Dermot Kennedy is gearing up to release his new album, Sonder, on Nov. 18, and the artist sat down with Billboard News to discuss his musical journey so far.
“I found the word ‘sonder’ a few years ago, the meaning being just the awareness that everybody is living a life just as important and as complex as your own,” he says of his sophomore LP’s title. “At that point, I didn’t really have any part of my life or career to attach it to, so it was just a word that I appreciated and it meant something to me.”
He adds that in the process of making his new album, he tried to “unlock the same honesty and power of a feeling” as his debut record. “You have to say something worth while and prove that you deserve to be around, and there’s added pressure in that sense,” he explains.
“These albums define the way I live, and I can already feel me putting pressure on myself in a healthy way,” he continues. “This album is about having empathy and being conscious of other people’s struggles and triumphs, so I can’t just say that and not live it.”
As for his writing technique, Kennedy says he captures a “time sample” of where he’s at in his life. “That’s quite a freeing, in a way, though,” he says, noting that it allows him to let go of the pressure to make an album that’s the best he’s ever created. “I should just trust what comes out of my brain, to some extent.”
Watch Billboard‘s full interview with Kennedy above.