Inglewood’s SiR has quietly become an R&B mainstay. The TDE and now RCA-signed singer’s November turned loved songs on their heads at the top of 2018. A journey through romance, the space epic secured our ears and our attention. However, it was SiR’s humility, his frankness, and his genuine persona that truly won our hearts.
Speaking with SiR on the heels of November’s January release last year, we found the 32-year-old talent, born Sir Darryl Farris, to be a gem of a man. SiR is a rare person in tune with his craft, in tune with his fans, and passionate about nourishing the self. With his upcoming album, Chasing Summer, the Inglewood, California native has taken all his human strengths and transformed them into a sparkling album fit for any season.
“Summer is about freedom,” he explains. ”When you’re a kid, and you’re talking about summer, you’re talking about no school and relaxing and being able to do whatever you want all day. As an adult, when you’re talking about summer, it’s vacation. Same thing, having the freedom to live how you want. That’s the overall theme of the album, being free and being able to live how you live.”
Chasing Summer privileges timing as a motif. SiR finds the right woman at the wrong time, himself in need of saving at the worst time, and the wrong woman at the best time, and so on. The album is as tender as you’d expect from the neo-soul maestro, with some intense guest appearances and a flair for the fun side of traipsing about in search of the one. SiR writes his heart out as a means of coping with the temptations of the road and the pursuit of being a good man.
Throughout all of his experiences, SiR chooses happiness. Since his early 20s, the artist has decided that choosing himself and his joy comes before anything else. He lives in the moment, not letting the past dictate his life. The moment SiR brings us into on Chasing Summer is one for the books.
“I started to realize that life is gonna be what you make it and you have a choice to be happy,” SiR concludes. “I decided that I was gonna be happy no matter what one day. It’s been ‘bout ten years since then, and my life’s been a happy rollercoaster ever since.”
Our conversation, lightly edited for content and clarity, follows below.
DJBooth: I wanted to start by congratulating you on signing with RCA. How did you know this was the right situation for you?
SiR: Thank you very much. I appreciate that. Easy answer: I actually had a chance to sit down and speak to everybody at RCA, and I also sat down and spoke to a couple of other companies, but RCA just felt the most at home.
Let’s talk about the upcoming album, Chasing Summer. What does summer mean to you?
Ah, man! Summer is about freedom. When you’re a kid, and you’re talking about summer, you’re talking about no school and relaxing, and being able to do whatever you want all day. As an adult, when you’re talking about summer, it’s vacation. Same thing, having the freedom to live how you want. That’s the overall theme of the album, being free and being able to live how you live.
I love the yearning nature of the title. What are you pining after?
Exactly! In life, in general, I’m just pining after respect. I think as a musician, that’s all you can ask for is just the respect of our peers and the respect of fans. You want people to reaffirm that you’re meant to do what you’re doing.
I think of the lyric “She don’t believe me when I tell her that I need her” as one of the most vexed moments on the album. Where were you at when you wrote that one?
That song is based on someone else, but I think that line is very… It fits a lot of situations I’ve been in where I put my heart out there, and it wasn’t reciprocated. Or things that happen in relationships, where they kinda take your word and turn it into something else. In that song, that song is about John Redcorn. He pleads his case to his sweetheart as much as possible, but she still doesn’t care. She’s with her husband.
Timing is also a major theme of this album: right girls, wrong times. Right self, wrong girl, etc. Where does that come from?
Just my experiences on the road and the duplicity that is my life. Me being a married man and me being an artist that’s on the road constantly, I deal with temptation. I try my best to be as right as possible, and I have a good team around me that helps, but I still have things happen. I feel like writing about it is the best way to get things off my chest. Sometimes, I’m not telling my exact truth because I like to keep some of my privacy. I try to be as honest as possible with the things that I’m seeing.
Is there ever a “right” time? Or is it a matter of making things work with the “right” person?
Man, I think we have less control over destiny than we wanna give credit sometimes. There’s a lyric on one of the songs where I said: “Guess I was in the wrong place at the wrong time, with the right one.” It depends on the person, and it depends on… Timing is everything, but nothing happens when I want it to. Everything happens in God’s terms.
What’s the most important story you’re telling on this album?
I think the song that tells one of the most personal stories, for me, is “You Can’t Save Me.” That’s probably my favorite song, man. I wrote that on the road, and it was just how I was feeling about a specific person. It was someone that I wanted that I couldn’t have. I felt like [how] I wrote about it came off perfectly. It expressed the emotion that I was feeling. I feel like I did it in a way where I didn’t make myself look silly. And I also got to speak my peace in a beautiful way. It helped me shape what emotion I wanted to portray.
Last year, you told us, “I’m just, like, accidentally myself. Things just happen, and I allow them to. I don’t try to go too deep and think too far into things.” Do you still work that way?
Yeah! I think that you still have to choose to be who you are, and I choose to be the person that I am, but a lot of things in my everyday life just kind of happen. I love to be in the moment. I don’t look too far forward, and I don’t look back—I don’t let the past dictate how I live. I’m an in-the-moment guy, and I live my life like that. Things haven’t changed much, and I think that’s a good thing.
When did you discover the magic of everyday life?
Man, the early 20s. I was managing a gym, and I had a manager there that used to always put me in a good space, and he always had good advice for me. That’s when I started to realize that life is gonna be what you make it and you have a choice to be happy. I decided that I was gonna be happy no matter what one day. It’s been ‘bout ten years since then, and my life’s been a happy rollercoaster ever since. I’m in a great place in my life, and my family’s in a great place. We’ve been doing well, and we’ve been choosing to be happy with each other. It doesn’t mean you’re gonna have happy days every day, but it’s a great way to base the way you move.
You fuck with people who fuck with you. How has your relationship with your fans evolved since November?
It’s the same! I got love for them; they got love for me—the real ones. I see my real fans, and I know when they see me, and they come up to me, they know me. That’s one of the most beautiful things. There’s something you just said that I liked. I fuck with people who fuck with me. That’s in my everyday life. If I didn’t make music, whatever industry I was in, I would find like-minded people that wanted to build and move in the same direction as me.
Where does your level-headedness come from?
Ah, man, my mother. She’s the thoughtful queen. I’m the youngest of four boys, and my mother raised us all. She kept her foot on us, man. Just having older brothers, it gave me a chance to learn from their mistakes. I think I’m an old soul on accident. I’m very wise because I had people like my mother who made sure I was a kind person and a loving person. I made sure that I listened to her first. That taught me a lot about being a great listener. I think my family has a lot to do with how I move, and they shaped the man that I am today.
Finally, with all your success over the past few years, have you allowed yourself to enjoy it?
I’m just now starting to enjoy it! I’m looking for my first house right now. I bought myself a new car this year. I paid off all my student loans. I’m still working, but I feel like even while you’re working, you gotta find time to enjoy yourself. I take days off where I don’t anything music-related. I took my brothers out to the batting cages a couple of weeks back. We had a great day. I try to live life to the fullest, but at the same time, my work is fun to me. I never miss a beat. I feel like my whole life is a rollercoaster of happiness.