Saro Talks His Melancholy New EP 'Die Alone,' Offers Up a Playlist for Pride Month
Saro knows that his music is sad. The pop/R&B star says that as much as he loves a good upbeat bop, he knows that it's healthy for him to expunge his problems through music. "I’ve found that it’s necessary to let those thoughts and feelings translate into music to get them out of my head," he tells Billboard. "So much happened during the year I wrote this EP so there is a wide range of emotion."
The result of this dark, inner reflection is Die Alone, Saro's latest EP that takes aim at "love and the lack thereof." The new offering from the budding artist sees him leaning again into a dark-pop style, with songs like "Nothing Remains" and "Die Alone" filling your head with his sad thoughts, in hopes of helping you combat your own.
Even in Pride Month, perhaps the happiest time of year for many LGBTQ people the world over, Saro recognizes that it is important to let negative emotions have their moment. So, the singer put together his own playlist for Billboard Pride, consisting of songs that remind him of Pride, be they happy or sad. "Sad songs make me feel at ease because I know someone hit their lowest low and lived to tell about it," he says. "Some of these songs make me proud to be an artist. Some of them make me proud to be queer. Some make me proud to be alive."
But despite his gloomy choices in music, Saro has plenty to be proud of this season, saying that the strides made by the queer community at large give him a reason to be hopeful. "I am proud that the LGBTQ+ community is gaining more visibility than ever with the help of social media," he says. "I am proud of myself for having grown enough to feel proud to be queer instead of afraid."
Check out Saro's Pride Month playlist below, including songs from Janet Jackson, Madonna, Kate Bush and more.
"This song is reminiscent of one of the first sexual relationships I had. 'Why do you come here when you know it makes things hard for me?' To me, this song represents the aloofness or inability to commit that is the final line of defense protecting your heart from breaking."
Perfume Genius, "Queen"
"Perfume Genius is one of the most amazing artists and the sweetest guy. When I met him recently the first thing he said to me was 'I think I follow you on Instagram' which was news to me so I blushed and freaked out a bit. I fanboy over him."
Katie Dey, "Stuck"
"Multitalented trans artist from Australia ... discovered her in 2015 and been obsessed ever since."
Majical Cloudz, "Childhood’s End"
"This is an example of a sad song that makes me feel at home. Pure nostalgia. RIP Majical Cloudz (they didn’t die…they broke up)."
Melody’s Echo Chamber, "Crystallized"
"This song is an escape from reality. Much needed and sought after when I’m listening to music."
Madonna, "Ray of Light"
"I honestly hadn’t listened to this song in years but when I think of Pride I think of Madonna. The beginning guitar riff just gave me full body chills. I remember being really young watching the music video while dancing on the coffee table."
"I love the journey this track takes me on. I’ve written countless lyrics and poems while listening to this on repeat. It stimulates the best parts of my mind."
Janet Jackson, "Empty"
"Just an iconic, timeless, interesting song. Janet personifies Pride."
Roxy Music, "More Than This"
"This song makes me feel so jovially queer. Whatever that means..."
Ariel Pink, "Picture Me Gone"
My best friend committed suicide in 2014 and this song came out soon after. I listened to it on repeat while crying in the shower. It definitely helped me through an intense part of that mourning process.
Bob Marley, "Stir It Up"
"Reminiscent of easier times. Hanging at Zuma Beach’s tower 7 every day of the summer between 9th and 10th grade. Being high the entire day just floating around in the ocean. My heart flutters thinking about those days."
Radiohead, "How to Disappear Completely"
"I can't find a more relatable song. Radiohead melts my brain in the best way."
Kate Bush, "Wuthering Heights"
"I love Kate Bush and the theatricality she brings to her music and videos. When I watch her visuals I can see that she has inspired so many of the artists I love ... I always felt that Lady Gaga’s claw dance move was inspired by Kate’s video for 'Babooshka.'"
Luther Vandross, "Never Too Much"
"This is one of my mom's favorite songs. She plays it every holiday. It reminds me of being carefree."
Dave Koz, "Together Again "
"This song takes me back to sleeping in the back of my dad's car as a kid. He would always listen to smooth jazz 94.7 The Wave. This hook melody always made me feel elated and safe. Fast forward a decade when I met Dave Koz and he became a bit of a mentor to me. I always joke with him that his music puts me to sleep."