EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW - SIAS MUSIC
DEVON 'ACE' WATSON
ACE: Welcome. We are live with FMC Magazine. I am Ace siting here with an amazing group of individuals. Very talented, very very unique sound. They go by the name of SIAS Music. I am going to let them a little bit about themselves and really introduce SIAS to the world.
Josias: I am a vocalist, song writer, and producer. This is our studio and that’s a little bit about me.
Haley: I play keys in SIAS. I just love being part of this project. I think its so much fun, I especially love the creative process; its my favorite parts about it. And working with all of these awesome musicians especially Josias and Scott.
Scott: I am the guitarist and the third producer in the band SIAS.
Ace: Awesome. So SIAS, first and foremost, tell me a little bit about the name; where did it come from? I think I can infer a little where SIAS may have came from. [group laugh].
Josias: I remember going to an outdoor movie theater and we were like, we need to just pick a name. We need to get our logo together, and we need to start getting stuff online. Haley and Scott were thinking SIAS because it was the last four letters of my first and last name. They just thought it was simple. It was cool. It wasn’t really put to my name. I didn’t want to do it at first because I never wanted it to feel like it was just me. I’ve always wanted to be in a band and I always wanted a more collaborative experience. They are such a huge part of it. If it was just me, it wouldn’t be the same at all. I was a little skeptical on it, but we ended up going with the name and it just kind of stuck after that.
Ace: Ok, cool. In terms of you guys as creative, and musicians both collectively and individually, how did you get your start in music?
Josias: We started in high school I would say. I was in a band with Scott, and Haley played the keys. I’ve always been jamming with her, but we’ve never had a consolidated band. After high school, we all went to Boston to study at Berkley College of Music. We did music out there for a while in Boston, but got really home sick for Detroit. When we all got home, we just started a studio here. That’s pretty much our start on it.
Scott: We all actually had the same teacher. In like the third grade – piano teacher. He was a character; good guy. We all started as piano players, which is the best way to start. I went this place called ‘School of Rock. Have you ever seen the movie with Jack Black? It’s basically the same thing. It’s like an after-school program where you go in and you like rock out with friends. That was fun because I got to play a lot of shows. I got the stage experience and performance experience.
Ace: When it comes to the dynamic of SIAS and the balance, what role do you feel each of you play? How do you all fit into the SIAS brand?
Haley: I like to think I bring people together. I like to expand ‘us’ outside of just us three. I like to bring other people in. People who are amazing, that can bring different things to the table. Like all the musicians we have worked with. I love the idea of us branching out with different artists. Even on the art work we had like three or four different artists come in. I think that it just makes you better and more colorful. I like to think of myself as a networker.
Josias: For myself, I studied business, so I like to do a lot of the management side of things. I’m almost done with my degree at Berkley – music business. I try to apply everything that I learned, and try to go at my own pace so I can apply everything properly into what we do every day. I don’t like to jump forward into a stage we’re not at yet. I try to take classes that can be applied to current position that we are in. That’s me outside of music.
Scott: It’s production. [laughing]. I’m not really good with talking or contacting people. I just like to sit in the room and work on the music.
Ace: Sounds like you all have a great bond that meshes together pretty well. One of the things you guys talked about was reaching out expanding the brand, what has that journey been like for you guys? Who are some cool people that you guys have had a chance to work with?
Josias: Just recently, we have been playing with a drummer, D Love. He’s been playing drums for us lately. He just got such a great vibe. He’s got a great energy. He’s amazing with the percussion. He does a lot of electronic sampling. He’s just great. He’s a great fit. There’s just so many cool artist here in Detroit. It’s cool meeting people with a similar vision for the city and view the same things that we see in the Detroit.
Ace: One of the things that we focus on at FMC is definitely providing that platform for the city. What does Detroit mean to SIAS? What type of mark does SIAS want to bring to the table when people associate them with Detroit?
Josias: We just want to be a big part of progressing Detroit.
Scott: Bringing it back to what it was.
Josias: There is so much history in this city, and we just want to be apart of that big uprising. We know that Detroit is just taking off. There’s businesses opening all over Corktown. Every day we discover something new. We just want to be a part of that. When people think of us, we want them to think that we give back to Detroit because we really do. We want to dedicate our entire career to Detroit. Any progress that we make for the city, we want to reflect in the music and vice versa. The things we talk about in the music, we want it to represent positive things about the city.
Ace: With everything going on with Detroit, whether it be the negative or the positive, how do you feel like we can use music and creative platforms to really change the scope of Detroit? What do you feel like we as creative individuals can really do to counter that stigma that’s associated with the city.
Josias: You know today it’s the digital age. There are so many young people, that you can put anything online so easily. I think having people like you guys, and people with film and music, you can project awesome things about the city so easy and promote it. For artists, reflecting the current status of Detroit through music, or for film exposing the amazing bars or amazing streets, the amazing culture of the city. I think that’s a big responsibility of the youth in the city. If you’re staying here and giving back, it’s going to be reflected through what you do, and in the art, that you do. If your art takes off and Detroit’s tied with that, then the world will see.
Ace: You talked about the connection between music and art. When you are playing on your instrument and creating the sound you create what type of picture are you trying to paint? What story are you looking to tell?
Haley: Whenever we perform together, I’m listening to the lyrics and the feel of the song that’s created. I don’t want people to just focus on whatever I’m doing. I want it to feel like this is just one piece. Like one thing that is gives you this feeling. The most important thing to me is that whoever’s listening is feeling something.
Ace: Let’s get into the music. Talk a little bit about the album. What project are you guys on now? How many projects have you done to date. Where did the inspiration or the creativity for you past projects come from? Bring us up to speed as to where SIAS is right now.
Josias: We were trying so hard to get an album together, an EP, for so many years. We wanted to self-produce everything, and that’s kind of what put a dent in getting music out right away. Last August, we put together a 6 song EP on an album called Origin. Ever since we just started working on the studio. Working on our performance. Finding a drummer. At this point we’re finally getting back to the point where we want to record new music and produce new material. Hopefully, in a couple weeks, were going to be locking down the production of a new song.
Ace: One thing that FMC is really big one is the next generation as well. For individuals that are coming up in music, what is one piece of advice each of you would give to an up and coming artist that is younger, that may not have the educational background in music, but still has that heart and passion in their creative craft?
Scott: Don’t be anxious. Don’t let anxiety takeover. If you want to do it, do it. Don’t let anyone tell you to have a backup plan. Just keep going forward. It takes time like everything; practice and commitment.
Haley: Do something every single day that brings you closer to your end goal – whatever that may be. And have and end goal.
Josias: Just not letting people bring you down. If someone says something they don’t like, you can take it as constructive criticism. Always believe in yourself. Always work really hard at what you do. Manage your money well so you can apply it to the things you want to do. You just have to move forward.
Ace: That’s some great advice. I think it applies to anything you do in life. Ultimately what’s next? Give us a timeline as what we can expect from SIAS. Where can we find your music? Where can we locate you at? Where can we see you perform at? How can we become part of SIAS?
Josias: I would say the biggest thing is our website: siasmusic.net. That’s a big place to direct you to our YouTube and Instagram. Look out for music in the next month. Throughout the summer, we’re going to be performing around Detroit.