Singled Out: Gyasi's Sugar Mama


Nashville rocker Gyasiis turning heads with his new single "Sugar Mama", both with the old school composing and recording in one take but also with the explosive sound. We asked Gyasi to share the story behind the track:

Sugar Mama is a bit of a take on a Howlin Wolf thing. I love some of the riff based songs of his that have such a raw power about them. Those recordings are alive! You can feel the room. I wanted to capture that raw energy in my own way. Those are the tunes that people would be getting down to at juke joints and they have that boogie. I love to write from riffs like that and I find those are usually the quickest songs I write. There's nothing like a powerful guitar riff.

This was actually the last song I recorded for the EP, and I wasn't planning on adding another song to it. I thought five was enough. It's funny that it happens to be the first single that I've released, so I'm very glad it made it on the EP. The recording happened very naturally. The core of the song was composed and recorded in one take, which is what you hear on the record. I had my studio all set up from a previous session and my 12 year old neighbor Chris stopped by on his bicycle, as he often does. He plays drums every week at his church and is an incredible drummer. He's got a long career ahead of him. I asked him if he wanted to jam and he went and hopped on the drum set and I hit record on my tape machine. What you hear is us just freely playing together. I was very happy to have a song with him playing on the record as I believe it's the first recording he's ever done. I just started playing that riff and it galloped off after that. I made up some lyrics on the spot and later went back and re-tracked the vocals and added some more guitars and the bass, and that's it. When I replaced the middle section electric guitar with acoustic it really opened up and I realized I wanted to put it on the album.

I love recording in that way, keeping everything spontaneous. It's raw and unpredictable and you can hear it. Songs are very fragile things, and often for me they can lose their original inspiration if too much time is spent trying to make them perfect or overly thought out. Learning to allow that spontaneity and uncertainty has been crucial to my recording process and I think produces more exciting recordings. I kept the lyrics very direct and simple so as to draw as much power out of them and my voice as possible. At the end of the day it's really a blues tune.

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself here and learn more about Gyasi right here!

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