How We Made: The Black Seeds' So True

Each week we ask an artist or performer how their most famous work happened. This week, The Black Seeds' Barnaby Weir.

How We Made .... smash hit song So True.

"We didn't initially choose So True as a potential single from the album.

The Black Seeds 2017: Francis Harawira, Daniel Weetman, Jarney Murphy, Nigel Patterson, Barnaby Weir and Ned Ngatae.
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The Black Seeds 2017: Francis Harawira, Daniel Weetman, Jarney Murphy, Nigel Patterson, Barnaby Weir and Ned Ngatae.

"But about a year after realising the album, On The Sun – oh, maybe not quite a year – So True got picked up by commercial radio. Also, we had a good video being made which really helped.

"I came up with a demo for So True at my ex-girlfriend Georgina's parents' house – we're mates... She also got an almost breaking up song and then a third album – an EP of love, man –  so she's been quite popular.

'We were house sitting and they had a family piano downstairs in the lounge. I had my kind of mobile recording set up... so I was recording a few demos and playing on that piano.

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"I don't play piano well, but I can play some chords and sort of bass lines. And I started with that bass line, "da da da, da da daa da, da da da", and added the reggae drops on top.

'So, basically I just wrote a love song; which was a playful kind of love song, you know, 'The sweetest stuff, you give to me' in regards to her. It's a poppy kind of love song, for her.

"Then later on I took it to the band. We wrote a chorus, it's [bandmate] Mike Fab's. Then later we wrote Cool Me Down (Into the Dojo): [about the] same girlfriend.

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"She wasn't there, in the room at the time. I was just having a jam, making a demo. When you've got that time, that creative time, there's no one who's going to say 'no, that's not cool'. You just go with your heart, it's just a draft or scribble. If it sticks, then I show it to the guys.

"This was the after thought single, it was probably the fourth tune we released. Also, it's New Zealand so you don't expect to take on the world straight away. It was quite a bit further down the track when So True started getting played.

Because it was one of the softer songs we were doing, a softer lovey-dovey pop song, we were surprised. But we were stoked, absolutely pleased."

As told to Glenn McConnell. The Black Seeds are midway through a nationwide tour.

 

 - Sunday Star Times

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