On her first solo album, queer songwriter Syd explores broken relationships, falling back on close friends, clandestine affairs and giving in to passion.

Syd, crouching

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Syd (formerly Syd Tha Kid) (from The Internet) has dropped a cannabis-hazed sexbomb of an album, complete with heavy ’90s R&B influences.

Having dropped “Tha Kid” from her name, Syd claims the spotlight with Fin. Themes like broken relationships, falling back on close friends, clandestine affairs and giving in to passion may be universal, but it’s especially poignant to hear about lesbian longing from such a gifted performer, and incredibly refreshing to hear it outside of the lens of white lesbian relationships.

If you don’t remember The Internet’s “Cocaine” video, the young singer/emcee actually came out to the public with that music video.

“I decided to do it because I wish I had someone like that [an openly gay female artist] while I was coming up. People write on my Tumblr just thanking me for making the video, saying that I really inspire them, and they want to be like me,” Syd told L.A. Weekly back in 2012. “But I wasn’t always this way, this comfortable with myself, and I remember what that was like. So I figure, fuck it. Everyday people aren’t given this opportunity and I realize that. And I didn’t at first. I thought I was just lucky to be along for the ride.”

Fin began as a catalog-building exercise. Syd began writing her solo work with the hope of getting the attention of other artists she wanted to write with. The whole process was much more deliberate than the incredibly organic writing and production process Syd got used to with The Internet. While solo albums often mean a band is drifting apart, Syd assures us that this is just something that she wanted to do — a way to build herself as an artist.

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“This album is not that deep, but I feel like this is my descent into the depth I want the band to get to,” Syd said, speaking with The Fader in October. “For me, this is like an in-between thing — maybe get a song on the radio, maybe make some money, have some new s*** to perform.”

“This definitely was a different process,” Syd tells Esquire. “Booking a session and going into a room with a producer that you’re meeting for the first time and having them play you something … everybody kind of has the general expectation that a song is going to get written in the next couple hours. There is a little bit of anxiety in that process.”

For Fin, Syd worked with producers Melo-X, Rakhi, Hit-Boy and fellow Internet member Steve Lacy. However, the beats and words are all her. The title of the album may suggest an end, but we hope that this is merely the beginning of a deep, varied and prosperous solo career.

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