Sariyah Idan seeks deliverance in the lyric video for her compellingly intimate single Darkness — premiering exclusively on Tinnitist.
“This song fell out of me one morning in a river of melancholia and questions,” says the singer-songwriter, producer, multi-instrumentalist and bandleader. “It’s a prayer to a higher power, a female consciousness, to guide me on my path as a sensitive human in a turbulent world.”
Musically layered and emotionally rich, the smouldering track showcases the New York-bred, L.A.-based artist’s ability to seamlessly combine a wide variety of disparate styles and sonics into a memorable sound all her own.
“The sounds and structure are influenced by a mix of genres. The lyrics were very much inspired by spirituals; originally the opening lyric was ‘Oh Lawd,’ but in the process of recording I was compelled to change it to the universal feminine syllable ‘Ma,’ to both bring a shift from patriarchal spirituality and also to not appropriate Black American culture in a way that is inauthentic to who I am.
“The guitar has a bit of a flamenco feel, which is common with my moodier music as that genre touches me and is often playing in my home. The root of the feel is very trip-hop, so partnering with Lynne Earls on production was perfect. Lynne came up in the trip-hop scene in Liverpool, England and brought some really juicy ideas to Darkness, both old-school and innovative. She brought in Jennifer Condos grounding us all on bass, and Peter Waldon with his watery cello, whose playing made me cry in the studio. I’m a catharsis junkie, thats how I know it’s working.”
Darkness was written and demoed in Idan’s home studio in Los Angeles, with her playing all instruments, including a sample drum pad. The official recording was done at EMP Studios in North Hollywood. The song is the first single from her debut solo album Breaking Shadows, slated for release later this year. The album can be pre-ordered through Idan’s Indiegogo page.
Jazz and folk trained, hip-hop educated and influenced by her Jewish roots, Idan embodies fiery sensuality rooted in cultural, social and verbal poetry. She grew up touring as a singer and dancer in a world folk ensemble while honing her lyric skills as a spoken-word poet at The Nuyorican Poets Cafe. The sonic tapestry of her music — as heard on her Deeper Than Skin EP and Not Afraid mixtape — is an expression of both multicultural urban identity and cultural activism. Her lyrics and vocals have also been featured on Artson’s award-winning 2018 album Brave Star, MC Dumi RIGHT’s album Doing It The Right Way and DJ Haj I Ji’s EP Reports Of My Demise.