INTERVIEW: Ady Suleiman

The Verse’s Amelia Pulvertaft sat down for a chat with Ady Suleiman ahead of his show at The Haunt. 

It’s coming to the end of your tour. How has it been?

It’s been sick. It’s been back to back shows, but every show has gone really well, the crowds have been amazing and I’ve met a lot of wicked people. The friendship with the band has changed, everyone’s got a lot tighter and everyone’s loved it. I’m just proud that I’ve been able to put a headline tour on around the UK and the feedback has been dope. It’s just a great feeling. To think that this is what I do is dope. Tonight should be a wicked closing.

Are you excited for your performance tonight in Brighton? How was the last performance you did here?

Yeah it was sick, we played at the Dome for the Great Escape Festival. Great Escape always gets a lot of industry kicking around now, as vibey as it is it’s a lot more attentive. Whereas I feel tonight will be more like a couple of drinks in hands and boogying a bit more. Last time everyone was just watching and listening. Which is great as well.

I just love Brighton as a city; every time I play here it’s fucking sick.

Do you ever get nervous before a performance?

Yeah I do, the band always takes the piss out of me. It’s not a fear it’s more like I hope I smash it. I’m getting a lot better at it, but I don’t think I’d be the same performer if I didn’t get nervous. It kicks in the next level, I kind of up my game. It just shows that you care about what you do and that you want it to go well. I’ve started to turn the nerves into excitement to try to get pumped up for it. 

Do your nerves vary depending on where you’re performing?

Yeah definitely. I mean, London shows always tend to be quite high pressure. You have a lot more media and a lot of industry start coming down. The people you work with are in London so they come down too. You can’t really fuck up. Also where I’m from, Nottingham, it’s like a homecoming. It’s lovely going home, but all my mates come down. As good as that is, I find it harder performing in front of people I know. If it’s people you don’t know and you mess up, you can just make a joke out of it. But people you know they might call you out on it. Like, ‘remember when you did that mate, you fucking bastard’. 

What makes you really want to perform your music live?

It’s going to sound cheesy and probably quite cliché, but I really enjoy meeting new people and connecting with other people in the world. Music is a great way to do that. Within my music I like to think that I have a message and people can get something from that. Then I get to meet people and I get to hear what it is that they connect with. People have got all these stories about how I’ve been a part of their life or whatever, and you’re like that’s mad. It’s so random and so nice. It makes me feel like a little bit more, selfishly, a little bit more semi-important. At the same time, you do learn a huge amount confidence wise, performance wise, song wise. You learn what crowds like so you know what would work to release next. It’s great.

Your new single Wait for You is out now, what inspired you to write it?

I was seeing a girl and she had some bad experiences with love before, like a lot of people, and was really weary to get into something. In the beginning it really annoyed me. I was like I haven’t done anything wrong, stop taking your past out on me because I’m not going to do that to you. After a while I was like, you know what I love you so much that it doesn’t matter, I’ll wait for you. It doesn’t bother me; we can sort it out. That’s where it came from.

It’s nice that it’s so personal to you.

Yeah it is really nice; every time you sing it it means something. It’s weird, when it’s my story I don’t mind putting it in, but when it’s a story involving someone else I get really worried about talking about things too much. It’s my job and it’s cool to be exposed to what’s going on, but if it involves another person and they’re like in the paper or whatever, it might be a bit shit for them. It is what it is. 

It’s been praised that you have quite a unique style as a performer. How would you define your style?

Honest. Definitely. I don’t know if honest is a style. I guess it’s inspired by reggae, soul, hip-hop, jazz. A little bit of everything and it’s led by my voice. I like to say kind of laid back, but at the same time discusses things quite deep. Talking about deep things, but the music is quite relaxing. Not like ‘yo man fuck this, the worlds fucking shit’, but the world is kind of shit, we’ve got bollocks here and there, but we will be alright. It’s that kind of vibe. I think when the music is more relaxing it makes it easier to get the message across. 

What do you listen to? What are you listening to at the moment?

I love NxWorries, Anderson .Paak and Frank Ocean’s new album, I fuck with that. I also really like Angie Stone, I’ve been listening to a lot of her recently, you must know Wish I Didn’t Miss You *starts singing along whilst he plays it on his phone*. My playlist is so sick.

And to close the interview… Other than the new single impacting at the end of the month, what can we expect from you in the near future?

Um, it a weird one because a lot of music you kind of play it by ear. I’d love to drop an album, but at the same time I don’t think I am going to drop an album until enough people want to hear it. I want to put out a mixtape, a collection of songs. I’ll definitely go on tour again; I want to go Europe. Plus, a lot of songwriting, and finish the record. I’ll probably put a record out early next year, but I just want to put music out and not really think about it. If I write a song that I like, I’ll put it out. I feel like dropping an album I’ll put one out.


Ady Suleiman’s most recent single Wait For You is out now.

The Verse Staff

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