ECHO

EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Blair Lee

“Less or More” is the new single from Toronto based singer songwriter, Blair Lee. 

The magical melody is juxtaposed with lyrics that tell the story of continuing to chase a dream even when you lose the drive to continue on. 

Lee talked with ECHO about the single, working with ModMaxx, and what fans can expect next. 

You just released your newest single, “Less or More.” What did the writing process look like for this song? 

The writing happened in pieces. When Max [ModMaxx] and I make music, we often start with the instrumental, then the lyrics and melody come after. That’s how it was for this song anyway – it started off as a piano riff, and we slowly built the song around that. 

What inspired you to write “Less or More”?

For a long time, all I had written was the chorus. I recorded it with Max in late November, and then we sat on the track for a little while. We took a break from music over Christmas.  In mid January, I picked the song back up again. 

I’d had time over the winter holidays to reflect on what I wanted to change in my life.  But once I returned to the city and settled back into my daily routines, I felt stuck. 

This song is about overcoming self-doubt.  Wanting to succeed but now knowing quite how.  Going in circles some days.  Sleepless nights.  Being cooped up in a tiny apartment in the big city and feeling envious of the freedom of birds.  Out of all that, came the inspiration for “Less or More’.  It’s hopeful.

You produced the single with ModMaxx, How did you get connected with him?

We met at a studio in October 2018. I was recording a song with Sunny Diamonds (engineer), and Max stopped by towards the end of the session. Sunny introduced us once I was out of the booth, and shortly after that, a couple other artists came in. I sat in while Max played them some of his beats.

Pretty soon, one of the artists started freestyling, taking note of which beats he liked best and telling Max to send them over to him. I remember humming quiet melodies into my phone while all this was happening, hoping nobody would notice that I had my voice notes app open. I liked Max’s music. Every song was an adventure. 

I think Sunny kicked us out in the end (politely), because he had a session with the two artists who’d come in after me. So I left with Max, and we walked west along Queen Street for a while. We planned to have a session that weekend, and… we did! That’s  how we got connected.

How do you hope people feel after listening to the song? 

I hope people feel peaceful and inspired when they listen to it

If you could set fans up in the perfect environment to listen to “Less or More,” what do you imagine it looking like? 

Skipping along a river in a magical fairytale forest

For people who aren’t familiar with your music, how would you describe your sound? 

Uplifting.

How did you first get interested in music? 

I started playing piano in first grade. I was classically trained by a woman who lived down the street from my elementary school. By sixth grade, I was learning to play by ear, and that’s when I started making up songs on the piano. I wrote poetry and lyrics for many years, but I didn’t pair words with music until I was in high school.  

Making music became part of my identity, and I held it close to my heart. I think I was too protective of it for too long. I was always more willing to share piano pieces I’d written, but when it came to singing and playing, I was shy.

It wasn’t until I went to school for audio production that I began to share my songs.

What can fans expect next? 

Another song! The plan was to release an EP in spring… but spring has arrived, and it’s looking a lot different than we’d pictured. So I think we will hold off on putting out a project, and stick to releasing singles for now. 

What is one quote that you’ve heard or you go by that you want to ECHO out to the world? 

“Perhaps the truth depends upon a walk around the lake.”- Wallace Stevens

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