sadHAPPY is the artist project of Scottish singer-songwriter Aaron Smith. We caught up with the artist ahead of his new single release “Dance Again”. Having originally delved into the music industry at the age of 19. Smith recalls how it was through his first manager that the journey truly began.
“I knew him from a workshop I did when I was a teenager and that’s where he found new acts to manage in Scotland and we just kept in touch. I was a busker at the time and I think the thing that really kicked it off was when a busking video of mine somehow got to Anne-Marie and she tweeted about it”.
Smith goes onto recall how through this interaction, people started really taking notice. A feeling Smith references as being “literally the best feeling in the world”. The artist chose music as unlike video games, which did not spark an interest. When it came to playing his guitar and singing, the artist jumped at every opportunity. He admits that whilst he did not have the best upbringing and found it really hard to talk about his feelings; he knew how to sing about them! Once Smith got into working through gigs, he got a taste of what it was like; and for the artist it all happened very naturally.
With sadHAPPY’s new release Dance Again, the artist points out how his latest release is the first proper ‘dance’ song he has put out. “I love writing fun lyrics and big dance choruses so I guess it just nice to try these things out. I feel like I’m always developing as a new artist and I try not to overthink songs as much these days”. He goes onto highlight how it was written with his friends James Carter and Amanda Kongshaug in a cottage in the “middle of nowhere” in Scotland. The artists goes onto reference the location Dance Again was created as the most calming, therapeutic setting. By the artists own admission it was in such a contrast with the environment they were writing in.
Describing his sound as India Dance Pop with a hint of depression and sadness; Smith references being inspired by John Mayer, Coldplay, Bon Iver, Meduza, Calvin Harris, to name but a few artists. He admits that he is still early in the process of finding collaborators. However, has thoroughly enjoyed working with his friends James Carter, Sean Myer, Amanda Kongshaug, Lewis Gardiner and James Hopkins.
Pursuit of a Dream
Smith opens up about being bullied at school. He explains how he was never interested in playing football (even though he loves it now); or hanging out with anyone at school. He explains that he was always made to feel like he would not amount to anything which really gave him the drive to do music seriously.
“I’ve suffered with depression and anxiety my whole life. I’m pretty open about it. I’ve been in recovery for almost 3 years from alcoholism so I feel like a big chunk of my life I relied on that to get through the depression and anxiety but now I really just try and talk to people and tell them how I’m feeling. I try doing breathing exercises but the biggest help to me is the writing/creative process”.
Smith explains that he forgets about everything when he is creating music. In a sense allowing him to feel somewhat normal. He believes everyone has different coping mechanisms. Whilst his are unique to him, he does encourage anyone to try them.
Currently working on more music. He goes onto explain that you are always going to get that voice in your head saying that you can’t do it and you don’t know where to start. The truth is that you really can. “If you put your mind to anything and believe that you can do it then you will. I always thought that it was impossible to get into music but I really just kept doing what I was doing and the people who I was trying to reach just came to me. I’m super grateful for that”. The artists biggest challenge has been getting sober and finding his feet again. He explains how he had to take a backseat from music for a while but it was the best thing he ever did. #watchthisspace