"I'm Not Sayin'" is the soulful, chill new single from Chicago-based singer-songwriter and producer DIVMOND (a.k.a. Chris Diamond), and the third proper release featuring this talented, emerging musician. DIVMOND's 2017 collaboration ("We Came To Dance") with producer duo Cafe Disko first cast DIVMOND into the musical spotlight, with the track garnering one million streams across music streaming platforms. It was this incredible track that first caught my attention with DIVMOND's downtempo, soulful vocal delivery and the song's flowing, infectious chorus. Earlier this year, his collaboration with IKON on the track "HXTBXX" followed a similar, equally-as-impressive musical style.
"I'm Not Sayin'" features DIVMOND center stage, along with best friend and longtime co-writer Sebastian Acosta on guitar. This impressive track presents a decidedly spacious, down-tempo/R&B sound with smooth, soulful vocals and heartfelt lyrics in a style reminiscent of artists like Frank Ocean and James Blake. This is one of those songs that makes a perfect soundtrack for late night chilling and kicking back.
SoundThread Music Blog recently caught up with DIVMOND to talk about the inspiration for "I'm Not Sayin'", the songwriting process, and learn a bit about what's in store for DIVMOND in the near future.
Congratulations on the release of "I'm Not Sayin'" - this is an outstanding track! Can you tell us a bit about the track and how it came to life?
I have an awkward habit of sneaking away from a real life experience just to write down lyrics in my phone. I’ll hear an idea I think is great and will run to the bathroom at a party just to softly sing the idea into my voice notes app.
“I’m Not Sayin'” is a perfect example of that song. I was writing the lyrics, any chance I could, while I was hanging out with this girl I was interested in. A couple days later, still in my feels, I quietly sang all the melodies into my phone while my roommates were asleep around 3 am and exported the voice memos into Ableton and produced the majority of the track in a couple hours. One giant stream of consciousness. The song is about being infatuated with someone despite having differences in life choices but expressing that you feel they can do better.
How did the musical journey begin for DIVMOND? How did you get to this stage - now releasing your third official single?
I worked on the event curation side with Sofar Sounds for a few years. Taught myself how to produce using Ableton Live. And waited patiently for the right time and the right time to start.
It was actually at a Sofar Sounds Chicago event a while back that I met you. At the time, I wasn't aware of your musical aspirations. Then I heard your first single (“We Came to Dance”) with Cafe Disko, and was blown away by it. How did your work with Sofar Sounds or the Sofar concept itself inspire or encourage you in any way to take the step forward musically?
I remember meeting you and enjoying your energy. And it’s that kind of communal magic that Sofar shows provide that made me realize that Maya Angelou was right: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” I’ve carried a lot of the Sofar spirit into my live sets. That plus I’m really competitive and seeing a lot of amazing acts made me really hungry to officially start.
Working with Sofar Sounds as an Ambassador for the last four years has put many, many local artists in front of me. I’ve soaked up a lot of the jazz, Singer-Songwriter, and Hip Hop vibes and have been impacted by the electronic/DJ scene as well. I’ve also recognized patterns in the musicality and writing within the scene that I want to avoid. Before Sofar my only sampling of the art culture in Chicago was thru slam poetry. By way of YCA, Louder Than A Bomb, and a little bit of Brave New Voices.
What can we expect in the near future from DIVMOND?
A lot more singles. A lot more features and collaborations both as a singer and as a producer. And if everything goes right...the start of my clothing brand.
Thanks to DIVMOND for taking the time to provide such insightful responses!
For more information about DIVMOND, visit his official website, follow on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter), and find his music on SoundCloud and Spotify.