Sydney-based rock outfit turned production project, CIRCLE, has been MIA over the last few years. Following the success of their 2012 single ‘Fashion Me A Drum’, CIRCLE took an indefinite hiatus with singer Radi Safi confessing that they all just got busy with a little thing called life.
“I got really busy with other work related stuff and I guess the story that I was telling myself which is kind of true – I was so musically fulfilled because it was so music oriented already – I was the founding editor of Happy in Sydney, so that had been an engrossing few years getting that off the ground,” he says.
Despite considering himself musically fulfilled, Safi has now embarked on a solo project experimenting with and testing newly-found waters, as seen in his latest dreamy single Thylacine.
“I guess I always wrote – I didn’t really stop writing music but really it had been longer than I thought, so I wanted to put some new stuff out.
“There are a couple of older members helping out on bits and pieces, but it’s essentially become a bit of a solo project. The band is still there, but it is very much a production project,” he says of the single which delivers a transcendent melody over a punchy synth-bass, accompanied by mashed-up marsupial samples.
“I mean Dan, Dan Shaw, who has played Bass in CIRCLE for forever, definitely helped out on it – and if you listen very carefully, you can hear Bec Shave’s docile backing vocals, but it’s very different to the way we did other stuff as a band. Getting in the studio and rehearsing and putting down a song – this is more like a cook it until it’s right type thing.”
Despite working as more of a solo artist on this venture, Safi admits his personal preference is being part of a collective, as opposed to going solo.
“A band is way better, especially if everybody is vibing off the song. A band is like a family, you all get along (hopefully) and it’s really good. We have had our moments,” he laughs, “but time with a band is like four or five other artists who all have a similar, or the same, creative goal – and are all coming together to work on one thing. It’s a pretty powerful experience, and it’s more fun.”
Toying with cheeky demos over the last few years, Safi, who launched the influential Sydney music publication Happy Mag and Enmore Audio, is excited to delve back into the muso side of the music scene, sharing his music more publicly now – despite the challenges of being previously known merely as a writer.
“It’s more expensive”, he laughs. “It’s more of an investment on every front, but that’s also a good thing. There was also this really weird kind of hump that I had to get over and that was a lot of people knowing me for something else [Happy Mag] and now having them come across my musical work.”
On top of CIRCLE being back with a renewed sense of vigour, Safi confesses that there is more to come with a definite EP on its way – along with a brand new project in the works.
“The EP won’t be a big deal. It’s just kind of a getting it out there, almost like a purging exercise – eager to be done with it. I like it but I’m eager to share it,” he says before confessing, “I’ve already moved on to my next project which is a lot leaner – it’s still very much CIRCLE, but it’s a bit more traditional and instrumental. Stripping it back a lot – which has been fun. Getting to the heart and soul of sound in a way, with simpler sounds and relying on the strength and sound of a song and melody, rather than other elements.”
Simply due to a matter of logistics and time, there are no upcoming gigs on the cards for the band. Safi admits that the sound of CIRCLE has altered in a way since their 2012 release, yet they are still working towards the same aim.
“The worse thing you can ever say is that you are too busy to do it. I just think the time that I have I’m enjoying in the creative process, I think that is time better spent right now. It just keeps coming full circle with every attempt at making music – it’s all about creating”.
Release: Thylacine is available on Itunes and spotify
Written by Talia Rinaldo