Santa Monica, CA – Anyone following Top Dawg Entertainment for the past couple of years has noticed the label’s leaning toward establishing talent outside of more traditionalist Hip Hop. Kicking off 2017, the label home of Kendrick Lamar and ScHoolboy Q officially named Sir Darryl Farris as John Doe #2 to further hone in the point.
TDE signing SiR made absolute sense.
The Inglewood native had already worked with everyone from Stevie Wonder and Anita Baker to Jill Scott on the songwriting tip. Meanwhile, he was already known around L.A.’s local scene through his collaborations with local mainstays including Ill Camille and Anderson .Paak on projects like 2015’s Seven Sundays. Let’s not forget his family including songwriting brothers who make up the team WoodWorks, uncle Andrew Gouche — who once served as a bassist for Prince — and cousins Iman Omari and Tiffany Gouche.
“When I was younger, I didn’t appreciate it as much as I do now,” he said. “Now, I take everything I can from my experiences and try to put it into my music. It does help that my mother sing and my brothers write. I’ve had time to learn from their mistakes and learn from my own mistakes and really work hard at this. We put in a lot of time and my family is very supportive. That just helps everything else. Having people I can go to, press play and they’ll tell me the truth about the song and tell me if it’s wack or tight or you know what I mean. Musically right or wrong. It definitely helps.”
Rumors of SiR calling TDE home had been floating around for quite a while before the official announcement of his signing. Speaking at a Santa Monica studio, he recounts to HipHopDX how stressful the anticipation became.
“Man it was stressful for me just waiting on everything,” he said. “Having the secret that I couldn’t talk about. I’m very straight forward so it was weird and different. It was an easy process as far as the music and the business and stuff goes. It was seamless. Everything happened how it was supposed to.”
Once that was out of the way, SiR decided to relax and accept the new found help he acquired. “I’d been accustomed to doing everything myself that it felt good to kind of have somebody who could help and really add to the situation instead of take away,” he said.
SiR’s first release on TDE, Her Too, was the follow-up EP to last year’s Her. DX gave the project a 4.1 and said,“the short six-track EP should be considered one helluva appetizer.” According to him, both EPs go together hand in hand.
“When I was making the first one I had a lot of music that I liked and felt like I knew I wanted to put out two EPs from jump,” he said. “There wasn’t a Her without Her Too. It was always going to happen.”
After Her Too, he hopes to eventually deliver another album. His last album, Seven Sundays, caught the attention of TDE’s Dave Free and brought him to work with Jay Rock for the 90059 track “The Ways.”
“Man, I would have loved to drop a full length instead of the EPs, but I gotta wait and I’m happy we did what we did because it gave people a chance to digest the first project and then we had the second project ready for when we made the announcement so people can digest those,” SiR explained. “I do have music ready to go. It’s just about timing. We’ll see.”
Just because SiR is making significant moves toward breaking new grounds in his solo artistry doesn’t mean he’s forgotten songwriting for other artists. Recently, he contributed to Joyce Wrice‘s Stay Around EP last year and even lent some assistance to Ill Camille’s upcoming Heirloom album.
“I’m a studio rat, so whenever I have an opportunity to or the opportunity presents itself, I love to. I never want to stop writing songs for other people,” he explained. “That would be a waste of space in my life because I know I’m not going to be doing artistry 24/7.”
If TDE is truly making a push toward R&B and soul, obviously they’re heading in the right direction. From SiR’s perspective, he sees no need to conform amidst the crop of diverse artists.
“I don’t think it’s about fitting in, it’s about what I bring or add because they’re complete already. It’s not like they need any help from me,” he shared. “So, it’s less about fitting in and more about what I’m bringing to the table. Soul, it’s not something I do on purpose. I didn’t come into this like I’m going to be a soul artist. I started off rapping like half of Inglewood, but I’m just going to bring my experiences and swing. I’m going to stay true to myself and just try to be as dope as possible. I’m just coming in trying to do my thing. I didn’t come into the situation expecting to meet anyone’s expectations. My expectations for myself are high enough, so I’m not chasing anyone’s expectation.”
Catch up on SiR with this playlist below.