Feelings and fantasies are the vehicle that drives PLAZA's hazy, purple-tinted visuals and brooding, mercurial songs. The Toronto-based singer is yet another progeny of the city's thriving music scene, one that has pushed a steady stream of moody R&B stateside. His lush, daydream-filled lyrics are translated through a syrupy, rueful falsetto that is reminiscent of the Weeknd's early experimentations. Yet still, PLAZA's output is completely unique to him. He explores themes of duality and spews forth unadulterated emotions, offering a kind of openness that is at odds with his persona.
As an artist, he intentionally flies below the radar - his Instagram reads like a mood board for a creatures of the night themed photo shoot. Everything is cast in a grainy purple light that only give away hints of who PLAZA is outside of the song he sings.
Ahead of premiering his new single, "Over" we caught up with PLAZA to learn more. You can listen to the new single and read our interview below.
Why do you think Toronto is having such a music moment?
Toronto is a growing city and you can feel that energy. The competitiveness that comes with it fuels you to push a little harder, I can feel it playing a role in my work ethic. In terms of R&B, I feel like a lot of the production here lends itself to the moody R&B we're hearing come out of the city.
Your visual aesthetic feels very consistent with the mood of your music. How did it develop?
I guess the visual part is just a reflection of the music. I like to write and record in the dark. Every scene I'm trying to capture happens at night, so the aesthetic is going to reflect that.
What influences your song writing?
Feelings and fantasies - I get these scenes in my head and I long for them. So my music is there to bring them to life, first for me and then for you.
You seem to prefer flying below the radar, any particular reason?
Yes, it's intentional to a degree. I'm a fan of simplicity so I prefer just dropping the music with a very focused aesthetic. That's a dope way to be introduced in my eyes.
What drew you to the emotive, sometimes dark, themes your songs explore?
I don't listen to music that doesn't make me get into my emotions. I really don't see the point of being safe or reserved. If you're not moving your listener, you've failed.
Your songs find an odd balance between romance and this idea of preferring to be a lone wolf. How does that apply in your life?
I'm definitely pulling from both of those sides, and I want both of those lives badly. For now, lone wolf fits me fine.
What are some of your music goals for 2017?
I want to release two more EPs and have it well understood that this is all just the tip of the iceberg - in a career sense and in the scope of the music I can make.
Take a look at Awful Records' new run of tour merch here.