The song Ghost has more emphasis on the dynamic vocals, which are complemented by the harmonies in the chorus and an upbeat bass line.
The song Better Than You starts off with a jazzy, airy vibe. It also has a very characteristic percussion pattern. The song has a great sax solo, that really builds up to the bridge. One-Man Disco lives up to its name. The song lives up to its titular disco vibe, which finds itself incorporated skilfully into a pop vibe. Please Don’t Let My Heart Break is a cute love pop-ballad.
The vibe of the album completely changes with the track Spiraling. The bluesy-pop vibe really elevates the journey the album takes. With this track, Son Savage strips away from the electronic pop vibe to embrace his harmonic-vocals and stripped away guitar vibes. The last song on the album, Sunflower Anthem, begins with a symphonic choral arrangement that transforms into a foxtrot-y pop rock song. One thing is for sure, it gives you exactly the vibe you expect for when you think of Sunflowers. Additionally, this song is theatrical and funky and is sort of a trump card.
I think my favourite part of Folie À Deux is that it has some prolific drum beats that really define the songs. The jazzy beats along with the dynamic vocals make sure you’re grooving in no time.
We had the chance to interview Son Savage about his debut album. Here is what he had to say about this:
1. Your album, ‘Folie À Deux’ felt very well curated and put together. Can you tell me your inspiration behind it?
In terms of being “curated”, that makes a lot of sense actually because prior to cutting down the final track list for the album I had worked on about 45 different potential songs – out of which the final 12 were selected. So, in that sense, yes I did curate the 12 songs that can tell the story of Folie À Deux as best as they can together. The inspiration behind the album comes from a troubling time I had mentally these past 2 years between COVID and the situation in my country & how this mental deterioration can mirror toxicity in love.
2.What led you to write your music in the first place?
Music came as an existential answer to me as a 13 year old boy asking God why my grandmother had to die. While visiting her grave, I closed my eyes to try and pray, but all I could hear in my head was music – in fact, that was when I wrote my first song – and I have its notes tattooed on my left arm to this day.
3. What has the transition from corporate to the music world been like? Do you see any similarities? What do you enjoy the most about doing music full time?
It feels right. I feel like I am fulfilling my purpose and my innermost desire. I do see similarities of course because being an independent artist these days means you are a one-man (or woman) company on your own. You need to understand music production, copyrights, distribution, marketing, creative direction, design, PR, accounting, merchandising, live events, media relationships and more. What I enjoy about it is the fact that it doesn’t feel like work! I can stay up for 3 days on 6 hours of sleep planning and shooting a music video, but I won’t feel tired because I truly believe in the saying “Do something you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life”.
4. You’ve not only written and produced the music for this album, but you’ve also directed and acted in some videos for it. How does your music intersect with these other forms?
I believe that art intersects in various ways – today we have computers and DAW’s for music, 60 years ago they had tape and theater. 10 years from now, VR might be the new medium. Art is about taking what the world offers and turning it into something you can hear, see, touch, smell, taste and experience – and as a self-proclaimed artist, I feel like it is foolish for anyone to limit themselves and their art into one medium.
5.What is your process like?
Completely organic. Because I’m doing this as a passion project, I let the music and the art come to me rather than chase it. I never sit down on my keys and decide I’m going to write a song. It’s a vibe, and I just make sure I dedicate enough time during the week for myself to be alone with my instruments and tools to give myself the chance to create something when inspiration hits. Once I start, I don’t stop until I have the entire song structure locked down (or most of it at least). I like to see inspiration as divine, much like the time I was praying at 13 years old. I need to decode the entire feeling or “transmission” that I am receiving in one go before it fades away. Once I structure the song, I start working on lyrics and production, and that’s a back and forth process that takes several weeks (depending on the complexity of the song)
6. Can you tell me who are your biggest musical influences? How do these influences come through in your music?
I am very much influenced by music that feels real and raw – grassroots basically: soul, gospel, funk, rock & roll, jazz, blues, motown. You can definitely hear blues on “Spiraling”, gospel on “Please Don’t Let My Heart Break”, jazzy/funk vibes on “Sticky Situation” & “Better Than You” and several guitar solos and “rock & roll” energy throughout the album (i.e “Sinner”, “Sunflower Anthem”). However, as a songwriter, I am a huge Swedish pop fan – namely of the likes of Max Martin & Denniz Pop. Mashing all that together gives you pop music (Verse-Prechorus-Chorus structures) with elements of all the genres I mentioned.
7. Do you have more music planned for us? What do you see for yourself in the future?
I’m always writing. My focus now is on promoting “Folie À Deux” and making sure I get as many eyes and ears on this product as possible, as I am very proud of this body of work. When the time is right, there are about 230 songs that are works in progress – so I’m sure I’ll have something new to share with the world very soon. In the future, I hope to continue to share my art with the world, whether through music or other forms of expression, & hope to get to perform my songs in front of music fans everywhere.
Don’t miss out on Son Savage and his debut album, Folie À Deux.