Transatlantic artist Snny has called many places across the globe home. Born in Ivory Coast, transplanted to Boston, and later Reykjavik, this burgeoning new soul star has learned a lot about himself via his travels. No matter what identity he took on, wherever he was, he was still a young Black man.
Now, with his latest alt rock tinged single "Postmodern Black," Snny is owning exactly who he is and blossoming in his own Black creativity. The song is his most confident yet. With vocals that shimmer, funky guitar riffs, and a rolling bass, "Postmodern Black" is a beautiful glimpse into his world. We got to chat with Snny about his artistry.
Ones To Watch: What’s your earliest musical memory?
Snny: Probably the church music my mom would play around the house, but I vividly remember the first time I heard "Primier Gaou" by Magic System (this group from the Ivory Coast) I was maybe 10 and they were the coolest thing to me at the time.
How did you get your start in music?
My best friend had a little studio set up in his basement and we just started experimenting one summer.
How would you describe your music without using any genre terms?
Alive, omega & alpha (not the other way around).
You've lived all over, what have each of the places you've spent time in (Iceland, Ivory Coast, Boston) given you or helped you grow as a person?
I feel like I have a bit of an encyclopedic spirit. It's definitely made me more self-reliant and intuitive.
In bell hook's Postmodern Blackness essay of which your single is inspired, she says, "The idea that there is no meaningful connection between black experience and critical thinking about aesthetics or culture must be continually interrogated." Why do you think that is, or actually isn't?
I think black culture in general has been exploited from the early days of rock n roll to present day hip hop, so our narrative not only got lost and distorted in translation, but also almost completely erased. Black art is a reflection of the Black Experience.
"Postmodern Black" exudes so much confidence. Particularly the chorus, I walk the streets/I run my world/I climb so high because it calms me down/It calms me down. Where does your strength come from?
Home, My roots, my family, my sense of pride in where I'm from.
The culture is changing today especially within music, in what ways do you think art can be used as activism?
Art and activism go hand in hand. Art has a way of punching through the zeitgeist and holding a mirror up to society.
What's next for you in 2020?
My debut album.
Who are your Ones To Watch?
Crack Cloud, they're brilliant.
Listen to "Postmodern Black" below: