The supersonic London outfit stands up for themselves and anyone who had to cut someone bad for them off.
A rising star in the hyper-pop and alternative rock scene, Keeper has exploded onto the scene with his ability to balance the nostalgic with modern, innovative ideas and sounds. Taking influence from hyper-pop artists such as Glaive and Dorian Electra and alternative bands like Neck Deep and Enter Shikari, Keeper’s sound is underlined by an energy that can only be described as electric.
Keeper's debut EP “Guess I’m Keeper,” tackled meaningful themes of mental health, loneliness and friendship with a vulnerability that has become rare and precious in contemporary musicians. His transparent approach to music is part of why he’s connected with listeners so quickly; his music is undoubtedly human, honest, and thus inherently relatable. Having followed his debut up with strong acts like “Soul,” “ISPY,” and “Here We Go,” Keeper is quickly establishing himself as an act to watch for the foreseeable future.
In typical Keeper style, his latest release, “Come Around,” tackles another crop of relatable issues with transparency and honesty that is simply refreshing. Although “Come Around” wasn’t written directly from Keeper’s experience, the inspiration for the song came from a friend who got caught up in a toxic relationship. Over spunky vocals and an equally spunky music video, Keeper lashes out at a partner who continually lets him down, dismisses him and makes him feel like shit. Dropping lines like “Pick me up let me down / I thought you would come around” and “I've been losing out on myself with you,” Keeper clarifies his feelings and takes a stand for himself. It’s a powerful reference to having the courage to love yourself enough to let someone bad for you go, even if you love that person.
“Come Around” is a heartfelt and emotional tribute to a friend and explores the idea that your source of life should not come from someone else. Whenever you’re ready, tap in and stream “Come Around,” available May 18th.
Welcome to BuzzMusic Keeper! We loved "Come Around," and it was both sweet and moving that the inspiration came from a close friend of yours. We wanted to ask, a common theme that runs through your music seems to be transparency. What makes you so vulnerable in your music, and how much does artistic honesty play a role in the music you create?
Thank you for having me, and obviously, thank you for enjoying the song! It looks like you took the time to go through all the material! That means a lot! Come around is very much that, Transparency. I've recently taken some liberties with some new ones, writing them from the basis of characters and stories. Less emotional investment and more the purpose of just being creative! I just wanted to try something new. However, with Come Around, the lyrics were written from a more traditional standpoint, coming from a point of feeling and (reusing the exact phrase here) emotional investment. For a while, I saw something written without any truth or meaning as a bland piece of art, a lack of integrity. I'd always try to write from a place that meant something to me, where I had an actual connection. So, in a way, my own bias and creative barriers caused me to be transparent. Naturally, it wasn't all that. If something were playing on my mind, I'd write about it. The Come Around story was one such thing. There was a lot of communal anger there, not just from me but also from my friends. So, when that relationship ended, I think there was a feeling of relief from everyone, which transpired into a song. There's still anger, as the lyrics are very direct and confrontational, but there's also a real sense of happiness and reflection. The Instrumental of Come Around is very upbeat and in a primary key, which creates a nice mix. I think the themes and emotions of the lyrics, intertwined with the beat, create a sort of hopeful sound. That's what the song is. It's hope for the future. Corny as hell. In terms of artistic honesty, my view has shifted. As I said above, my limited worldview of music causes me to look at art as something that has to carry emotion or honesty. You might agree, what's the point of art if it has no intellectual honesty? But then again, what's the point of art if it must be honest? Isn't that limiting itself? If art should be without limits, why should you limit it? It creates a paradox. I now think art should be written from the point of being art. Art should make you feel something at the end. If you write something that breaks the mundane of someone's day, it can be genuinely written about anything. So now I'll write about whatever I want. I've got a song about being a silly vampire coming up soon, just because I can!!
When did you decide you wanted to start making music seriously? What made you decide to do so?
When I was young, my parents encouraged me to learn how to play musical instruments. I started with the piano and continued for a year or two, but my teacher eventually moved to Australia, and I never really picked it up again. It wasn't until a few years later that I decided to try learning another instrument, and I chose the guitar. Initially, I didn't enjoy it; it felt like a chore. Instead, I would have been playing video games with my mates rather than sitting alone in my room practising scales from a book. Videos my parents showed me never clicked. Slash, BB King, and Eric Clapton looked like some old guys playing in front of billions at the time. It made it look corporate and like work. I had zero inclination toward what music could be! This was my mindset for ages. However, when I turned 15, my musical tastes started to develop, and I began seeing it as a potential career. I watched a documentary about the band Paramore called "This is Riot." Their music was amazing; they were young, having fun, and making money. They weren't some distant rock stars on a stage; they were kids! Hanging out with their mates, playing music, driving around, and exploring the world! Not just some goofs doing a segment on Sunday Brunch (which I'm sure they probably did. [sidenote: Sunday Brunch, please hit me up, I would love to do a segment for you!!!!!]) Watching that documentary made me feel like becoming a musician was achievable, and since then, it's been all I can think about. My dream isn't to become rich and famous with fancy cars and cameras; I want to play shows with my friends, write music, and not worry about going broke or borrowing money from my parents. I want to live off the music I create and have unforgettable adventures, sleeping in the backs of cars or on university floors!
Do you have a favourite musical memory?
Oh, I've got a funny one, but it's not as Keeper. It's a bit back during my time in Jack The Envious. JTE was a post-hardcore band I was in for many years. Inow joined roughly as soon as I turned 19, and they were already pretty off the ground by then. I had to learn a lot and quickly. Without JTE, I honestly don't think Keeper would've started. JTE used to play up and down the country, and whenever we did have a local show, it was east London. Which, for me… is not local. At all. Getting home from an east London gig was always a nightmare, as the trains stop after a specific time, so I finally convinced the boys to have a show nearer me instead. I ran it all. Booked the venue and organized the bands, all of it. It was my first time trying to show my friends, look, I'm not in a rubbish after-school band! What I've got is the actual thing! A BAND band! After all, I wanted it to be a fancy dress, a Halloween gig! I ensured all the advertisements showed it; I told everyone, my bandmates and the other bands. But did anyone turn up in fancy dress? Nope. Not even my guys. But, it was packed. Thank god. Finally, something nearer me, and something that looked good!! I was so happy. We got on stage and started playing. The crowd was popping off. I'm starting to feel it now and getting fully pumped. We're on our 2nd to last song, the heaviest of the set. I see my mates moshing in the front row. They're all shouting and having fun. I want to join! So there I am, Jumping off the stage, going straight for the audience… Still playing, mind you. Mate, I. Am. Flying. A power jump straight into a mosh pit. Then BAM. The world goes black, and I'm on the floor. The Music's still going. I'm still playing. But I'm not on the stage anymore. I'm on the floor, and everyone's looking down at me, and I'm there looking up. My head is pounding. My vision is blurry, but I'm still playing. The pain I felt in my noggin was awful. I wanted to be sick. I had somehow jumped so high that I smashed my forehead into the ceiling and fell directly on the floor, narrowly missing the stage with the back of my head and landing square on my back, luckily all without breaking the guitar. Looking at the video (which is on my IG), it's insane that I didn't cause more damage than just a headache. I still managed to finish the set, pack up, and drive 35 mins home.
How would you describe your music and sound to new listeners?
I've been in between sounds recently. I'm still in that testing phase where you're just writing for the sake of writing. I have the usual genres I pick from, but at the moment, they're all turning out in different ways. The default styles are; Pop Punk, Emo, Post-hardcore, Emo-Rap, Hyper-pop, and Pop. Most of those genres link anyway—the 3 first and then the last 3 links. The new EP has a song for each of those genres. So as long as you like any of those, you're in for a good time with Keeper! Each song takes a different amount from each genre.
Come Around has its pop-punk bones with hyper-pop elements. I have one with the artist Synsy, which is metalcore/trap metal; I have two hyper pop ones; one that's straight up MCR / Escape the Fate 2000s style; and one which is a cool mix of all of it. They're all different but take from those six main genres. I'm still trying to find that happy spot that I think isn't rehashed to death but still has the nostalgic vibe. The final of the 6 is the closest to finding my "sound."All of them are Keeper, but that 6th is just a little further than the others. (I guess, as it's the newest). Whenever Cass and I write something new, we get closer to that "sound" I'm after. The journey there is so cool to see!! You can hear the progression throughout the releases. Track-wise, they're always a bit in your face. I like songs with a body to them. We try to make sure the chorus is loud and catchy, something you could adequately shout your heart out to. That's the hook, the most important part of the song, so you HAVE to make sure it's loud and in charge.
What do you want people to feel when they listen to your music?
This is a cool question that ties in nicely with the first one. I don't want them to feel anything specific now; I want them to feel something! If you hate the song, that's cool. I made you feel a strong emotion from the 3+ minutes of random sound waves I made in my bedroom. That's the win. Anything that made you feel anything is something I want! Sure, some of the songs are written from a specific place, using specific emotions I had at the time, but that doesn't necessarily mean I want you to feel those same emotions. That would be limiting! And, as I said earlier, that's not arty. Like, if you feel the same, that's cool. That's a win. But I will still take that as a win if you don't. I want you to feel whatever you want to feel. That's my job, and that's my goal. Please excuse the pretentiousness of it all. If I'm self-aware, does that mean it's not as bad? Haha. I hope so