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INTERVIEW: Ace Shocka

Hi Aaron, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Thanks! I’m really well. Putting this project out has been the only thing on my mind for the past 6 months, so I’m feeling a lot more calm now that it’s finally free.

What’s the story behind the title of your EP, for naomi?

The title was inspired by something a good friend told me, one who I thought I was in love with at the time. I can remember exactly what she said too: “I hate my name. Maybe I’ll change it to something pretty, like Naomi.”

It made me think about what I would change about myself, if I could. I thought about self-doubt, resentment. I thought about how if I loved her so much, how could she be thinking that her name or anything about her isn’t good enough?

In the end, I suppose I didn’t know her at all, which is a strange idea to come to terms with. I felt distant from people, even myself. This album was my attempt to reconnect, like she was trying to reconnect with and reinvent herself. So I named it after her.

How was the recording and writing process?

I’m a chronic self-doubter, so when I sat down to make this project I tried an experiment: I spent over a year working solely on the instrumentals. Then, in the peak of my mini-existential crisis, I wrote and recorded all of the vocals in just 8 weeks. It was my way of moving things along, making sure the songs maintained their sense of raw-ness.

How has your travel have influence you as an artist and this album in particular?

My time in South America exposed me to so many new sounds and rhythms. It fueled my love for styles like Salsa and Bossa Nova. The song “Auxilio (Ayúdame)” was based on a fun night I had in Rio de Janeiro with an older woman. I tried writing that song in English at least 5 times before I realized that it simply wouldn’t make sense unless it was sang in Spanish. Its cliché but traveling really did give me so much more life material to work with.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Like it’s Real (Redux)”?

That track was one of the last that I wrote after a long period of healing. It’s called a ‘Redux’ because it was based off of the 6th track of the album, “I Can Make You Feel (Like it’s Real),” but in a completely new atmosphere. The original is desperate, assumptive, and with a more concentrated, minimal instrumental. The Redux is slowed down, subdued and more reflective. I think it’s a good metaphor for the process of moving on.

Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

The same as the event that inspired the title. I wanted this project to feel focused, pinned down into one particular moment in time. Hence why I wrote it all in 8 weeks.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

Though I haven’t started any serious planning yet, I would love to release videos for “Like it’s Real (Redux)” or “Auxilio (Ayúdame)” and others. Visual treatment is really important to me, so if I do I’d want to do it right.

Any plans to hit the road?

Buy me a ticket and we’ll talk.

What else is happening next in Ace Shocka’s world?

I really can’t wait to start making new music, now that this project is finally out. After isolating myself for so long I’d love to start collaborating with other people again, be they singers, rappers, other producers, I’m not sure. So if musicians heard my latest tape and want to work on something new, reach out to me.

@aceshocka on SoundCloud, Twitter and Instagram

And thank you guys so much for the questions, I hope they shed some light on the EP.

Stream his full EP

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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