We’re not sure where August went, but we’re here on the final day of the month with a brand new Track of the Week!
This week, we caught up with BIMM Manchester’s Niall Senior about his latest release ‘Left Like This’ – listen below and discover more about the track…
What was your inspiration when you began writing the track?
My inspiration was from a personal experience I had a few years ago, if you have heard of the term ‘ghosting’ then that happened to me. I had been dating somebody and one day they just decided to delete me from everywhere, with no explanation. However, I feel like a lot of people will be able to relate to the track even if they have just experienced a relationship that turned sour. It leaves you wondering what will happen if you ever see them in person again, and what will happen if you accidentally bump into them. It’s quite ironic though, because the person I wrote it about came back, and they now know the song is about them. I find it quite funny how the roles got reversed.
Are there any artists that inspire you when writing?
Troye Sivan and Anne-Marie definitely inspire me whilst writing. I love how they both think quite outside the box and they keep you captivated with their story, but it’s equally catchy pop. Lauren Aquilina is definitely an artist who inspired me to start writing by being unapologetically true to what she has to say! It’s gonna live on forever, you don’t want to look back at your catalogue in a few years and think… Why did I pretend to feel a certain way?! Not forgetting if the songs are hits, you’re stuck singing them for the rest of your career! I think it’s particularly important as an artist to be connected to your own music.
What is key to your sound and how do you make your music stand out?
I feel like all my songs so far (and the ones coming) all piece together one story, like chapters of a book. However, they are still pretty relatable and make sense on their own. All my songs are laced with catchy ad libs and have a lot of layers to them. Depending on what kind of speaker you listen on, or an instrument you choose to focus on in the mix, you can hear something you didn’t notice before. I’d like to think all of my songs have a great dynamic, meaning by the end of the song everything has lifted. Especially with this latest single, it starts off very simple but gets more complex throughout the song and the last chorus kinda explodes.
How does your songwriting process work?
My process definitely varies from song-to-song, but my favourite process is when I hear a chord progression or a beat that really inspires me, and I just hum a melody and the words just fall out. I voice note pretty much all my songwriting sessions, because I find I will often sing a line that I really love, but then I can’t remember what has come out of my mouth. These are useful and I would definitely recommend this to musicians who write their own material, because if you’re having writer’s block, a line you sung months ago that’s on the Voice Memos app could inspire a whole new song. This new single is definitely the most complex lyrically, it took a few revisits to get to the final product as I started it in 2018! However, I’m glad I wrote this song because I’m able to listen back and it takes me back to that experience years ago but it still feels personal. I am definitely wanting to do more co-writing when I go back to Manchester for my third year though.
Describe your sound in 3 words…
Electro-pop, bittersweet, SYNTHS.
How has studying at BIMM helped you develop as an artist?
Studying at BIMM has helped me develop as an artist HUGELY. The Artist Development module and team have been significant to me and my career. One key moment was when I booked a tutorial with one of the team because I was unsure whether to change my artist name, and in 2019, ‘Senior’ was born because of the guidance given by Manny. One of the assignments pushed me to release my first ever single, and everything has stemmed from that really. It’s also incredibly inspiring to be around people who are also there for the same reason… a genuine passion for music. Everyone has a different goal at the end of the day, but everyone is still able to help along the way, both staff and students. I have met so many great friends at BIMM that have kept me going, given me their opinion on my projects and helped me finish them.
What’s next for you?
I have an acoustic version of ‘Left Like This’ dropping next month which has a really cool piano/vocoder contrast, and I’m excited for everyone to hear that. It really strips back the music and lets the lyrics really shine through. It was finished by Carl Culley who mixed/mastered the original version, so keep your eye out! Other than that, I’m currently planning another release around October/November, and then in early next year around March/April, I will drop another single. I believe this one is significant to who Senior is as an artist and what he stands for. I’m hoping to have my first ever official music video with this track too. It will be a summer anthem for a lot of people… but that’s all I’m saying on that one! I cannot wait.