A self-confessed bubblegum synth-pop artist, Aidan Verity ’s music is infectious, quirky and laced with ’80s pop production in a way that does not sound dated. The Wellington artist’s new song Hot Guy In The Corner continues with the nostalgia theme and Verity spoke to NZM about the new track.
Like many people during lockdown I went on a nostalgia trip of songs from my childhood, which for me involved ’00s pop divas, and particularly Nikki Webster’s Strawberry Kisses.
I got to reconnect with Kylie Minogue during that time, so when she released her new single Say Something in July 2020, I was all over it. I really liked the groove and knew that I wanted to emulate that in my next song. Borrowing elements from the songs I love has been a fun way for me to develop my production skills. My first single in Feb 2020, Holy House, has a lot of elements borrowed from Caroline Polachek’s So Hot You’re Hurting My Feelings.
I keep a notepad of lyrical ideas that yes, usually I come up with in the shower! When I’ve laid down a beat, or some production ideas, I can search back through the notes for lyrics that suit the music. When I was ready to add lyrics and melody to my demo for what became Hoy Guy In The Corner I found a note I’d written originally as ‘hot girl in the corner’ – it was about seeing my most ideal self in a spiritual sense, and being awestruck by that. I eventually modified the idea to make more of a story of sighting someone at an intergalactic school disco because I had a resurgence of faith and spirituality in 2019 and 2020, so the hot guy in this song represents my interest and curiosity in God, and the effervescent excitement of pursuing a new thing.
The most poetic lyric of the song is the final line of the chorus, “I see my face in your face,” which refers to how we change and transform to resemble someone we admire. It also refers to how couples kind of start looking or acting like each other the longer they’ve been together. And the last meaning is wanting to be up close and in someone’s face.
When the last chorus drops, a choir gets added to the mix – I had to sing so low for this! In the raw files I sound like a dog hurling, but blended in it sounds epic, so it’s my favourite part of the song!
To finish the production I enlisted the help of Ash Kailath, a US-based producer I met over Facebook. I was really keen to work with Ash as he’s also collaborated with Conkarah, albeit in a totally different genre, but that shows his skills as a producer. He took my demo and added a lot of sound design elements that made it sparkle and fulfilled my retro spacey vision. This retro, almost ’80s aesthetic, I carried over into the music video. That was a big learning curve – coordinating with multiple other people and their ideas of how to bring the galaxy to reality. Working with director Ben Stewart, we translated this song to a gym setting, and Club Kelburn very generously let us film there after hours, almost no questions asked!