Taking his name from his self-described style of music, “suburban blues”, SUB BLUE offers a fresh take on chilled out, introspective RnB. But what does he mean exactly by suburban blues? “It means I’m reflecting my experiences and telling the stories of me and my friends who have grown up in a suburban setting, where life isn’t always as nice or as straightforward as it appears,” he explains. “There’s a texture and vibe to that – which I try to bring out in my music.”
Sub Blue’s – who has previously performed under his birth name Tyler Mensah – immersion into the music world started early. “When I grew up, my parents were massively creative; my dad was always into songwriting and my mum was into art, so I think I just developed a love for creative activity – specifically music. I have been playing instruments, singing and performing from a very young age.” Despite being heavily influenced by his parents, music is important to him on his own terms. “When I’m writing or performing it feels like an escape and liberation, as well as a pure form of expression and articulation. When I see that connect with people – in more ways than just making them move or bop their head – it’s a crazy high.”
The music that Sub Blue makes is influenced by the likes of Frank Ocean, The Weeknd and Prince. He explores these inspirations further, saying “I think the fact they create stories with their music is what I’ve carried over to my music and is what influences me; every track I write, I always aspire to tell a story or a general editorial stance on whatever the subject matter is.”
Aside from strictly musical influences, current affairs have an impact on his output. “It definitely influences my music – even if it’s just from a youth perspective or a youth culture perspective. I’m always drawing from what’s happening around me – whether it’s close proximity or wider global issues impacting my world.”
All these influences feed into his soon to be released debut EP, Suburban View. “It’s a snapshot of my life right now, reflecting some of the everyday things I see, go through and feel. It covers love, heartbreak, peer pressure, prejudice and transition. I feel like it’s the start of everything I’ve been trying to articulate musically for a while.”
With Suburban View being his first studio release, Sub Blue is optimistic about the future. “I feel like I’m pre-launch right now so I’m trying my hardest to set up a good foundation for a long career. I’ve spent the best part of three years working on this EP – and [on] myself as an artist, performer and musician. Hopefully, it will pay off and the music impacts and people relate. I think that I’m telling stories, in a way, that many people who have grew up like me should be able to relate to.” And his overall aim? “To share this music, and deliver quality memorable music, with as many people as possible, is all I could ask for.”
Teen No More, the first single from Suburban View, is out on 27th October.