In Talks With Leicester’s Rising Prodigy Sainté
21 Oct 2021
Following on from the release of his debut EP, ‘Local MVP’ at the start of the year, the Leicester-hailing prodigy has become a notable force to be reckoned with. Posing as a welcomed breath of fresh air in a scene that’s engulfed with flashy lifestyles, women and money, Sainté has paved a lane of his own that sets him apart from others in the scene. Gaining recognition from all over the world, his nonchalant hit ‘Champagne Shots’ delivered him his “break” and since then it’s been nothing, but an up-hill climb for the newcomer.
Closing out what’s been a whirlwind of a year with his latest ‘Out The Blue’ EP, with guest appearances from A2, Knucks, Odeal, Chi Virgo, Tay Iwar, and Miraa May, Sainté continued to boast his versatility as he delved into a slightly darker sound than what we are usually accustomed to. From the summer-drenched anthem ‘No Love’ alongside Miraa May, to the fan favourite ‘Summer Is Blue’ joint alongside A2 and Knucks; fans gathered in excitement as “the underground avengers” assembled in one seamless banger.
Mixtape Madness got the chance to catch up with Sainté over Zoom to talk about his latest ‘Out The Blue’ EP, featuring on the Louis Vuitton visual, being vulnerable, and more. Tap in below to see what he had to say!
Your career flourished throughout the pandemic when we were all in lockdown. How have you been finding the past few months, moving to London, going out, doing shows and physically seeing the people that listen to your music?
It was scary, but in a good way! One example is Cloud X Festival, imagine I went and these lot were mosh pitting to ‘Reference’ and I was thinking “What? People mosh pitting to my music?” I never envisioned it. I had never performed live I wasn’t used to it, but it was an emotional moment – I didn’t cry though, I just smiled.
You’ve always referenced the likes of Larry June, Pharrell and James Blake etc, as people who have influenced you musically over the years. What is it about these artists specifically that you admire?
It’s them being able to bring something more than just music, you know. They created more than just a sound, they have put their personality and identity to the music. You get more than just lyrics; you get to see them in what they do as well, and I love that.
Let’s talk about your forthcoming EP, ‘Out The Blue’. What was the thought process behind the title?
The city, Leicester. It’s not like I made a project and thought this has to be for Leicester, it came naturally. Everyone was asking me where I was from, what it’s like being out in Leicester and how does it impact my music – it was that again and again. Tracks on the project like ‘You Never’, the video for that was filmed in my family house back in Leicester. There are multiple songs where I talk about the city; the song ‘03’’ is the year that I came to the UK. All this information, for people who aren’t in my friendship circle, found it out the blue and I’m releasing out the blue. There are many meanings to it, but it was inspired by the city.
Sonically, this EP has a lot of different depths and elements to it, “No Love” and “Midnight” are completely different in feeling. How did you want to approach this EP? It feels a lot darker to your previous material.
This is the type of music that I have wanted to make for a while but because of lockdown and me releasing ‘Local MVP’, I think people thought that that was going to be the Sainte they were always going to hear. But I am happy that it’s hard to pinpoint my sound into one category, it’s more than what it is now. I am trying to show growth. I am trying to show more of my personality because everyone has different moods.
Are you anxious to drop it? I know a lot of people are still caught up on the sound of ‘Champagne Shots’…
Yeah! I am very nervous to see how people are going to take it but at the same time, I am making music for the sake of me loving it so much. I have managed to get together a support base that is similar to me, they are here for the good vibes and music. They aren’t here for a trend. I want people to listen to my music; people that understand what I am trying to do.
You’ve got some sick collaborations on this project. Talk me through how these came about? Were you hands on with who you wanted on it?
Yeah, very! Of course, some of the connections were made through management but they were all people that I wanted to work with. I can’t see myself working with someone for the sake of it or because everyone loves them. Everyone on the project I listen to personally and it was all very natural, we got to know each other before making the track which was sick –
Do you prefer to have a relationship with artists prior to working with them or?
It is a bonus but it’s not something you can always control, it’s not happened to me yet, but when I do it could be very fast paced. Things being natural and organic is a very big thing to me, it can’t be forced!
You’ve showcased a candid and vulnerable side in your music lyrically, whether it’s the lifestyle you’ve grown up around or reprioritising what you want in life. Knowing how many people listen to your music, do you find it easy being vulnerable or do you have times where you want to pull back?
Hmm! When I write alone, I can write about anything. I will be very vulnerable. It all changes when you’re close to the time of releasing when you realise, they are going to hear what I am writing, but I’m just being myself. It’s my art. I’m just going to paint my picture and whoever see’s it, will see! So far so good but I enjoy being vulnerable!
What’s your favourite track from the EP and why?
It’s been a while since I listened to the EP now! I would probably say, ‘Azure’ or ‘You Never’. ‘You Never’ is a lot more personal, talking about my life, family, and the things that we do which I’m sure you’ve seen in the video. Whereas ‘Azure’ is about the mood it creates. I love Chi, Odeal and Tay’s verses – I love it!
What’s one thing you want people to takeaway from this project?
I would probably say the same as the last project but just a lot more. No matter what you think others will think of what you’re doing, just do it. Even you saying about people wanting more ‘Champagne Shots’, it’s understandable and I could have made another six of those. But no, I want to prove to people that I can do more. There are so many people that can do a lot more but instead just do what people want them to do. Be yourself, water your own flowers and let them grow!
Obviously, you are still at the early stages of your career, but you have blown up a fair bit over the last 10 months. Do you think your idea of success has changed at all?
I wouldn’t say it’s changed just yet, but I am seeing things differently. I’ve always had a plan or idea in my head to a certain extent, I’m still focused on my own personal goals and stuff. I’m still learning!
You’ve always had such a positive and humble outlook on life and are always smiling. How have you found it stepping into this industry, now knowing how taxing it can be. How do you keep such a positive mind set?
Oh! Well, it’s not easy! There are little things you can do to help whether it’s hobbies or surrounding yourself with the right people, that’s a massive help! For me personally, I started going to the gym! I’m not going to get big that’s just impossible for me! Performing live is exercise, I realised when I was 2-3 songs in and still had around 7 more to go, I was TIRED! *laughs*
In regard to collaborations, is there anyone from the UK or overseas that you would like to work with that you haven’t done so yet…
Sick producers like The Alchemist, Pharrell Williams, Kanye West, Drake, Bakar, Sampha, James Blake – I’ve got so many names! I could create so many pieces of art!
What is something in your playlist that supporters wouldn’t expect to be in there?
Oooo! There’s a lot of classical and jazz music – a LOT of classical music!
Really! When do you listen to classical music?
When I’m doing art stuff or painting, or even when I’m trying to wind down on walks!
You’re a bit of a fashionista on Instagram! Your music has also been featured on the Louis Vuitton runway…
It was very sick; I’m still trying to figure it out in my head! I know someone who was working on the set, he hit me up and said he had shown my song to some of the guys at LV, they loved it and want to use it! Obviously, people can tell you anything, he wouldn’t lie to me, but he just said he put it forward and from there I was already gassed! Time went on and I forgot about it until it dropped, and people were hitting me up saying my song was on the LV TikTok and IG pages – it was mad!
What brands are you liking at the moment?
I’m wearing a lot of vintage Prada and Moncler. I’m still obviously a Nike guy, I really like Chrome Hearts and Billionaire Boys Club – I could give you a crazy list, there’s so much!
Before doing music you were playing basketball, so it’s only right I throw a question in there! Who’s your favourite player and who do you support?
Lebron James and I support the Lakers…but that’s not because of Lebron James!
We’re coming to the end of the year now, with your EP out etc. What can fans expect to see from you next year?
More visuals, a lot more projects that aren’t music related that I’ve been working on that I can use to help motivate and inspire other people like me around the world.