Interview/Music: Skyline Sun

Twistedsoul: Skyline Sun

Berlin-based nu-jazz project Skyline Sun has dropped his latest tune, ‘Strange Times’, ahead of his upcoming EP ‘Flesh and Bones’. Skyline Sun is the musical moniker for producer and guitarist Jarrah Dhyan.

‘Strange Times’ is a wonderfully crafted journey that sways and ebbs with harmonic and rhythmic changes; this is music to move the mind, shake the body and nourish the soul. We’re delighted to premiere the track, which we’d like to describe as the perfect remedy for the strange times we’re living in at the moment.

With a style that lies somewhere between modern jazz and 70’s funk, his music subtly bridges the gap between these two worlds pushing the boundaries of contemporary jazz while remaining grounded in tradition.

Of the EP, Dhyan says, “It deals with the idea of impermanence, in the sense of music being ever changing, life constantly developing and even how our modern society can turn in a instant.”

Ahead of the release, Dhyan tells us more about his Skyline Sun project.

Congratulations on the release of your single. How long has this track been in the making? 

This next track is the 4th single from a session I did last August. All the music was written and recorded almost at the same time. It was an intense experience, but it was great to get the material together so quickly and then go straight into the studio. That is always such a natural way of the recording process for me. Everything still feels so fresh.

The artwork for the single is quite striking. What’s the story behind it? 

The artwork follows a theme that all my recent singles have been sticking to. I worked on the covers with two different graphic artists to really bring them to life. Always sticking to the overall meaning and feeling of being dark, broody, and also contemplative.

Can you tell us a few things about your forthcoming EP Flesh And Bones?

Flesh and Bones has an overarching theme of impermanence, in the sense of music being ever-changing, life constantly changing, and even how our modern society can be changed in an instant. It was all written at the same time with the same thoughts and feelings of mine really going into each track. These thoughts of fragility and how I, as a musician, had never had to deal with situations like these before. Not gigging, not networking, not rehearsing, and not able to be creative with others in the same way. It was an eye-opening experience for me.

What was your life like before moving to Berlin, living in Australia and being into music? Also, how do you think living in Berlin has affected your sound?

Life back in Australia was great, and I was lucky enough to be in a great music scene back in Sydney. Many different projects and lots of gigs, but I was really wanting to branch out and experience more things and other music scenes. Berlin just really felt like the right choice, and it has slowly changed the shape of my sound, which is exactly what I wanted it to do. While at its, core my music is jazz, it now is also always dance-focused in its delivery.

What do you love and hate most about Berlin?

That is hard to answer. I love Berlin because how alive it always feels; there is always so much incredible music, art, and culture. But of course, that is no longer the case right now. I really do miss the old Berlin and the feeling of being within that cultural scene. I guess I would say that the thing I hate the most is how the city feels now with the lockdown.

What’s your favourite non-music place to hang out in Berlin?

There are a few great little bars where I used to hang out a lot, in Kreuzberg especially. ‘Das Hotel’ or ‘Laksmi’ are both a great vibe. Small bars which really feel like culturally diverse Berlin.

What artist inspires you at the moment? And If you could collaborate with one artist, who would it be?

 I am being more and more inspired by producers as of late. Whether that be ‘Potatohead People’ from Vancouver, or Dan Kye, Jordan Rakei’s other project. A lot of the time in my writing process, I listen to producers for inspiration and ideas. However ff I could collaborate with any artist, I think it would be an incredible drummer such as Yussef Dayes. Over the years, I have always had the most incredible experiences when I feel really connected to a drummer as the music can feel so effortless while also being angelic. I think it would be amazing to play with someone with the presence behind the kit like Yussef.

How do you think the music industry will evolve in a post-COVID world? 

That is really hard to say. For a while, I thought that live-streamed gigs would take over, but I now no longer feel like that is the case. I do feel like the music industry will really see a boom of life and creativity as we start to return to normality, but it’s, of course, impossible to say how that will happen exactly.

Three things we should know about Skyline Sun?

The name Skyline Sun came from a tradition I have for every new city that I go to. Every time I go somewhere new, I must take a photo of the skyline as my own personal memory of the city. This feeling of staring out across a city’s skyline became an important thing for me as I traveled, and that is where Skyline Sun comes from.

It has been interesting developing Skyline Sun from the original line-up for my first EP back in Sydney compared to what it has become here in Berlin. It really is constantly changing and developing, and that is what I love. That’s the essence of Skyline Sun. 

This constantly changing identity of Skyline Sun doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon. I have plans to work with more producers and really open up the sound of what Skyline Sun is.

Any final word for the Twistedsoul readers?

Despite all the struggles of 2020, 2021 should turn out to be an incredible year. I have many plans, including releases, new collaborations, and other musical ventures that I have never experienced before. I cannot wait.

CF Smith

Permeating your ears with good music.

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