Brooklyn native Breon S.Y.N.D.E.L is an artist on the come up thanks to his unique tongue-in-cheek brand of shimmering hip-hop. With a vocal cadence and flow similar to that of Chance The Rapper and lyrics that aren’t afraid to explore dark, hedonistic depths, Breon is an exciting prospect about to make his mark on the scene.
We caught up with Breon after his latest release ‘The Dancer To My Demons’ to talk about all things music…
How have you been dealing with lockdown and the virus crisis, has it effected your creative output?
The lockdown has definitely shaken up the output. The recording process has halted a bit but it has opened up the opportunity for me to spend a bit of time marketing this EP. It also has allowed me to work on my sound selection with my producer WhatsHisName. We were hitting the studio at a pretty high clip and navigating a dope creative stride right as the pandemic started to evolve into social distancing but hey its all a process, the music will hit the air waves soon.
How would you describe your music to someone who hadn’t heard you before?
I would describe the music as something that hides in plain sight. My delivery is something like spoken word, its very conversational. The vibe is usually dark and melodic, melancholic as well. My lyrics are always heartfelt because thats all I know how to be. Its odd. I feel like if you asked 12 different people this question you would get 12 different answers.
Is there any story or reason for your name ’S.Y.N.D.E.L’ being abbreviated – does it stand for anything?
Happy you asked! It’s a variation of my middle name in real life. S.Y.N.D.E.L stands for Social Youth Never Donate Eternal Love. It just expands on the idea that we’re all pained in some way. I know what its like to try and find yourself whether it be through other people, hobbies, drugs etc etc. I’ve done it all, I’ve tried it all, that’s what got me here. As we have experiences our love for things fade and evolve. I want the people that listen to my music to know its okay, you aren’t alone, you will find yourself. You have my support. There’s always love on this side.
I said when I first heard your new release ‘Ballerina’ it’s got a real Chance The Rapper vibe about it – is he someone that influences you?
Haha, that was an interesting comparison. I can’t say that’s who I had in mind when I made the record but I can definitely see how that comparison can be drawn. He has some songs that are very bright and clean through his engineering and production which is definitely top tier. So I’m happy that the record has that kind of polish and vibe to it!
What can you tell us about your new ‘The Dancer To My Demons’ mini EP release?
I’m really excited about it and I think it will propel my career forward. I have a few publications like your very own that are opting to cover the EP pre-release so that’s an amazing sign. Just want to put the music out and hope the kids gravitate to it naturally.
Both tracks refer to sex and drugs often, do you lead the kind of hedonistic lifestyle you rap about?
I lead it to my detriment at times if I’m being completely honest. Its a balance I still struggle with. I used to live out of my car and moonlight at bars exchange for food. That’s what introduced me to alcohol and Brooklyn night life. Working in the bar industry in Brooklyn, it doesn’t take much to get introduced to liquor, drugs and sex. I heavily engaged in all trying to find myself. It’s a journey, I’m still on the ride. Once the music started taking off a bit, all those things increased. I can’t tell you if it’s good or bad. But what I can tell you is that they’re all a part of my story, everything in my music is 100 percent real. I use music as therapy so I would be doing myself a disservice if I wasn’t honest in it.
You’re Brooklyn based, what’s the scene like over their for new artists, new rappers?
It’s an interesting scene to read. The beautiful thing is that theres so many people now trying to embrace their creative side. It makes it a bit difficult to see who’s genuine in their intentions and craft unfortunately. But overall its fun, theres no shortage of artists that you can learn from and work with. The best part is that there is a very realistic opportunity for any and every individual artist to shine. There’s no place I would rather be!
A lot of artists from the UK would dream of trying to make it in New York, is it all its made out to be in your opinion?
New York is a great place to come up as an artist. Not to repeat the cliche but, If you can make it here you can make it anywhere. I truly believe that coming up in New York as an artist can mold you to accomplish anything as long as you’re willing to stick with it. But to be fully honest, I feel like you guys have something amazing brewing in the UK and I’m interested to see what the music scene will be like over there in a few years.
What do you think is going to make you stand out from other up and coming artists breaking their way into the industry right now?
I think my genuineness can always be felt. Nobody can be me better than me. Nobody can tell my story better, I think a lot of people will connect to my words. I don’t really view anyone as competition. I only make music I like and want to hear, I believe in my taste and ability to make quality music. I have faith in my engineer and producer WhatsHisName to grow along with me. It’s kind of like a Drake to 40 or Eminem to Dr Dre dynamic we have going on. I will say one thing I’ve started to fully embrace as of late is my voice. I feel like nobody has my vocal profile.
What’s your plans for the rest of 2020, any more new releases?
There is definitely more to come in 2020. We have the first music video dropping over the summer, a few more singles lined up. The people seem to be wanting more, the kids seem to be finding the music at a faster clip. I want to make sure the listeners are fed at all times. I know what it’s like to want more from your favorite artist, it’s going to get to a point where the listeners expect music at a higher clip from me. I’ll make that happen.