Words by Sophie Revell
Image courtesy of Blatantly Blunt
The first thing I noticed about Jack Suddaby, or Sudders as he’s known in the music world, is that he’s clearly a strongly creative person. He’s filmed music videos for some UK hip hop greats like Rag N Bone Man and Fliptrix, produces his own music videos and has a podcast series called “Beautiful Strangers”on Apple Podcasts. Sudders’ debut EP “A Little Bit of Me” is entirely self-produced and follows acclaimed single “Breathe”, which received support from BBC Radio 1 and BBC Introducing. Recently, I was lucky enough to chat to Sudders about his album, and gained insight to what lies behind what feels like a deeply personal album.
“I can’t talk about selling drugs or anything like that. I’m not that, I don’t do that” Jack says when I ask what it was like putting out such vulnerable lyrics, “So I just thought I’d have to do something vulnerable. My favourite part of music is when they’re vulnerable.” He references the 5th track in the album, Father in the Mist, which talks about his parents divorcing and coming back together. “That was one I actually wasn’t going to release. I sent it to my friends, that was the only one I had to send to my family, actually, before I released it and asked them if it was okay. So I got their blessing.” Many of the tracks on the album are anecdotal and feature snippets of his life and past experiences that culminate in an atmosphere that feels more like listening to a friend talk about their life more than a produced music album. We agreed on how many albums are plagued with what I called “filler songs” which only exist in the tracklist to make it longer. This concept doesn’t apply to “A Little Bit of Me” – there isn’t a song where I thought “that’s there just to make up numbers”, there is passion in every song. Jack credits some of this to being completely self-produced. “I think it’s definitely allowed me to be more creative. I only made it with myself. No one else was in the studio, I tweaked all the songs and all the beats. I heard in an interview with Slack when he makes a song, he’ll just get everyone out of the studio for about six hours. He’ll just crack on and then by the end of it he’ll have a song, and that’s basically how I like to work. And I think, because I’ve been able to just make the beat or I’ve not been worried, not had a bunch of mates in the background being like ‘that’s not cool’, or feeling that pressure not to talk about stuff because it’s vulnerable. It was just me in my room so no one’s hearing it at the time.”
I read in Worldplay magazine that without lockdown, the EP might not have been made. Jack said, “I think there’s two types of writers. I think there’s a lot of people that write from experiences that they have, and a lot of those experiences come from normal world stuff. And so when you’re being trapped in your bedroom, or in your home, people won’t get inspiration.” The other type of musicians draws inspiration from introspection – like Sudders. “I talk about things that happened in my past, things that are happening, how I feel about something. I guess it’s similar, but I can look back there more. And so I’ve had that chance [in lockdown] to be able to get all that out. There must be so many artists that are just waiting. You don’t want to release an album in the middle of lockdown, and then eight months later, you go to play the album and it’s old.” He then announced, I mean, I’ve got another album ready!” Sudders’ creative flame has not been snuffed by lockdown, so I wanted to know what his advice for creatives during covid times. “Creatives are so different. Just try and find time to do something that you really enjoy, find a place for doing it. The truth is, if you just keep doing it, you will get better. It’s proven. No- one starts amazing”
After exhausting the obligatory “covid chat” we looked forward to what is next for Sudders, following the success of “A Little Bit of Me”. After the hint earlier on that another album was well on its way, I was also glad to hear that Sudders will be gigging very soon – on April 22nd as support for Funeral Dreams. This will be the first time that Jack performs live as Sudders. “I’m thinking about [performing live] all the time. Every single time I make a song, I will just practice doing the song in my bedroom and turn it up and just see how it feels. I have a rug on the floor, that’s the stage that I stand on. I properly go in” In terms of new music, Sudders will collaborate with CW Jones, has his first single of the year called “Lonesome” and, excitingly, a War of the Worlds -esque audiobook featuring original songs which is being co-written with Kate Ramsey. If that doesn’t scream creativity, I don’t know what does.
If lockdown has sucked you dry of emotion, go and stream “A Little Bit of Me” and bathe in the vulnerability, honesty and hard hitting instrumentals throughout.