Getting To Know & Track Of The Week – Silvi – Rain

This week’s A&A Track of the Week is ‘Rain’ by SILVI. Given that she has finally been able to get out and play a live show after a number of cancellations and postponements we thought it would be a great chance to have a chat with her and get to find out a little more about the project.

Hi Silvi, Firstly, for those who don’t know tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hi Craig! I’m SILVI, an alternative pop artist originally from West Lothian but have just moved to Edinburgh! My real name is Jodi Findlay and I gigged acoustically for a couple of months under my own name before covid hit then formed SILVI during lockdown. I have finally just performed my first gig back as SILVI (4/2/22) at PJ Molloys for independent venue week supporting Connor Fyfe. It was a brilliant night and great to FINALLY sing the songs I’ve released over lockdown live to a crowd! 

You have just released your new single ‘Rain’ It’s a little bit different from your previous releases. Tell us about the new tune

RAIN was different because it was a collaborative effort with my producer James McKay. Every other song before this I wrote from start to finish myself whereas with RAIN James sent me the chord progression instrumental which I then wrote the vocal melody and lyrics over. James and I then worked through the track taking bits out and adding bits in to suit my own style preferences and it’s really just an expression of how much I love alternative music. He’s absolutely killer at what he does. The other songs are more safe alt pop whereas this one was always going to be a much bigger risk. Going straight in with a rap to begin with is also something I’d never usually do as I’d typically rely on my vocals to hook people in initially then if I’m going to rap I do it later on in the song once I’ve already earned peoples trust but this one was much more exposed from the get go. I’m still figuring out my rapping style and I’m not as confident with that as I am with singing so it was an experiment to take those chances. 

Everyone has had a tough time during the last couple of years, but I don’t think a week went by in December and early January went by when a new set of restrictions came into place that meant you had to postpone or cancel a gig. How frustrating was this, especially as a new artist? 

Yes! Your tweet talking about how every time Nicola sturgeon comes on the telly SILVI has to cancel a gig encompassed that perfectly! It was a tough one for a while because I was keen to get going and start building a live audience as opposed to just an online one but I kept getting knocked back at every opportunity. Lots and lots of acts experienced this however something about being a new artist hit harder because you do tend to wonder where you’d be now if you’d been able to hit live shows immediately after your debut release rather than having to wait in the dark for 2 years before a single show. I do believe everything happens for a reason and things are moving forward now though so I can’t complain! I will most likely look back and be grateful for everything happening just as it did.

Now it looks like we are over the worst of it (Fingers crossed) and gigs are back tell us what you have coming up? 

And toes crossed. I have a hometown gig with fresh sounds at the black bull on the 19th of feb, then Glasgow’s stereo supporting dictator on the 25th then Falkirk’s behind the wall to support Wrest, a couple REALLY cool ones in between that which I can’t announce yet and then very excited to be playing my first out of Scotland show in Manchester for the InYourEars // Kimbo Acoustic sessions supporting The Heavy North at Grub on 18/6/22. Then a couple more which I can’t announce yet either! I’m so thankful that these incredible opportunities are presenting themselves after thinking I’d never manage to gig. 

What are your music influences now and was music a big part of your childhood. What do you remember listening to? 

Like most people, the foundations of my music taste formed from what my parents listened to and I was into music from a really young age. I listened to a lot of older music as a child and it was always something teachers would say at parents evening that I’d be going around the classroom singing these songs from 50 years ago and they wondered how the hell I knew the words. My earliest memories of music are sitting on my stairs crying to “mother” by John Lennon and being pushed on the swings to “livin thing” by ELO. Stevie wonder is my no1 artist of all time and I don’t think that’ll ever change. Since my main base of music is soul, my influences now are mainly soul, pop, rock and alternative. I love how music has began to cross over genres and create these really euphoric sounds. As long as something has a catchy hook I like it! 

Silvi has been a duo and now is a solo project. Tell us about your songwriting process and what will the live show be like

Yes! I was a solo artist under “jodi silvi” then during lockdown moved to a band with my friend Cameron so we just called it SILVI; then he moved to the tech side of music so it went back to just me as solo again. I have always wrote the songs so there’s not much of a change with the songwriting process but now I’m starting to co-write. I have paired up with an exceptional Scottish songwriter who has had a lot of success over the past decade so it’ll be great to see what our final product sounds like. I’ll hopefully be able to release something early-mid 2022. 

My writing process stems from melody first, then I start singing random words to fit in with that melody and I begin using the vowels in the random sentences to dictate which word sounds best at the catchiest part. Once I’ve got that hook word I build the rest of the sentence around that to create the song. I can talk for Scotland so it’s not hard for me to talk/sing about a subject for 3 minutes. Haha. 

Honestly, the live shows are still a working progress. I’m working with a session guitarist for stripped back electric guitar shows and I’m working with a session band for bigger sounding live stuff. Really fortunate to have found such fantastic musicians to play for me. We’ll see how everything progresses over time! 

We love discovering new music here at Alive & Amplified. Who should we be adding to our Spotify playlists? 

Distant images! I’m absolutely in awe of them. They write, record and produce everything themselves. Their songs are straight out of a dystopian movie. So cinematic. I recently saw their debut gig at 13th note supporting the amazing Silver Haar and they blew the roof off. Macca is an absolute wizard of a musician and Jilly’s voice is even better live than it is on the records, fills the room and stops everyone in their tracks. Look out for their next release, it’s coming very soon and it’s a banger! 

What’s your dream collab?

I have been thinking about this a lot recently and I think I’d love to work with Mark Ronson or Calvin Harris. Have them put down the music for an absolute pop anthem then I’ll just come in and put my vocals over it and never have to work a day in my life again!…For legal reasons that’s a joke. Haha. I think it would be cool to be the voice of a generational anthem that’s on at every party/club/just everywhere for an entire summer and have loads of folk attach memories to it. Dream collab would also be a really soulful big band number with James Morrison. 

What are your plans for the rest of 2022? 

God. Just try and do my best to stay on top of everything, not let the pressure of shows get to me so I can just enjoy them like I did at my first gig at PJ Molloys on Friday night. It was so nice to actually enjoy it rather than fear it. I think if I can crack that mindset for every show then I’ll be absolutely delighted to just play these shows for the rest of the year and keep growing organically to be able to put out more music and do what I love. I plan for my next release to level up a lot from the previous tracks, I’m ready to throw myself in there to create and experience some really cool opportunities. 

If you could describe Silvi with one song (Not your own) What would it be? 

“Walkin’ back to happiness” by Helen Shapiro. It’s a banger and the lyrics are how I feel about coming back to music after a lot of personal struggles.