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INTERVIEW: 1403

Hi, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

VENTS! Hello and thanks for having me.

I’m good, I’m in the US at the moment preparing for Firefly Festival and visiting friends.  I’ve spent a lot of time back and forth between here and London over the last couple of years so it feels like a second home now.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Tonight”?

‘Tonight’ is my debut solo single which I released a couple of weeks ago – I recorded it in Pennsylvania with Joe ‘The Bucher’ Nicolo (Fugees, Billy Joel, Lauryn Hill) after being introduced to him in 2015.  Since meeting Joe, we’ve made a lot of music and collaborated on a number of projects. It’s had some radio play in the states and was aired on the BBC Introducing Radio platform in the UK.

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

My oldest brother was going through some things which formed the subject matter during the song’s inception.  It’s moved and changed a little but it’s generally about love and loss.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

The video is available online now – I shot it with a good friend of mine (Tom Green) on Williamsburg Bridge following some album sessions.  We wanted to capture something really simple and to make the New York City skyline the star of the video.  Luck was very much on our side that evening, as the sunset was so serene and that added great colour and depth to the frames.

How was the recording and writing process?

We’ve never spoken about it, but when Joe and I work together there is definitely a no-rules policy.  He allows me to be as experimental (and probably difficult) as I want and will always make great suggestions for scene changes within songs which I might not necessarily consider.  I can be quite particular in the studio and he’s helped me look at some of my work in a different way.

Known for producing other artists and bands – do you tend to take a different approach when you are collaborating with someone else than when you are writing and working on your own original material?

Collaborating or writing for other people is great as you can adopt a different character and explore themes you might not necessarily delve into when working on your own music.  It can become a little more subjective and is also a wonderful way of developing and growing as an artist.

Does the new single mean we can expect a new album – how’s that coming along?

Yes you can…’Tonight’ is the lead single from my forthcoming album. I finished recording it with Joe at Studio 4 in Conshohocken around the beginning of this year and it was mixed and mastered in London at BBC Maida Vales Studios.  That was a nice experience as we got to use what’s known as ‘The John Peel Room’.  Knowing the clientele that have worked in there over the years and obviously the great man himself, it was humbling to say the least.

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

The title of the album is ‘Tethered’ and it will be out sometime this Autumn.  I commissioned the artwork from an incredible Lebanese artist I discovered on Instagram called Naji Chalhoub (IG@najimir).  As soon as I saw his work I knew it’s what I wanted for the record.  I’m really looking forward to seeing that on the vinyl cover.

Any plans to hit the road?

I’m playing Pub Webb in Temple, Philadelphia and Firefly Festival in Delaware over the next couple of weeks while I’m here and there will be some dates in UK, Europe and US announced soon to support the album release.

What else is happening next in 1403’s world?

I make music across quite a wide range of genres and there are a couple of electro EP’s ready to release.  I made a song with Sen Dog from Cypress Hill which will also be out soon.

Besides that and my album, I have a bunch of features coming up including a single from new London based dance duo Sentre (IG@sentremusic).

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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