6LACK is one of the tastemakers of modern R&B. The Grammy-nominated artist releases his music with intention and allows his work to speak for him. In March 2023 after a hiatus, the Atlanta–native finally fed his fans with the release his new album Since I Have A Lover. Its meaning is up to each person’s interpretation but 6LACK tells Schon! that the highly anticipated project is a time capsule of his current era exploring growth and healing. “With age, you just start to outgrow parts of yourself,” he says. The project features moody production, smooth hooks and the nostalgic vocals of an artist whose signature atmospheric style defines much of the R&B genre today. In an interview with Schon!, 6LACK details the making of his album and his upcoming world tour.
Music is always a sign of the times. What would you say your latest album Since I Have A Lover says about this current period of your life?
I think that it says that I’m in a space of healing and that it’s OK to be in that space . I just had to make more room for who I can be, and as easy as it sounds, there was a lot of resistance because I was used to living a certain way, thinking a certain way, being a certain way. I’m in a better space and I’m open to change.
Did you start noticing certain re-occurring come up when you were working on the album?
Yeah, I definitely noticed specific themes in the first three albums. They all are tied together in a way. My first one was an introduction to the world and talking about my problems with relationships, communication, accountability and everything I was dealing with that felt like a little bit too much to bear during the time. And then we graduated to East Atlanta Love Letter where we still got the same core – love, communication and relationships – but this was my reintroduction as a father. Now we just reached a point where those same things still exist, but the way that I look at them are completely different.
What would you say inspired your growth?
Honestly, just being uncomfortable with where I was and how I felt. I became a little bit more reactive when I saw myself not being my best self and not handling conversations in the best way, hitting creative standstills. I just had to figure out what I needed to do to get to the next place. I had to actually acknowledge it and have some fallouts and have some people get cut off. Being absolutely uncomfortable made me want to embrace figuring out how to get away from that.
What were some of your production references when you were in the studio?
I think that it was more describing my feelings and the conversations that I was having and then figuring out the sonics to match. Saying this is how I feel after having a good day, out on a beach, or in the mountains, or at a yoga retreat. Or this is how I feel after a bad day and a disagreement and not really being the best communicator. That’s kind of why throughout the album it rises and falls in different ways.
Now that the album is out and people have had time to sit with it, how have you felt about the reception that you’ve received?
It’s always great to see that people are open to different pieces of who you are. People have been able to resonate with where I’m at and where I’m trying to go so it’s it’s always good to get that confirmation that I’m not the only one.
You’re seen as quite a mystery to the public. Do you think being so private has meant that people focus more on your art?
I hope so. I love to play the background and for me that keeps my mental space safe and that keeps my loved ones, my family and friends safe. You know the internet is the wild wild west, so I try my best to protect everything around me and keep it as sacred as I can. There is just not that much that is private these days so I try and keep as much as I can private.
And what’s one thing that you hoped people would take after listening to the album?
I remember when I first started off I was just thinking as long as it reaches one person. Then that number changed to 100 people and then that number changed to 1000 and it’s only grown since then. I just want people to recognise that I’ve been on the exact same path since I’ve started. As much as I can inspire people to be the bigger and better version of themselves, that’s all I want to do.
R&B always has its eras, and when we look at the current era, your name will always come up. So what mark do you hope this album leaves on the genre?
As far as what that means to R&B and music that will obviously be up to everyone else’s interpretation. But for me, it’s literally just dropping off the time capsule so that when I’m not here there is something that people can reference to know who I am and what I stood for.
And will you be heading on tour at all?
Yes, we’ve got a tour starting in October for the US and the top of next year for Europe. That way we can give people time to live with it and do festival season in between.
What do you look forward to about performing again?
It’s always fun to have people sing along with you. Making music in the studio is absolutely one of the most beautiful parts of creating, but seeing how it resonates with people and what their favorite songs are, when people cry and when people laugh, that is the exchange that I need to feel replenished. It takes a lot to put things into music and share it with other people. So the replenishing that I get is when I go on stage and I receive the love that I put up.
Tickets for 6LACK’s ‘Since I Have A Lover’ world tour are out now.
This Schon! online exclusive has been produced by
photography + creative director. Benjamin Hampson
fashion. Calvin How
grooming. Dan Delgado
retouch. Danielle Painting
assistant. Gabrielle Brainard
words. Shama Nasinde
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