V-Train – Cold World [Interview]

Cold World has very chill organic sound. What is the story behind it?

I created the song using a sample from the song “mélange” by the Casual Brothers and Alya. I was excited because after I upgraded to Cubase Artist, I discovered a method to separate the instruments from the vocals. I decided to use that method on the sample to make it fit in to my song, and I was pleased with the results. Then to make the music more interesting, I included a sax solo near the end of the song as an excellent way to fade out along with the music. I decided to base the theme of this song on my feelings and everyone else’s when we are bombarded 24/7 with bad news from our news outlets. With so much going on in the world, it causes many people including myself to retreat from the world and try to find solace in whatever calms us down. To add a visual emotion that represents the song, I added a picture a I drew years ago of a beautiful woman shedding a tear. The picture combined with the song was a response to the events that occurred in 2020 with the Covid pandemic and the race-riots but interestingly, this single came out around the same time the Russia-Ukraine thing was becoming an issue. I didn’t plan on it, but the situation really reinforced the theme of the song.

Is it an extra challenge to promote instrumental music?

I think that promoting instrumental music is starting to become less of a challenge thanks to the internet and streaming services. Back then, it would really be a challenge to promote instrumental Hip Hop music because Hip Hop has always been associated with rap. I don’t think I can remember any Hip Hop producer that has acquired fame from their instrumental pieces unless they were J Dilla or Madlib. Nowadays with streaming services becoming more available, it opens the floodgates for upcoming producers like myself to get our songs played on different streaming services. Lo-Fi Hip Hop is the perfect subgenre to listen to for simple tasks like working a desk job, doing chores, or just relaxing. Since these tasks happen almost every day, it increases the likelihood of someone playing a lo-fi track while they are doing these activities. A friend of mine told me that he always plays my music whenever he’s working because it helps with his concentration because the songs are instrumental, and he doesn’t have to be distracted by the lyrics.

What is your favorite (analog or digital) synth?

The Roland FA-08 synthesizer workstation is my favorite analog synth because it is my primary tool of creating music. It has 2,000 sounds installed and many more when I connect it to my laptop as a MIDI controller. It also has a list of other cool features like sampling pads, a solo synth that acts like a theremin and an arpeggio and chord option that leads you create your own ideas.

Favourite album of the past year?

Djesse Vol. 3 by Jacob Collier was my favorite album this past year. I admire Jacob Collier as a musician because he is innovating as a jazz artist. He finds a way to make Jazz listenable to the mainstream audience by collaborating with rappers and other artist who don’t have a similar background as him. Despite that, they blend really well to his music, and I think it might create more possibilities for Hip Hop/Jazz fusion in the future.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced as an artist so far?

My biggest challenge as an artist has been promoting my music. Right now, as I answer this question, I grew up to 1000 followers on Spotify. Before that, it wasn’t easy because I was a new artist and I had little experience on how to promote music. After I’ve uploaded my first album “My Quiet Room”, they only advice I was given was to submit my music to different curators. While I was submitting my music, I’ve also learned the other challenge I had as a new Lo-Fi artist was that I had little experience with the subgenre. I guess that is why not many curators accepted my album because I would get lots of feedbacks stating that the tracks were too long, the mix was below average, and the music didn’t exactly sound like Lo-Fi. Although it didn’t affect my goals, it did make me consider if I should continue producing. Rather than calling it quits, I took a curator’s advice and found different ways to make my music sound better as I continue to grow as an artist. It paid off because after the release of my second album, I’ve been receiving a lot more attention which increased my followers.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Always hold on to Jesus and persevere no matter what. You won’t see success when you first put your mind into your passions but overtime you will learn how to improve and then you will get better and better. As that happens, a lot of people will notice and will reach out to you to help you along your journey. As they do, you will help them out in return and inspire others along the way.

One last thing we should know about you?

I offer my talents voluntary at my local church. I always love to provide assistance in music whenever I can.

Thank you!

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