Surahn Sidhu – Interview
March 11th-14th, 2016
Surahn Sidhu is an Australian singer, songwriter and producer, founding member of pioneering disco band The Swiss and current member of Favoured Nations. Surahn’s prodigious talent and charismatic charm have seen him become a collaborator of choice for multi-Grammy-award-winning and ARIA winning artists like Usher, Kimbra and Empire of the Sun. Surahn’s credits include a US Billboard Number 1 album with Usher, a solo EP released through James Murphy’s iconic New York based DFA label and a touring schedule with Empire of the Sun over the last 5 years that has seen him travel the globe and perform at every major music festival in the Northern Hemisphere. Surahn recently performed as a guest vocalist for 16 shows across the US for Australian Dance act Flight Facilities and is working with them on upcoming shows in Australia. Over the past three years, in between a frenetic touring schedule and countless co-writing and production sessions around the globe, he has written and recorded a breathtaking treasure chest of soul tracks for his debut solo album, due for release in the Australian spring of 2015. Surahn writes and records all his music at his beach shack at Goolwa Beach. As a live artist, for the past five years, his main gig has been as guitarist with Empire of the Sun, with whom he has spent most of those years performing at all the big festivals around the world. Also known as SidWHO?, which is his DJ/Producer alter ego. In September and October 2015, he has been singing as guest lead vocalist with Flight Facilities at their live shows around Australia and overseas.
Surahn is just in the process of completing his debut solo album, which will be released this year. On the eve of his new singe “Into the distance” being released, Eventalaide had the chance to interview Surahn.
From chatting to him, you can tell he is very passionate about WOMADelaide. He nominated this festival as his favourite in the world as a punter. The chance to rock up, be immersed in the culture and take in all the glorious food on offer along with the taste the world tent is something special. Another main aspect for him was to see artists that he has never seen before and fall in love with them by the end of the festival. His favourite music festival that he has performed at is Coachella.
His favourite international artist which he has toured with is Stevie Wonder at Coachella, Glastonbury and LCD Sound System in France. He would have loved the opportunity to have played with the late David Bowie.
Festival goers to WOMADelaide can expect to see Surahn debuting songs from his new album. Material from previous years will also be played. A fantastic band has been put in place for his set.
Before WOMADelaide, Surahn will be touring with Flight Facilities and supporting them with 3 DJ sets in New York. New single, “Into the distance” is released on February 12. The video clip is shot on the Coorong which will be fascinating for Adelaide locals here.
Surahn considers him a student in harmony and has an approach of exercise in balance to create harmony. In writing songs, it’s creating that balance in work and life that helps him become more creative in his song writing. His biggest inspiration is his wife.
Gardening is one of his passions outside of music. An interesting fact is that he grows native Australian food in their home garden.
Surahn described his funniest moment when performing live was when he bled on his guitar after a prince concert in front of 80, 000 people in Portugal. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen again at WOMADelaide.
For any aspiring artists, his advice is to keep going even when you feel like giving up. Artists are constantly faced with challenges but it’s the willpower to keep going through those tough times that will ultimately allow you to fulfil your dreams.
It was refreshing to chat to an artist who is a proud South Australian and loves to fly the flag for our great State. Exciting times ahead are ahead for Surahn with the release of his new album. For anyone attending WOMADelaide, Surahn’s set is definitely one to put on the agenda. And hey, you will be supporting a local artist too at the same time.
Surah will be appearing Monday, March 14th at WOMADelaide on the Novatech Stage 2-3pm. Check www.womadelaide.com.au for more details.