Over the past few years, Sunnie Williams has taken no recess to her artistic nature as a musical collaborator. As half of the enticing alt-pop synth-wave duo ØPAL, she wields her angelic voice like the secret weapon, bursting with ambient groove, waves of life, warmth, and wonder. As her solo musical endeavor cascades forward with full momentum, Sunnie is crafting melodic and pastoral southern pop songs for everyone to digest. Now, with the arrival of "Dear Life," a song primarily written by herself and her new collaborators, a fresh sense of weight and relevance lingers on the tongue. As we dive deep into the new phenomenon that is Sunnie Williams, we are reminded why she is such a sought after commodity through writing, producing, and singing.
"Dear Life" sails forward on an upbeat tropical-vibe rhythm, bright background synths, and Sunnie's brilliant, lilting soprano. The sunny energetic vibe is like the buoy to her lyrics, which find Williams struggling with what it means to find one's authentic self in this world and the vulnerability behind it. During the middle section, the rich instrumentation drops out in favor of an echoing vocal line, reverberating as if underwater and anchoring her newfound sense of focus. "If I put this weight down, would I float away," she sings, "I'm just hanging on for dear life." In William's hands, that useful mantra of self-reliance sounds like total bliss. Her presence totally rockets this song to the atmosphere. As the whole song erupts up into a final crescendo, vocal callbacks, thumping drums, and a grooving bassline lead the way. Ultimately, the masterfully crafted melodies tailored with the honest themes, and vulnerable lyrics attest to just how vital an authentic artist like Sunnie Williams is to the music industry. We want songs like "Dear Life", and we want more from Sunnie Williams.
Listen to "Dear Life" here.
Hey there, Sunnie! Welcome to BuzzMusic! We're ecstatic to be featuring your newest single "Dear Life"! Tell us about the writing process and how the overall concept for this song developed.
Hey! Thanks for having me. The concept came to me during a particular time when I wasn’t quite sure what to say when people would politely ask me how I was doing. It’s not that I had nothing to say, but that I had so much to say that I didn’t even know where to start. I was always anxious and unsure about what I wanted and who I was. I would always answer “I’m doing well,” when what I really wanted to say was “Honestly I’m hanging on for dear life."
You collaborate often and have made a name for yourself doing so. Do you believe "Dear Life" would have provided the same intended message without collaborating as you did on this track?
Oh, there’s no chance. My collaborators, Dylan Edmunds and John Townsend, were absolutely essential for this song to be living the life that it is now. The words in this song are so therapeutic to me and writing with them that day was something I’ll never forget. Dylan also produced it and had a brilliant vision from the start. There’s no way I could have done this concept of justice on my own.
Who has had the most significant influence on your life musically thus far? Can you describe the impact this particular individual has had in terms of your ability to convey a specific emotion?
That’s hard to say. I don’t think I can pin one person down. I do know that whenever I am feeling lost or a little bankrupt as an artist or writer, I get the most jazzed by extremely earnest people. I am energized and inspired by real humans. I love listening to people like Hayley Williams or Jon Bellion talk. They’re just real. They’re human. And that’s what I want to be. I think anything else is just silly.
What are some of your ultimate goals this year? How are you currently working towards accomplishing these goals?
Well, I think all of our new goals are to just get through this super weird time! But one of my main goals as an artist is to further refine my sound and my message. And to do that, I want to build a tight-knit camp around me. I’ve already started to do that and the result has been music that I really believe in.
It was amazing having you here on BuzzMusic! Can you tell us about some of the people you plan on collaborating with in the future? Is there anything, in particular, you are most excited about finishing or starting this year?
Oh, I WISH I could tell you! I do have some extremely exciting collaborations cooking as we speak. I don’t want to ruin the surprise though. And of course, I also have my other project ØPAL, which has a ton of really incredible stuff on the way. I am so inspired and excited for what’s to come!