Syd’s Time In The ‘Broken Hearts Club’ Taught Her How To Lick Her Wounds And Come Back Stronger

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Syd is happy.

That’s the main conclusion I received from our interview about her sophomore solo album Broken Hearts Club. The project arrives five years after her debut solo album Fin, and since then, a lot has happened for her. Her band, The Internet, released their fourth album Hive Mind, and the group’s respective members, just like Syd herself, released solo projects of their own. She’s endured the highs and lows of love, and just like the rest of us, Syd battled to adjust to the new normal that the pandemic forced on us.

Broken Hearts Club is Syd’s real-life account of a head-over-heels love story that took place for her during the pandemic. The initial butterflies, the truly heartfelt confessions of love that came later, and everything in between are present for the first two-thirds of the album – and then everything comes crashing down. Syd is left to pick up the pieces of her heart, one she thought that she gave away for good, all while figuring out how to move on. Furthermore, there was also an album, which was initially made to celebrate this joyous relationship, to finish.

Somehow, someway though, Syd did it. Fresh off the release of Broken Hearts Club, Syd sat down with Uproxx to tell us about how it all came together, how she’s grown from the situation, and more.

What would you say are the biggest differences between Broken Hearts Club and your first solo project Fin.

The vulnerability. I think on Fin, I tapped into a little bit of vulnerability toward the end of that album, but for the most part, I was flexing really hard. It was definitely me at the time, but when I came down to writing this album and trying to bring some of that same energy, it just didn’t feel natural at the time. I think I had a lot to prove on Fin as a songwriter mostly. I wrote Fin with a lot of other artists in mind. Fin, for me, was like, “Okay, if I could just write songs, who would I write for? What would I write?” It was a lot of experimentation. So some of those songs I listen to now and I’m like, “That doesn’t sound like me,” Okay because that sounds like who I had in mind when I wrote it. It turned out great because it was all me and my boy Nick [Green]. I love how the album came out and I still love it to this day, even though some of the songs don’t sound like me anymore, I still love it. I’m like, “Wow, I was going ham, I was flexing on everybody,” and I’m appreciative of that time and who knows? Maybe I’ll get back in my bag next go around. This time, I had to just like kind of be real about what I’ve been through in between the projects.

In terms of The Internet, you said that Fin was somewhat of an itch to scratch and a way to explore interests outside of the band. Is that the same with Broken Hearts Club?

This one’s a little different. Going into Fin, and all The Internet solo projects, we had started making another Internet project before we actually started Hive Mind and it just wasn’t sounding good. We were making beats and it just sounded really weird. I felt that it was because we all wanted to do different things and I felt like we had to do those different things before we could come back together. This time around is different because we took a conscious and deliberate break. Matt [Martians] adopted a puppy a couple of years ago, and was like, “I want to take a year off and raise my dog,” he’s been living in Georgia. Patrick [Paige II] put out a solo album, Steve [Lacy’s] been working on a solo album, almost done with it, he signed a deal, and Chris [Smith] just started a solo project. So this time around, it was more geared toward the future. We were looking more at ourselves as the supergroup that we are and less as just a band. Like, let’s take this time to really take advantage of what we set up for ourselves and we’ll get back to it when it happens naturally.

Because the story on this album is so personal, I assume that it only made sense to have this be a solo album for yourself. If not for these events, was there another direction you had for this project?

I like to look at every album as a snapshot into my life at the time, so it just depends on where I’m at. As of right now, whatever I start working on for the next project and the couple of songs I do have already for the next project, they’re kinda more me talking my sh*t, a little bit flexy, talking about enjoying the fruits of my labor a little bit more. On Fin, I was talking about the future fruits of my labor [and] what I had hoped to accomplish. On the next one, I think it’ll be more about what I have accomplished. I don’t know, also, in the process of making and finishing this album, I’ve come to like a place of contentment with my life, where I’m like, “Wow, okay, cool. I have what I need and I don’t really want anything.” I finally hit that point where I’m like, “Damn, I’m good! I’m set.” As long as these royalties keep coming in the way they have been, I think I’ll be okay.

Is there a song from Broken Hearts Club that was easier or more difficult than usual to write?

“Goodbye My Love” was really hard to sing, actually. When I wrote it, I was sobbing, I wasn’t over it, it just happened maybe a week prior. I was in the midst of my grief, sitting at my parent’s dining room table. I was listening to that sh*t just sobbing and writing it in my head. It was initially going to be for a producer album, and I told bro straight up, “I can’t seem to sing this sh*t without crying, so I’m not gonna make your deadline, I’m sorry.” He was like, “Aw sh*t, well hey man, don’t rush it. I’m sure it’ll come when it’s supposed to.” By the time it came together, he had already put his project out and I was like, “Yo, can I have this?” and he was like yeah. So that was probably the one, that one was hard. It was easy to write, but it was really hard to record. By the time I recorded it, it worked out and it came together pretty quickly, but it took me a really long time to be able to sing it without crying. It’s so short and simple! But that’s probably why (laughs).

You have guest appearances from Lucky Daye, Smino, and Kehlani here. What made them fitting artists to you to tell such a personal story?

So I picked Kehlani just because we had been meaning to work together for so long and we just needed the right couple of songs. That’s one of my friends like in real life, we’re like finsta friends, so we always know what each other is doing and it was just like why haven’t we gotten in the studio for real? That was her saying that, she was like, “Can we make a project together or something?” I was like sh*t, I got a couple of songs we could start with. Smino, I’ve known him for a few years now and we’ve been meaning to work for a while. We actually did get in the studio once back in the day, but it just didn’t come together organically, but this time it did. I had written the song and I just texted it to him. I was like, “Yooo,” and he sent it back the next day and those are always the best features to me. The ones that come back the next day or the next week are usually the best. Lucky Daye was a similar situation we had actually never met or even spoken before. I just slid in his DMs and was like, yo, I got a song, and he was like, “BET. Where we at? Where you at?” He came to the studio, it was real quick, real easy, like it was super natural. After he left, I remember thinking and saying, “Yo, he’s hella cool man, he’s one of us.”

The major transitional points on the album for me are the “heart” songs: “CYBAH,” “Heartfelt Freestyle,” and “BMHWDY.” Through these, we see that a major pain point with love is reciprocation and maintaining it. For you personally, what do you think is the scariest part about love?

Oh, for sure, just giving someone the power to hurt you. That’s definitely the scariest part for me. I’m not like afraid of commitment. I think we’re all just afraid of pain. For me, with this particular heartbreak, it was unexpected. I thought I was just going to breeze through life without ever experiencing a real one. I’ve had my heart broken before, or whatever, but I bounced back so fast off of those. This one let me know that those weren’t what I thought they were. Honestly, I think I was so ignorant before that I wasn’t afraid of that. I didn’t know what there was to be afraid of anyway. I hadn’t experienced that depth of pain before. Now that I have been through it, I can say I’m probably less afraid ironically. I know that’s like, “…what?” but now I know what to expect. I think fear of the unknown is also very real and not knowing what that pain could be like is also scary. So now I know that I could get through it. Honestly, now I know more about who I am because I learned a lot in that process. I’m less afraid these days.

Have you found comfort or a silver lining in being in the Broken Hearts Club?

Yes, yes! I have a newfound respect for all the homies who have been there (laughs). I don’t know about you, but when I was going through it, I had so many homies pat me on the back in spirit like, “I know bro, I know. You’re gonna get through this. I’ve been there.” Yeah, I got a newfound respect for all of those homies man, for sure.

In a past interview, you said that continuing the process of making this album after the heartbreak was hard because the music you were making at that time was so bitter. Now that it’s done, what would credit towards making this album in the way you wanted to, despite all the emotions you had?

This book The Power Of Now. It just taught me how to be present. What ended up happening was, I wrote a couple of songs, I thought I was going to take this heartbreak and channel it, and it just didn’t come out right. It sounded nasty and I was like, “Okay nah, I think I need to heal first.” So in order to do that, I read hella books, and the first one that I read was The Power Of Now, ironically, a suggestion from the girl who broke up with me. She read it right before she dumped me, so I was like, “What the f*ck did this book tell this b*tch? What was in here that made her leave my ass?? (laughs)” I read it and it really helped me to be present, to not run away from the feelings, but to actually go into it headfirst so that I know I’ve dealt with it, that I’ve released it, and that I’m not bottling nothing. I don’t want nothing popping up on me a year from now, you know, leftover pain and grief. So between that book, a good therapist, and space and time that the pandemic kind of allowed us.

What would you call this chapter of your career?

I have no idea and it’s really scary. It’s almost like a crossroads. It feels like it could go either way right now. One thing that I have to remind myself is that you can always start again because I’ve seen it, but when you’re being present, it’s hard to think like that. Sometimes, you can’t help but think like, “Damn, what if this is it for you girl? What if this is album is whatever to people and I don’t get another chance?” Thankfully, I’ve really gotten better at seeking validation from within. I’ve always been confident, but I haven’t always been sure of myself and now I feel very sure of myself and that’s a game-changer. Now, no one can tell me who I am and nobody could say, “Just trust me, just trust me. You’re gonna look great.” N****, I’m 30. You’re not about to tell me how I’m gonna look! You not bout to tell me that imma like this more than anything else I’ve ever been in. I fell for the okey-doke before. I’m just happy that when you Google me, new pictures pop up because boy… those first 5-10 years of my career? I wasn’t sure enough of myself to say “no.” Now I am, now I’m grown. I’m 30, can’t tell me bout me (laughs). And that feels really good.

Now that your solo project is done, is a return to music with The Internet in order?

I think we’ll be doing another Internet album before I do another solo project. Initially, in September, when me and Matt were talking about what we wanted to discuss [on the project], it was a little more about what was happening in the world, like this Internet perspective of the world right now and everybody going crazy. But when we talked about it at Smokin Grooves, he was like, “You know what? Let’s just have fun on this next record. If we want to talk about something serious, let’s have fun with it. Let’s just go back to some good times” So I think on the next one, I’ll probably be talking about all my trucks a lot (laughs), probably getting on people’s nerves.

Broken Hearts Club is out now via Columbia Records. You can stream it here.