For Britt White's new release, Shake, we thought is would be a great time to try out a new PFR website feature, The Artist Interview Series. For each new release someone at PFR will come up with three questions specifically about the release and send them to the artist for their response. Britt accepted the role of guinea-pig and then asked a question herself, to bdRm (aka Jeremy Wilkins), who did the remix for the special edition version of the single.
So, without further ado, here is our interview with Britt.
PFR : “Shake” seems very different from your debut EP. Do you agree and to what do you contribute the change in style and tone to?
Britt : For the most part I would agree; my tendency toward parable-like lyricism stayed but the flourish and almost complete focus on whimsy of my EP went out the window. I contribute this to actually the same theme as the song - too many details and grinning melodies can actually be a playful but distracting mask from the content - same as hiding our honest struggles with those close to us by putting on the "brave face." It's okay to be sloppy, not quite right, unaccepted, or even downright ordinary - as long as it's genuine. I think the fact I was ready to (at least vaguely) write about some hard times for me gave me the courage to strip the rest of the dancing lights down.
PFR : The lyrics to “Shake” are very personal. Do you care to discuss what it’s about or at least how it feels to write and record music based on such personal experiences?
Britt : I guess I kind of answered that above- It's a three-edged sword? Healing, terrifying, and ideally ultimately gaining some kind of new strength or substance. The more integrity in the work, the more both the creator and the appreciator can gain, it seems. I guess that should be an obvious principle but I keep learning it over and over. I needed to gain peace with the concept that there's what you can do to help yourself, and then knowing and being able to accept help. I wanted it to come full-circle that way, why the last lyric of the song begins with "I." It takes equal strength and dignity to do something on your own as well as with the aid of others, I feel I've learned, and I'd be joyful if this in anyway offers peace or support to others listening.
PFR : What’s one thing you remember about the recording process?
Britt : Compared to my prior EP (which I did entirely on my own besides vocal recording and mixing/mastering by Jeremy)... easier! lol. The stripped down instrumentation plus the general simplicity of the song made it a pretty quick process, which was good considering how tender and difficult it was to do at the time. It has definitely encouraged me to continue in this vein in the future.
And then Britt sent her question to bdRM.
Britt : What prompted you to create a remix of "Shake," and what do you think it offers/changes about the original?
bdRm : I had been listening to "Shake" a lot after finishing the mastering and was pretty in love with the mood and melody, the starkness of the song. I woke up on a Saturday and didn't have anything I really needed to do, which is rare, and thought it might be fun to see if I could do something interesting with the track that would give it a slightly different sound and perspective...I wanted to do a pretty standard 90's trip-hop thing and I wondered if I could do it in a day. I certainly don't think the remix adds to or improves on the original in any way. But, I think there is something really deceptive about the remix. It's pop. It's really pretty and smooth. I think you can groove to it and sing along without realizing exactly the content of what you're singing along to. But, eventually those words are gonna get into your head and you're gonna wonder what exactly Britt is talking about. I also really like that the remix starts out with a kind of twisted and muted version of what is essentially the big climax of the original but, unless you're already familiar with the original, you wouldn't get the importance of hearing that confession right out of the gate.