At a time where staying connected is more important than ever, House of Solo has launched ‘Party of One’, a series providing intimate insight into how your favourite artists are dealing with isolation and what we can expect from them during lockdown.
Ant Saunders, rising pop/R&B star, spent the day of his highschool graduation releasing the track ‘Yellow Hearts’ which would later go viral on TikTok, become certified gold in the U.S and gather over 330 million streams. He has now released his debut EP Bubble, so named due to the restricting anxiety he experienced in his younger teens. We chatted to him via email about making a lockdown music video for new track MISCOMMUNICATIONS and his new obsession with Animal Crossing.
How are you doing? Are you settling into lockdown life?
Things are definitely weird, but I’m not having a hard time keeping myself busy. Lockdown life could be way worse–I just hope that everyone is staying safe and that this will all be over soon.
What does lockdown look like for you? Who are you sharing your space with?
In my lockdown, I’ve been playing a lot of Animal Crossing and hanging out with my girlfriend. I’ve been sharing a lot of my space with her and also my dad.
You live in Woodbury, New Jersey. How has your community been affected by COVID-19?
In my area, everybody is adjusting to the stay-at-home order, and a lot of people have been taking walks to destress. Although there have been very few cases in the area, we’re all super stressed and ready to go back to work.
So ‘Yellow Hearts’ originally blew up on TikTok. What’s been some of your favourite content that’s been coming out of the platform during lockdown?
I’ve been watching a lot of videos from @leftatlondon, @bricknermon, @paytonking, @freememesstudios and @mothurofdragunz. I also love the Animal Crossing memes and people messing up ‘guess the gibberish’.
So you’re set to support Camillo Cabello on the ‘Romance’ tour this fall. What do you miss most about performing live?
I don’t have a whole lot of live performing experience, but I miss that sense of pride I get when I’m on stage, and seeing the excited faces in the crowd. When I do more shows, I hope to feel more comfortable and perform to the best of my abilities.
You recently released your debut EP Bubble. This is something that you wrote, recorded and produced all on your own. Does having this ability make it easier to create music while in lockdown?
This ability definitely makes it easier for me to create because I have my studio setup at home, and it doesn’t really make the creation process much different compared to other people who don’t have easy access to one. Although it is harder for collaborations and sometimes finding inspiration, I’m trying my best.
The name Bubble references how you felt restricted by your anxiety growing up, what advice would you give to your younger fans who are experiencing increased anxiety at this time?
I would tell them that keeping themselves busy will definitely help distract them, and make the time go by faster. Play a video game, work out, watch TV, read a book, talk to friends, sleep, etc.
Bubble has quite a range of vibes within it, from nostalgic to lo-fi to quite funky tracks. Who are the artists that inspire you and what have you been listening to in lockdown?
The artists that inspire me the most would be Frank Ocean for his creativity and songwriting abilities, XXXTENTACION for his versatility, BROCKHAMPTON for their eccentricity and John Legend for his vocal abilities.
So you filmed the video for MISCOMMUNICATIONS during lockdown, can you tell me a little about this experience and how this came together?
One day, I had my girlfriend Logan and my friend Elizabeth come to my house with props and low budget equipment. Logan had tons of creative ideas and such a high level of determination, so she became the director, and Elizabeth assistant directed. We had a list of different scenes to film. Some ideas came from the label (shoutout Kathryn Sullivan), and some came from us. After 10 hours of blood, sweat and tears, I sent over the video files we recorded, and the guys over at Idle House did their thing with them. I was incredibly satisfied with the results.
What have you been doing to keep yourself entertained during your free time?
I’ve been playing a lot of Animal Crossing, and doing crafts and other fun things with Logan.
Are there any lessons that you think you’ll take forwards from your time in lockdown?
I learned that I need to use my time more wisely, because sometimes it won’t even be available.