[INTERVIEW] JULY 7
July 7, having most recently dropped his track ‘Angels + Demons’, is making his mark within music. Originally from Manchester, July 7 has established himself as a modern alternative R&B artist of 2019, translating globally whilst reflecting the richness of his character and city alike. Previously involved solely as a producer, July 7 has worked behind the production of artists such as Travis Scott, Young Thug and T.I., but he’s moving forward entirely independently and rightly so…
What is your personal definition of R&B?
R&B to me, that’s a big question. I like to class myself as R&B as that’s my musical background, but I don’t know if I would really count my own music as R&B. My inspiration varies from D’Angelo to Metallica, there is such a wide diversity of artists that I listen to. This is why I find it hard to put my finger on what it is that I am- I just call it ‘7’ for now.
Do you think the variety of these influences encourages you not to be constrained as to what you can produce?
Definitely, I feel that I would be selling myself short, as a person, as a human being, just locking myself down to one thing. From a young age I’ve been open to a lot of things, which has really given me the opportunity to explore, to get a feeling for what I like. It has enabled me to put my own stamp on music in itself.
So you’re expansive in a way? Are there other things that inspire you outside of music?
Most definitely, things I see every day, I make sure I’m consuming the best content. I use Pinterest a lot, I make sure I’m looking at ideas, mood-boards, picturing video sets and photo shoots. Really contextualising visual along with sound and making sure the two marry together to make a new picture.
I refer to my songs as moments, everything I do is freestyle, it’s off the top. I’ll be humming a melody, having fun. I don’t go into the studio with the intention of making an amazing song. I might just go into the studio and catch a riff, then keep building and it might really stick. It’s a very random process, it comes from feeling in tune with myself and in the moment. There is nothing better than getting caught up in the music.
I guess art really does just capture moments of expression, as soon as you try to do anything else you’ve lost it…
Yeah exactly, that’s why I refer to my songs as moments. It is like me unloading whatever is on. Sometimes, I feel through melody it is the easiest way for me to articulate what I’m feeling, what I’m trying to say.
Can you remember any defining moments or experiences, when you’ve come into contact with a piece of music that has shaped your approach to things today?
One of the best experiences was hearing Pharrell and Jay Z growing up. Pharrell is just one of the gods, he is so amazing to me. Growing up, hearing their music, the production, the writing, I couldn’t understand what it was I was hearing. I was always curious. It was just a feeling I really couldn’t understand, every time I heard a song, by Pharrell, I felt it. When I realised he produced and wrote all of his songs, and it was this that had caused me to feel this way, from there I think it was a wrap.
You do everything independently within your own music, is that a conscious choice?
Definitely a conscious choice, I’ve honed these skills from just working these past couple years. When you’re working with people, it has to click, I have to look at you and know that you get it. I can just tell If I’m not feeling that. In order to be consistent and effective, to give the music the time and dedication. I take pride knowing it was solely me in the creation whether it’s recording, mixing, doing the artwork or telling the story it’s empowering knowing it was just me.
I guess it would have to be though, if your songs are moments to you, then how can anybody share in the authenticity of your experience, aside from you…
Exactly, I get a lot of comments about my music, that it brings you into my world. Which is what I want you to feel. The richness and how deep it goes. I want people to feel relieved and uplifted, like wow, it’s finally here. I put so much time and effort into this music. I’m really glad that it is translating globally.
Listen to ‘Angels +Demons’ down below.
Words by Anastasia Bruen