A chat with Aydin Sayar, one of Melbourne’s most magnetic performers

A chat with Aydin Sayar, one of Melbourne’s most magnetic performers

Image by Jeff Andersen Jnr
Words by Eva Marchingo

The rising songwriter has been taking the city by storm.

Aydin Sayar is a Melbourne-based multi-instrumentalist musician and producer. He swirls together dreamy guitar synths with weighty lyrics, and ends up with beautifully melancholic dance tracks.

Beat sat down with the songwriter to have a chat about his blossoming music career.

Eva Marchingo: How did you get into music?

Aydin Sayar: I was always into music as a kid – I was obsessed with listening to the radio in the car. I would always know all the lyrics to every song and who the artist was.

At school, I remember learning the violin but my teacher would always be so frustrated with me because I used to flip the violin around like a guitar. One day my teacher just said to my mum, “Give him guitar lessons”. Thankfully school was very supportive and nurturing of the arts and I really dived into it all there.

I was really fortunate to have my mother, father, and my stepmother all listen to extremely different music. I was always into pop music but my stepmother used to listen to a whole bunch of alternative music, artists like The White Stripes, Violent Femmes and The B-52’s really fed my interest in that as well.

EM: What is your creative process?

AS: Traditionally it would be wailing on the guitar until a cool progression is created; now it’s pencilling in drums first or bashing on my synthesisers until a specific sound switches on that light bulb in my head. I feel the creative process for me is never a repetitive practice, I think it’s important to switch up the writing process as it keeps things refreshing.

EM: How do you get into the zone?

AS: Getting into the zone is essentially making a coffee or – depending on the time of day – pouring a wine. It’s important for me to listen to music that’s of current inspiration and to recognise what specifically about the music inspires me. Sometimes cleaning my workspace is really important as it kind of feels like a fresh start.

EM: Do you have any enemies to your music-making?

AS: One of my enemies that I constantly battle with is self-doubt, which probably ties into being a bit of a perfectionist with my music. It’s a very common hurdle in every profession. There has been many times where I write something then come back to it the next day and think, “Wow this sucks”.

I feel like every creative suffers from this. I normally just start writing fun dance music when I feel stressed or unmotivated to continue working on a track. I actually hope to release this dance music at some point as a fun little side project.

EM: That’s definitely something I’ll be looking forward to. Can we expect any more new music this year?

AS: You can expect at least two more singles to be released in the coming months.

EM: You’ve been doing a few live streams during lockdown, how do you prepare for those?

AS: It’s interesting because normally with live shows, you stress about the band, making sure everyone is on top of their parts, and that everyone shows up to practice. With live streams, I have been focusing more on the setting: throwing myself into the decoration of the performance space.

EM: Do you miss performing to a physical crowd?

AS: It is killing me. I really feed off having a crowd. I also love playing my music with a band. Having your music progress from your laptop in your bedroom to a stage is something you feel really proud of.

The energy, chemistry and camaraderie you have with bandmates is also really important. Melbourne has such a vibrant music scene and the city feels a bit empty without it. I know fellow musicians are itching to get back up on a stage again.

EM: Which artists are you listening to at the moment?

AS: I cook to Donny Benet, he gives me the motivation to cook up a storm. Swaying my hips while chopping up an onion is a constant. His music fills you up with confidence and I can confirm I cook to a better standard when he is playing in the room.

Other artists I’ve been listening to include NOT A BOYS NAME – specifically the awesome new release ‘The Internet Sucks’, LA Priest, Part Time, Tame Impala (I’ll never stop), Nat Vazer, Sharon Van Etten, Steve Lacy and Kacey Musgraves.

EM: Who is your favourite artist in the Melbourne music scene?

AS: Jeez this is tough. I would have to say Kllo – I have been a massive fan of them for years now. It has been so awesome watching them grow and release hit after hit. Their latest song ‘Insomnia’ is stuck in my head all too often. I am a huge admirer of their production and they are a constant inspiration for me.

EM: Is there a specific Melbourne music venue you can’t wait to get back to, either performing or as an audience member?

AS: I am just excited for them all to open up, every venue is great in their own way and we are so lucky to have so many different places. As long as there’s a crowd, I’m happy to perform anywhere.

EM: Many of your songs express the highs and lows of love, but I want to know more about the real love of your life: How’s your dog, Zelda?

AS: She is killing the game! She’s ten months old and Seeing Eye Dogs is really happy with her progress.

Aydin Sayar is perhaps one of the most charismatic performers I’ve ever seen live. There’s no wonder he sold out his debut show at The Gaso last year. On stage, he’s charming and not afraid to make the crowd laugh, and when he sings, it’s the kind of thing that might just melt your heart.

Sayar will appear on Leaps and Bounds Music Festival’s Records and Refreshments event on Thursday June 18. The event will welcome the likes of Nat Vazer, Stella Farnan and Yi-Lynn onto the show to chat about their favourite beer and favourite records.

Aydin Sayar’s latest single, ‘You Never Know’, is out now via streaming services. Keep up to date with the emerging songwriter via his Instagram.

Tune into Records and Refreshments on Thursday June 18 via Rockhopper Records’ YouTube or Facebook page. It kicks off from 7pm.