Kubota – In My Head [Interview]

Tell us a few things about your new song “In My Head”. What is the story behind it?

During 2020 I started to place a bit more focus on my mental health. This was a time where I was just laid off from work because of the pandemic and I only had time on my hands. I didn’t want to continue the detrimental cycle of habits and I put a lot of effort to be as productive as I could be in bettering my mental health, and I’m so glad that I made that decision. But around the start or the middle of 2021, I realized that this pursuit for mental stability doesn’t simply end and it can actually turn into a cyclical chase to better oneself without the payoff of doing so. Essentially when I resolved one problem, another problem arose and it became more of a toxic state of mind. This was the lens that I was looking through when I wrote this song.

How would you describe your musical progress over these months?

Compared to my prepared releases, I’d say my newer songs and style have continued to evolve. It sucks because the music that people hear is music that I made like a year ago but it’s kind of nice to know that I’m sitting on some tracks that I think are musically the next step forward. The downside is I begin to hate my music pretty fast so by the time it’s out, I don’t enjoy listening to it. Nonetheless, I think with each song, my style is evolving and I’m starting to dip my toes in other genres that I want to incorporate into my music.

What first got you into music?

I’ve been playing music since I was like 8 years old. You know that stereotype that all Asians took piano lessons? Well… I fit that stereotype. But honestly, it wasn’t until my dad taught me my first few chords on the guitar when I really got into music. After doing my first couple of lessons, it was an upward trajectory from there with my interest and skills in playing the guitar which ultimately got me into writing my own songs.

What do you enjoy most? Writing music or performing your music live?

Back when I was in a band, I definitely enjoyed performing music live more than writing. Now that I’m kind of a single act, I think I enjoy the confines of my room while I make songs, but I’m playing more shows and really enjoy it still. Also, playing music with others definitely relieves the stress of messing up and embarrassing yourself.

What would you change in the music industry?

I’d like to switch all business-oriented executives running the industry who don’t understand the life of an independent artist to be switched out with musically creative professionals who have an experienced background within the business side of the music industry. Something that would be fun is to take those business executives, give them the living situation and budget of the average independent artist and tell them to start making their own music while building their own fanbase without the connections that they have. I think that would be a great reality show!… don’t steal my idea.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

I would probably berate him with crippling insults on his moronic behaviors (past and future) first. Then I’d say “Buy Apple stock and Bitcoin.”

What is the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into?

There are quite a few stories I could share here but I’ll share a more tamed story.

In middle school, my friend and I stole some alcohol from a market and we were chased out by the security guard and some cops that happened to be there. We bolted out of the store and took a sharp turn into the alleyway where there was a bush with a small opening. While my friend kept running forward, I dove head-first into the bush, went full prone position, and watched the dudes chasing me run right past me. Good times.

Thank you!

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Kubota – Sunday Vibes [Interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words

Not sure if this is accurate but I’d like to think that my sound is described as “genuine, relatable, and chill”… does that count as four or three?

Tell us a few things about your new work “Sunday Vibes”.

Sunday Vibes was actually conceived during the Spring of 2020. I’ve been sitting on it for some time and felt that we need some uplifting music after a rough year due to the pandemic. I lined up four singles for 2021 to be released with an EP at the end of the year so I made the decision of dropping this particular song out of the four for the summer as it fits the mood of the season.

What is the main topic of your lyrics?

The main topic is just taking some time away from work or whatever might be consuming your energy and relaxing for a bit. It’s mainly a reminder to take things a bit slower.

I’ve gone through burnouts numerous times, and in all honesty, the stress I placed on myself to get as many things done as soon as possible really didn’t need to be there. The reality is, the work you do will always remain but the way in which you complete it can heavily affect your experience. I’m still trying to take my own advice but I try my best to live by the lyrics in this song. I’m hoping that Sunday Vibes will help at least one person through a tough time and remind someone to have a much-needed moment to breathe.

Favourite album of the past decade?

At the moment, I think I’ve got to give it up to Joji’s Nectar. But honestly, this answer will change in a few weeks.

What would be your dream performance venue?

I think my dream performance venue might be somewhere like Fonda Theater in Los Angeles with a fully packed audience. It’s large enough to have a good crowd but small enough to keep it very intimate between the artist and the crowd. I don’t think I can consider anything larger at the moment although it would be nice to perform at a stadium or something someday in the future.

What was the best film you have watched during the quarantine?

I’m definitely late on this but I watched “Train to Busan” during the quarantine. That opened my eyes to a bunch of Korean movies that are absolutely amazing. These aren’t films but the new Marvel shows on Disney Plus are great as well.

Future plans?

As of right now, I have another single ready to be released. We’re shooting to drop it in the Fall season and then ending the year with an EP. I’m also performing at Joy Ruckus Club’s virtual festival on the Asian Hip Hop stage which is on September 5th. Aside from that, I’ll continue making music, videos, and hopefully, get involved in bigger projects down the line.

Thank you!

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