Check out our interview with talented Canadian singer, songwriter and producer sunsetto who just released his new single “drugs are for fun.”
Written by sunsetto and produced by Danes Blood (Rico Nasty, Leyla Blue) and BEN10K (G-Eazy, DaBaby), “drugs are for fun” is an uptempo, melodic pop track. Lyrically, the song is a sobering conversation about facing the reality of unhealthy coping mechanisms like drugs and partying.
Follow sunsetto @sunsetto
sunsetto - drugs are for fun (Official Video)
Hi sunsetto, please tell us a little about yourself?
Hey! I’m sunsetto and I was born in Brampton, Ontario and grew up all over Eastern Canada, but mainly Nova Scotia. I learned to write and produce songs when I was 15. I moved out of my childhood home when I was 17 and worked some odd jobs over the years, but I’ve always had music as a passion project. Last year I put out a song called “don’t leave” and it changed my life.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Determined, patient, and hungry.
We’re sure you have been asked this million times but how did you get into music?
I got into the idea of being an artist and songwriter when I was really young. It was always my dream. I really loved skateboarding as a kid and all the great music that’s a part of skate culture inspired me to start writing. When I first heard “Man On The Moon” by Kid Cudi, I started making beats.
How has music changed your life?
Music has always been an escape for me. My mom, brother and I had to move a lot when I was younger and I’d never felt like I could find my people until I discovered music through skateboarding. I could express myself through music and it gave me something to strive for as I was never good in school so I couldn’t see myself doing anything else.
How would you describe your sound in 3 words?
Melodramatic, melodic, and thoughtful.
Who influenced you to start making music and how did you start making music?
When I was really young I got a VHS tape of *NSYNC live in concert and it completely blew my mind. I started writing songs and learning dance moves. Then, as I got a bit older, I discovered Kid Cudi and Kanye. That’s when I started making beats and recording over them. At 16 I got accepted into a song camp hosted by a legend in my hometown, Gordie Sampson. At the camp I really honed in on songwriting, playing instruments, and recording demos.
Do you play any instruments?
I play decent guitar and very basic piano. I can definitely play an acoustic show at a campfire.
Do you ever get nervous before shows?
Yeah, I tend to get a little nervous, but after like the first song I feel great.
Tell us about your new single “drugs are for fun.”
It’s an ironic title since the intention of the song is to de-glamorize addiction. The song is about being honest with someone you care about. It’s the sobering conversation you have when the party’s over. I don’t like being preachy but drugs have played a profound role in my life and in my art so they have become an unconscious theme. There’s an interesting dichotomy between people that do drugs for fun and people that do drugs to function.
What’s the story behind the song?
I wrote the song last November when I was in Los Angeles on my first real songwriting trip. I was nervous because I felt pressure to write pop songs that would make money or something. I think the vibe was so good in this particular session that I let go of that and just wrote from the heart — “drugs are for fun” was created and honestly hasn’t changed much from the demo.
What is the most rewarding part of being an artist?
The connection. Filling a room up with hundreds or thousands of like minded people and singing and dancing together is the most rewarding thing I can think of.
What would you say are the greatest lessons you’ve learned so far?
To keep moving forward and not be so precious about my ideas. It took me years to get the nerve to release a song because I was being so precious about my art and I was nervous to share it, I guess. Just let the world have it and keep it moving has been a great mantra for me.
What advice would you give to your younger self and why?
I would say keep a journal. And remember that love and respect for yourself leads to a healthy lifestyle, healthy habits, and healthy relationships.
How would your best friend describe you?
A bit stubborn, elusive, thoughtful to the point of overthinking. I think all of my friends would hopefully say I’m funny too.
What’s next for sunsetto in 2022?
I’m dropping a lot of music and visuals throughout the rest of the year and I’m hoping to perform live as often as I can. I also want to write at least 50 more songs before the year is out.
What is your own definition of happiness?
Friends, family, and love. For me, happiness is also a result of a healthy routine and a challenging pursuit to fulfill my purpose.
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
I would definitely want to meet Pharrell and Rick Rubin. I would love to learn how they see the world and how they see and hear music.
Where would be your dream holiday and who would you go with?
My dreamy holiday would be a year long world tour. I’d go with my girlfriend and our closest friends. It wouldn’t strictly be a holiday though, I would be writing, recording and performing songs along the way.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
To be kind to yourself and to make today a good day.
Where do you see yourself and your career in 5 years from now?
I started a company called Sunset To Sound when I got signed last Summer. I see the company evolving into a brand and a community. I see myself touring, constantly creating, hosting writing camps and teaching writing and production to kids like me.
What is your favorite song of all time? Why?
“Do You Love Her Now?” by Jai Paul. It’s a long story.
Where can we follow you on social media?
Favorite book: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Favorite quote: “Change what you can’t accept, and accept what you can’t change.”
Favorite movie: Avatar and The Eagles Documentary
Favorite TV show: I love trashy reality shows. They’re so fun to watch with friends.
Favorite food: Crispy chicken burgers and spaghetti! Specifically the “Robs Crispy Chicken” at Cactus Club. And my Mom’s spaghetti.
Favorite travel destination: Northern California. I also really want to go to Greece and Tokyo but I haven’t been yet.
Favorite sports team: The Calgary Flames and the Toronto Blue Jays. I don’t know anything about baseball or the team, but since I moved to Toronto I’ve been going to the games and it’s a great time
Cover Photo Credit: moosecanfly
2nd Photo Credit: Tiger Saysavanh