Swara enlists electro-pop duo LAVI & Foenix for her debut EP’s penultimate single, ‘breathe,’ to channel the woes of modern-day quagmires.
Promising an imminent “bop” in our last conversation with singer-songwriter Swara, the Bangalore-based artist delivers her latest collaborative number with LAVI & Foenix. Titled ‘breathe,’ the track dictates a seamless production and songwriting blend of all the artists involved – heralding Foenix’s exemplary skills to set a laidback yet catchy composition amidst the dulcet vocal back and forth between Swara and LAVI. Lyrically, the song captures the perils of ‘carrying the main character energy’ at all times.
“Everyone who has known me across different phases of my life undoubtedly agrees on one thing – I have a very, very eventful life! The drama just never seems to get tired of me!” disclosed Swara, talking about the inspiration for ‘breathe.’ “Admittedly, it used to be fun when I was a teenager – I’ve had my fair share of being the ‘main character’ – but now I’m just exhausted by it. ‘breathe’ is an embodiment of that emotion – it’s fun to be able to narrate stories, but sometimes you really need a break.”
As one of her peers from the music scene, Swara credits LAVI & Foenix for helping her shape the journey so far. So when the time came for her to complete and add an oomph to the half-written demo of ‘breathe,’ who better to call than the mentors themselves? After working on an acceptable yet not-quite-there demo, the trio set themselves up again to re-write and re-arrange ‘breathe’ as we hear now. Swara shares her experience of working with Foenix, recalling, “I’m super lucky that Foenix as a producer understands my style of music; because while I was keen on making sure LAVI & Foenix‘s essence came through, he was super mindful of holding back on things that would take away from it being a “Swara” track.”
The song marks the first collaboration for both Swara and LAVI & Foenix. The Bangalore-based duo, known for their hit single ‘Ghum,’ elicited their time working, chatting and joking around with Swara to create ‘breathe.’ “We started this year off with the mindset that we would aim to collaborate with more artists, so when Swara proposed a collaboration, we instantly knew we would give it a shot regardless of the result,” they said. “Swara made room for Foenix’s production unusual to an EP of her style and let LAVI’s vocals shine in a blend with hers. Sudan’s mixing gave it that final polish it needed. As artists, we were able to respect each other’s styles to make something that complemented our creative visions.”
Kicking off with the pop debut single ‘gone’ and following it up with the R&B-influenced ‘limbo,’ Swara puts forth yet another facet of her artistry in ‘breathe’ with a no-nonsense lyricism delivered fluently. “My fast-paced verse has so much irony and I love to do that with my music. Clubbing emotional stories with upbeat flows is a strange quirk of mine, and that bit on this track is truly amusing to me,” she disclosed. From clubbing LAVI’s words to her own, raking for a catchy hook, and combining two variations of bridges together, ‘breathe’ developed into a blistering offering.
As the songwriter for all things LAVI & Foenix, LAVI details her first time sharing the paper with another songwriter. “Ever since I had heard Swara’s demos before her debut, I was always drawn to her lyrics. There is a similarity in the way we conceptualize, even though our words differ,” she says. Upon deducing Swara’s ready-to-go verse and concept, it was only a matter of one hour before the pair pieced the residuum of the track. “I think the best part was that we allowed each other’s style to shine while not compromising the story of the song. Songwriting aside, my favourite part was to record ad libs and witness Swara’s harmonies over mine into beautiful melodies.”
For Foenix, the familiarity of Swara’s opus so far meant producing a song that fits the themes of her upcoming EP and also distinguishes the essence of LAVI & Foenix. “What started as a moody/r&b track ended up being a groovy dancy pop with elements of r&b and 90s westcoast hiphop! I absolutely love the final result, especially that it ended up complementing both LAVI and Swara’s vocals so well,” expressed the producer.
With the latest release in place, LAVI & Foenix are amping up for their debut performance at India’s multi-genre music festival, Bacardí NH7 Weekender. “The date of our performance falls on the same date as the release of our debut EP ‘No Phones at the Dinner Table’, exactly a year after. How poetic!” they noted. Rising amidst the chaos and hard work put in these past few months as they prepared their set, the pair teems with excitement over their performance while also letting us in on what they have planned. “Our NH7 set looks and sounds like nothing like we have played before and is going to be a visual treat for everybody that will witness it. We have come a long way in the last year alone, and want to make sure we appreciate that on the stage too.”
As for Swara, the rising artist is counting the days until the release of her debut album, ‘limbo,’ along with a music video. “I’ve always said ‘limbo’ is close to my heart so knowing I’m almost done with this EP is a bittersweet feeling,” she states. The artist looks forward to a small but concentrated break while promising more in the future. “These songs have been the only thing on my mind for months so I’m going to run away from them for a bit while the rest of the world enjoys them. The experience of letting people hear my thoughts has been healing, and I can’t wait to do more of it.”
‘breathe’ by Swara ft. LAVI & Foenix is out now!
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