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Exclusive Interview: WINZO Answers our Burning Questions

Hello WINZO! Welcome to BuzzMusic! Wow there are a ton of different styles all fused together in "Paradise in Between." What was the songwriting and production process like for this?

Well, after years of struggling to identify with a singular genre and existing industry blueprints, I chose to carve out a new lane I coin as “Trouba-Pop,” which is a subgenera of pop music. “Trouba” is short for troubadour and the genre expands upon a traditional pop song’s way of vocally delivering lyrics, specifically in both verses based on pop conventions.  "Paradise in Between" is classified as a trouba-pop song and the development started with a process I deem as “stacking ammo,” which consists of formulating and collating concepts and sound ideas from handwritten notes, emails and voice memos. The vision was to create an “audio escapade” built with a diverse kaleidoscope of blended influences and styles that could generate its own authentic DNA and posture its picturesque self as timeless. I wanted the record to be out of the box and unexpected, but also with a pop sensibility. I sought out to recruit a few collaborators, one being David Michael Ott, whom I instinctually felt was the key producer to translate the vision musically. David was the perfect fit because of his musical versatility and for the pizazz he has laced in his personality. He’s literally the Mad Hatter to my Cheshire Cat.

I wrote the song as a double entendre, leaving it open for listener's interpretations. Overall, I wanted the entire song to feel “looser” and not be over formulated/overwritten. For the chorus’s melody I aimed for melodic feelings of passion and suspense by using simple phrasing with accentuated imperatives. With that in mind, I sought out R&B singer/songwriter Dani Nicole to collaborate with and encouraged Dani to do what felt natural to her melodically with the lyrics at hand. The result was a bursting, effervescent R&B-Pop hook with breathy ad-libs, cushioned by a bed of warm ambient synths. The summation of the record was to feel both sprightly and sexy, and personable, not perishable. I believe my team encapsulated that. “Paradise in Between” is my “curveball of a contribution” to pop music’s assortment of flavors.

With having such a unique sound to your music, do you have any influences for the work you do? Are there any other artists or things out in the world that keep you inspired?

There are many variables that have influenced me as an artist. To start, I have a rather colorful bloodline.. I am of Sicilian, Spanish, Puerto Rican, French Canadian and German decent (with a pinch of Iroquois Native American), which contributes to the mixture of who I am. Growing up, I listened to a buffet of different artists and genres of music, thus developed an eclectic taste. My influences ranged widely from Digital Underground, The B-52’s and Enya, to The Coasters, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Donna Summer, and the talking blues, as well as Shel Silverstein and Disney. I’m also an empath and very dreamy so I can get inspired by absolutely anything.. I’m a pisces, so that comes with the territory. For me, life experiences, nature and weather are my natural creative stimulants. I’m constantly writing and funneling ideas into my mental file cabinets, as my mind is my instrument. Lastly, I’m not a conformist.. I enjoy defining my own standards, plus, the spirit of creativity is exhilarating.

It must have been exciting to collaborate with the rising producer DJ Ben Dragon. What was that writing process like? Were you given anything to work from when writing the song?

Working with Ben Dragon was great.. he always knows what he wants when he’s tackling a record. When I went in to write/record, he already had the skeleton of the track and vibe laid out. For the most part, he let me be me with exception to wrangling in my sailor mouth in some parts (LOL!). The final product was “Funk That Bowday,” a feisty little hip-house song with catchy commercial flare.

The music being created has an almost simple complexity going on, when creating a song is there a particular element that you like to start with first and use that to build off with? Is there a section that you try to work on first?

It differs based on if it's me just being featured, co-writing for someone else or if it's my own single. Generally, I'll start with how a record makes me feel and then pair it to a concept. From there I follow my instincts and start to weave a story. I’m definitely open to tailor content if my collaborator has a particular theme in mind. But personally, if anything feels like I’m taking a square peg and cramming it into a round hole, I weed it out and go back to the drawing board. I also ideate songs straight from my imagination with no music. I'll hear musical ideas with tempos in my head and then build on that with another producer. 

What can we expect to see from you throughout 2020?

I actually just dropped a new single called "Cherry Popper!!!" It's an alternative hip hop record that was produced by Ernest ‘soysoyernesto’ Green, Jourdan 'Dappur Dan’ Butler and Dennis Coronel. Check out "Cherry Popper" through my instagram @WINZOMINT, on Twitter @WINZO1 or here:



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