South African-born, Brooklyn-based artist Sulene is welcoming everyone to her gothic disco party with new single and video, “whiskey.weed.sex.candy.”, out today via Trash Causal records. On the track, Sulene balances her dark feelings and hope simultaneously, taking cues from synth-pop and the underground dance scene, while reflecting on past addictions. Throughout the chorus she pours out, “Oh, I gotta do better // Or I’ll be here forever,” bringing a self-awareness to the cyclical and self-indulgent destructive decisions she’s been able to overcome. The music video debuted on BillboardPitchforkRollingStone.com, Sulene’s tongue-in-cheek take on premiere culture surrounding emerging artists, and you can head there now to watch the video and stream “whiskey.weed.sex.candy.”
On, creating “whiskey.weed.sex.candy.”, Sulene stated:
“About a year ago I was at a girl’s night with my ladies (the only one not drinking as I was on a 9-month hiatus from alcohol and drugs) when one of my friends remarked that a day never feels complete until she’s had whiskey, weed, sex, or candy. The phrase caught my attention so I wrote it down in my phone. Months later I made a beat that felt like something out of a Cyber Punk animé, and I started chanting those words over it almost in a joking way. What started as a quirky song with a sorta funny hook idea, turned into something much deeper when I reflected on how sad the hook actually made me feel. “Oh, I gotta do better // Or I’ll be here forever” poured out of me and became the chorus, as I realized I was within the grasp of hedonic pleasures in a way that was destructive to my life, specifically alcohol. And that I’d been stuck in this for many years. The song pretty much wrote itself after that because I had so many painful revelations about my life in connection to addiction and hedonism. Many realizations about friendships, performing, and feeling detached, spiraling into sadness and self-medicating, being ashamed but repeating the cycle. Writing this song was cathartic and also scary, because I realized that I’d opened up a door to something I hadn’t been willing to explore about myself before and it’s very revealing.”
Growing up in Cape Town, South Africa, Sulene moved to the US at nineteen years old with dreams of starting a career in music. Fast forward a few years and the multi-faceted, Brooklyn-based artist is living out that dream creating her own music, as well as writing scores for film and television, and even finds time to be a touring guitarist. Since 2015, she’s toured stages worldwide as the guitarist for Nate Ruess’ (of fun.) live band, appearing everywhere from Jimmy Kimmel Live! to the East Room of the White House, performing for President Obama. As a multi-instrumentalist, she has written original music and performed on the scores for several TV shows, films, and commercials such as Ray Donovan and The Affair, as well as spots for Nike, Microsoft, Dior, and many more.
Though her experience is vast, her newest work speaks the loudest in terms of her unique voice. On her newest single “whiskey.weed.sex.candy.” Sulene delves deep into what addiction means, what purpose hedonic pleasures serve, and writes with vulnerability about her experiences with both. Exploring a darker side of her character and production, Sulene writes, records, and produces all her own music out of a one-bedroom apartment. She’s also delved into filming and editing her own music videos and artwork, giving a full 360 view of her newest art. With more music on the horizon, Sulene is looking to break new ground in 2021 and is poised to be an artist to know.