People can be a blessing, but also a curse – depending on how they treat others. Some in the past of Aime Simone treated him so harshly it led to health issues which led to clinics, then, in turn, led to Simone picking up a pen and beginning a poetic journey. One that would find him at a Pete Doherty show almost a decade ago. After connecting with Doherty through the written word, they developed a creative relationship. Today, Aime Simone is on the brink of releasing his debut, ‘Say Yes, Say No’, and sharing with ZO some insight to the record, his effortless ways, and more.
Kendra: People like to say “shoot your shot” when it comes to taking risks for what you want, but you lived that sentiment when you tossed your poetry journal at Pete Doherty because he not only picked it up but loved it. How long did you feel like you were living in a dream when you two were working together?
Aime Simone: For about a year. Still in the afterglow of it. It helped me to understand what real art is and how I want to live my life.
Kendra: Did anything from the writing sessions get tucked away and pulled back out for ‘Say Yes, Say No,’ or was this album almost all inspired by 2020’s global pandemic?
Aime Simone: I think the songwriting method that I learned from those times has remained the root of my creative process, I just produce them in a very different style now and the topics are mostly relevant to my path in the last years. I think the pandemic was a catalyst for the creative process. It put everything into a perspective, somehow apocalyptic, which everyone had to overcome and heal from. Just like the way I had to heal from and overcome long years of self-destruction.
Kendra: Your vocals come across so effortlessly. Is that something you worked on with Pete or are those pipes natural?
Aime Simone: It’s natural. I’ve worked on it myself.
Kendra: The video for “Everything’s Changing” also comes across as effortless, and beautiful. It strips away so much and highlights you and the song. Did any other concept come to mind for this or was it this great idea and done?
Aime Simone: I try to keep all my ideas and work very minimal so that one can directly access the emotion instead of having to dig it out from a pile of artifacts. I like art and music when it’s honest and vulnerable.
Kendra: The song sort of struck a nerve with me because I am someone who will panic at the thought of death, and it’s all about accepting the mortality of life. Is this something you wrote about because you overcame that fear yourself?
Aime Simone: I think I am not as scared of death since I had a near-death experience. It put my mortality into perspective. I realized it’s not about me, but the ones I would leave behind. However, I am terrified at the idea of losing someone I love. I don’t know if there’s a cure for that.
Kendra: COVID-19 has surely inspired many around the world to use their time at home creating. Yourself included. At what point in lockdown did “In This Dark Time” start to come to mind?
Aime Simone: It took me three months to write the album. The first month I gathered drafts, I had around 120 ideas to work from. The song was a part of that batch. The second month I reduced the demos to 50 and finished 20 properly. In the last month, I took the best ones and ‘In This Dark Time’ was one of my favorites!
Kendra: On top of music you spent some time modeling. Do you see any parallels between that world and music?
Aime Simone: I think both worlds intertwine. Good music has good fashion, and good fashion has tasteful music. To me, it’s one expression through two different mediums.
Kendra: Usually, this is where I ask people what they have planned in the coming months but with the world in a strange place right now, plans aren’t as concrete as they typically are. You can go ahead and let us know what you have tentatively planned!
Aime Simone: I am already writing more songs. There’s not much else to do at the moment. I am happy to release my debut album on the 31st of July. It will come with a documentary and I am really excited for people to discover me and connect with my story. I just want to help people to heal with love, acceptance, forgiveness.