Congrats on another banger in the bag with "BLVCK RAIN,” which has a haunting and vampiric tone. Can you walk us through the production process behind the song and the inspiration behind its sound? Thank you for having me. BLVCK RAIN is a single from my recent album "LIFE+MOSH." When I made the song, it was a rainy summer night in 2021 at my condo downtown Kitchener where I had my kitchen studio setup. I was feeling super motivated going through beats and once I pulled up this one my homie sent me. It just had the perfect vibe for how I was feeling at the time so I recorded the song and had it finished in under an hour.
I’ve been songwriting, producing, and engineering my own music since 2012 so I feel that I’m finally at a point where I can create complex arrangements that sound polished and well-produced.
How does your experience as a producer and engineer influence your approach to writing and recording your own music, particularly on tracks like "BLVCK RAIN"? My experience as a producer/engineer makes it easier for me to think critically about my own work, I'm still learning new things every time I open Ableton even after 10 years of using it, but my process has become faster and less complicated. As far as songwriting I find that I’ve been using the punch-in method a lot more these days when it comes to recording vocals. Rather than sitting down and writing songs to instrumentals for hours at a time, I just pull up the beat and freestyle the first thing that comes to my head and branch off of that with different flows and melodies. With that being said I’m not always content to simply recording a song and leaving it at that, sometimes I go back to a song after months and alter some things whether it's a verse or a certain 808 I chose to use. The music video for "BLVCK RAIN" features a lot of dark, surreal imagery. What was the concept behind the video, and how did you work with director Az Heatley to bring it to life? Me and Az have been good homies for a while now, whenever we get together, it’s easy for us to come up with dope ideas to bounce off each other. With this video, he had the perfect location worked out. The haunting instrumental and subject matter inspired me to take a dark, surreal, and horror-influenced direction with the music video. I first began searching for a gothic / castle location to shoot at (which proved hard to find in Ontario) and eventually came across the Screaming Heads castle. Inspired by druids and ancient Britain, the sprawling landscapes and various sculptures that include a giant head, a two-headed fire-breathing dragon and hundreds of screaming stone faces make up an art display that is both mysterious and frightening. I instantly fell in love with the place, and despite the lengthy four-hour journey, I was determined to shoot at this location. We luckily ran into the artist and owner himself, who allowed us access into private areas and even let us shoot on the roof of the castle which was where he lived at the time.
The visuals that followed are soaked in medieval, horror, gothic, and fantasy undertones. The metaphorical "black rain" being a darkened mindset that has its grasp on the artist Caprice Soleil, isolated in a surreal landscape with nothing but his thoughts and demons. I chose black and white to evoke an old cinematic and horror feel that paired well with the dreary and atmospheric location. The analog VHS scenes shot on Hi-8 tape lend nods to found footage flicks such as The Blair Witch Project. Other inspirations include the 1970s Lord of the Rings animation (which features on the video's title card and in other quick flashes during the video). The entire project was shot on a zero-dollar budget with a skeleton crew.” - Az Heatley You've mentioned planning a DIY tour with support from punk and hardcore bands. How do you see your music fitting into these genres, and what can fans expect from your live performances? About a year ago I started working with the homies at No Funeral & Smiling Friend Records and it's been super beneficial for me to get involved in the punk scene, it creates a platform for me to reach new audiences who have never been exposed to my music before. You can tell the shared passion for music and performance creates a connection between the artists and the audience, and that’s what I love about it. I can see a lot of my music fitting into these genres easily because a lot of projects I work on are more dark and hard-hitting. As I was growing up, my dad was actually a guitarist in a band, so I listened to a lot of different bands such as Green Day, System of A Down, Jimi Hendrix, Tool, and Bob Dylan, all at a very young age. Performing has always been fun & easy for me I always try to engage with the crowd as much as I can and keep it interesting considering I’m a 1 man band. When I was young, I was a model for The Bay magazine and also did some acting on TV shows for Treehouse & YTV so I feel like doing that really helped eliminate the nervous stage fright anxiety feeling that most artists deal with before performances. Your music has been described as a pastiche of different genres and styles. How do you see yourself continuing to innovate and push boundaries in your music in the future?
I've always been drawn to a variety of genres and musical styles, so it's natural that my music would reflect that. When getting in the studio I never really have a plan in mind I kind of just go with the flow of how I’m feeling that day, I love experimenting with different sounds and textures, and finding ways to blend them together in unexpected ways. With that being said I’m always trying to evolve, whether it's getting new studio equipment or learning how to make beats and chop up samples better.