You can “say goodbye” while “saying hello” to the young phenom known as Sarcastic Sounds. The 21-year-old producer, singer, and songwriter just released his latest single, “say goodbye,” in May, a nice slice of lo-fi indie pop, melded together with hip-hop beats. The single’s video, featuring some sky-high visuals familiar to any resident of Toronto, shows the clever young artist strumming away at his ukulele while walking around atop a downtown rooftop.

“say goodbye” has become one of the surprise hits of the summer, partially thanks to TikTok where it accumulated over four million views after it was posted. The song continues an impressive streak of releases for Sarcastic Sounds, following the January release of “change ur mind,” featuring Claire Rosinkranz and Clinton Kane, as well as “The Long Way Home,” a collaboration with Canadian rapper Powfu and alternative pop artist Sara Kays.

With a unique sound composed of so many different influences, Sarcastic Sounds made for the perfect candidate for our latest Stereo Six feature. He shared with us six songs that have fundamentally impacted him as an artist and played a role in influencing the music that he is currently making.

1. Kanye West – “Through The Wire (2004, Def Jam Recordings)

“This song, along with ‘December 4th’ by Jay Z, was my introduction to sampling in hip hop, and the idea of using an existing vocal to contextualize it. It’s an absolutely beautiful hook, and even though the verses aren’t my favourite, the production changed my perspective on how beats were made. It was after hearing this song in somebody’s car when I was 14 that I started exploring early 2000’s hip hop and began trying to flip samples (poorly) myself.”

2. Moow – “Wake Up (2017, Vinyl Digital)

“Hearing this song for the first time was definitely the singularly most influential moment in my life in terms of shaping my own sound as an artist. I had heard lo-fi hip hop records before and it had never really clicked for me. But one day in 2017, I was scrolling through Instagram and found a video of this song over clips of SpongeBob SquarePants edited to appear melancholy, and I found it so intoxicating. This was the first time I had heard sad vocal samples as opposed to jazzy instrumental loops being used in lo-fi, and it was right up my alley.

I immediately decided to flip a vocal sample in that style, which became my song ‘Frankee.’ I did this with the express purpose of sending it to the same Instagram page I had discovered the ‘Wake Up’ on, hoping they would use it for one of their videos, and sure enough, they did. This was the first time I had gotten any real traction on one of my songs, and kickstarted my career as an artist to become what it is today.”

Artwork for the songs Sarcastic Sounds lists in this Stereo Six

3. Bon Iver – “Flume (2007, Jagjaguwar)

“When I decided to start composing and singing my own vocal samples, this was one of my main inspirations stylistically. The layered vocals and soft delivery combined with the relatively low recording quality creates an incredibly haunting atmosphere, and conveniently lends itself well to my poor singing chops. I also love that Justin Vernon wrote the melody first and then put in random words that sounded good, which is something I do as well.”

4. Billy Talent – “Try Honesty (2003, Atlantic Records)

Billy Talent is the first band I remember being truly ‘into’ (mainly because my brother was) and was my intro to rock and punk. Along with the extreme nostalgia all of their music gives me, I draw a lot of inspiration from Billy Talent and other 2000s punk bands when it comes to guitar riffs and vocal melodies. I feel like ‘Try Honesty’ encompasses everything I love about Billy Talent’s sound, and it’s one of my favourite songs ever.”

5. Tigers Jaw – “Plane vs. Tank vs. Submarine (2008, Run For Cover Records)

“I don’t know any other songs by Tigers Jaw, but everything about this song speaks to me, from the rawness of the vocals and instrumental to the catchiness of the melody to the unconventional song structure. Acoustic emo music like this was the kind of stuff I would comb through while looking for samples when I first started making lo-fi. That’s how I found this song, and while I never sampled it, there aren’t many songs in the genre I hold in higher esteem, and I’ve spent a lot of time trying to write a song like this.”

6. Curveball: Hopsin – “Ill Mind of Hopsin 5 (2006, Fun Volume)

“I have to include this record because I’m listing the songs that have influenced me the most, NOT my favourite songs ever. As is tradition for any middle-class white preteen getting into hip hop, I had a Hopsin phase. This song was my introduction to his music and is the reason I first tried actually making beats. I found out he made his beats in FL studio, and that made me download the software, trying to recreate Hopsin’s signature sound. I have since repented for this phase of my life, but I probably wouldn’t be making music today if it weren’t for this song.”

Artwork for “Closure” by Sarcastic Sounds

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