6 takeaways from Leafar Seyer’s Artist Friendly podcast interview
On Episode 3 of Artist Friendly, Leafar Seyer of the electro-rock project Prayers joined Joel Madden to talk about his childhood immigrating to the U.S., decade-plus-long career in music, and more. The episode just dropped today and is available wherever you listen to podcasts, and on YouTube, as well.
Seyer launched his career in music a little over 10 years ago, playing in bands including Baptism of Thieves and Vampire before founding the electro-rock project Prayers, which has made waves in rock for pioneering the genre-defying sound they call "chologoth." Most recently, the Cotija, Michoacán Mexican-born, California-based artist released the album Chologoth - The Return Of Pluto in 2022, and this year will see Prayers appear at the upcoming music festival Sick New World.
In Seyer's conversation with Madden, he spoke about everything from how his early years shaped him and his art to how authenticity has always driven his music. Below, find six takeaways from the Artist Friendly interview.
He owes his success to his mother
Before Seyer had even realized that he wanted to pursue music, he says it was his mother who helped him to feel special, and therefore, that something like that was possible. He says she was always "cheering him on" and "influenced and changed the way [he] thinks and sees [himself]." The recording artist even tells an anecdote about how his mother chose his name, which includes a moment of divine intervention, and led her to tell him as a child that she always knew he was "special" when he was named Rafael.
Seyer was the first person in his family to learn English
Near the start of the episode, the Prayers frontman reveals that he immigrated to America when he was only 4-years-old, and his parents didn’t speak English. Naturally, being the oldest, Seyer was the first person in his family to learn the language. He soon became a translator for his parents, interacting with landlords and helping to pay their bills. “For me, I was in survival mode, always,” he says.
Authenticity has always driven his music
Seyer credits his value of authenticity as being the No. 1 thing that's fueled his music and career, and the reason that his fans are along for this "journey" with him. He explains that because he was still coming out of his years spent "on the streets" when he began Prayers, it felt true to his experience when he explored those themes in his music, which his audience recognized. Nowadays, when Seyer feels as if that's a part of his past and he's grown to be more of a family man, he feels as if the project has evolved and matured in a similar way and his fans respect that. That authenticity is what he hopes helps him to make "timeless" music.
He’s a dreamer
When his mother passed away, Seyer says his sister discovered a shoebox that contained a ton of old drawings and photographs from his childhood. Of the keepsakes that his mom collected, one in particular stood out — a drawing of a stick figure on a stage holding a microphone with the word “Hollywood” scrawled at the top. “It was already in my subconscious,” Seyer explains. “I think as a kid, I was like, ‘I want to do this.’ But then the road that I was on, and the reality that I was living, that wasn’t something that was accessible.”
He’s a late bloomer but self-funded
Unlike musicians who start grinding when they’re teenagers, Seyer is different from the rest. He only started making music a decade ago when he was 37-years-old (“I came into this as a grown-ass man,” he jokes). Instead of pulling from his own coming of age, he already possessed experience and an identity. “For me, the music was really something that I [needed to] get out of my chest. The seed was there, and it took 37 years to blossom,” he says. And because he got started later in life, he already had the funds to make his dreams a reality by covering the costs of the merch, vinyl, and more.
You can expect collaborations in the future
While Seyer says he's not necessarily working on a great deal of new Prayers music, since he just dropped an album in 2022, he does have a handful of collaborative songs in the work. He told Madden he's working on a handful of songs with "homies," from up-and-comers he's excited about to "bigger" names. He notes all of the songs he's working on with other artists developed organically, and stresses that he's always down to work with friends and artists who come to him — calling it "steel sharpening steel."