INTERVIEW: Empty Pinata

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

VENTS WASSPOPPIN!!! Glad to be typing to you!

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Even If It’s Just My Love”? Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

First off I wanna shout out my producer and future ex husband Gamal Abdu for coming up with the chords for the song and actually the melody for the chorus! He’s a beast and I hate him with all my heart but he’s amazing! We were in a studio session for someone else actually and I laid down this bass line for their song and I saw he had an idea that he couldn’t use for that particular song since it was already out of its infancy.

Within maybe like 8-12 minutes he goes “Yo put these headphones on” and BLAM! That “DIN DUN DON” guitar was born! He hummed the stop running from it melody and the song wrote itself within 10 minutes of that! I knew I wanted to do an early 2000’s MTV type singing part on the verse so “WHEN YOU TURNED AND WALKED AWAAAAAY” was me channeling that vibe and yeah that’s pretty much it. Except I hate to fight tooth and nail to add that synth in there. It’s wobbly and warpy and weird and Gamal didn’t like it but that dude is in there.

The single comes off your new album FeltLike You what’s the story behind the title?

The album was made in a little over a year. I wasn’t even pursuing music at the capacity I am now, I was just doing art direction for people but this is what breakups do to people. That’s what the title is about. It’s the album anyone would make if they could. Felt Like YOU literally, YOU reading this. It’s self aware and clever and its personal and it’s also not just about an ex but lost friends and new lovers and capturing moments!

How was the recording and writing process?

Like there’s this song on the album called “On Me” and it’s me trying to express how dope it feels when you have money to blow, like even if its $100 like its a feeling! The recording process was awful! I hate my voice and we didn’t have the money (at the time) to REALLY REALLY sit with it the way we would have liked to, which is why the album has varying mixes and different mics and setups and all these random changes from song to song even from verse to verse!

What role does Brooklyn play in your music?

Brooklyn plays such a huge role in all of this like the biggest part! I grew up in an area not many people know about, let alone get a chance to grow up there. I got to see so many cultures at such a young age, I really could say my geography is a top 5 factor in all this. From skateboarding to gang culture to ball culture to music culture and hooking up with everyone from every neighborhood like if I lived in Nome, Alaska I wouldn’t be as well versed in communication lol. Being racially ambiguous and sexually ambiguous on top of being someone involved in “bad kid shit” and also “good kid shit”, I also felt very Hispanic!

How does your Latino background influence your writing?

I was raised by Spanish people and my whole life felt Spanish. Single parent household and I dropped out of school at 14, like I felt like a statistic. What we have in store is hopefully going to be groundbreaking like something to change the ethos.

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

Change everyone’s minds, so we can have better more immersive art! Selfishly for myself tho like I wanna see a Drake album that comes out with a movie and a whole soundtrack and shit like that! A full length Donald Glover album w accompanying cartoon or idk but we have big plans to change the format of all this!

Any plans to hit the road?

That being said we are trying to lead by example, starting with our live shows! We’re making something, that I think is really dope, really really captivating! After we put out a few more songs and get our heads on straight, We’ll be on the road before you know it

What else is happening next in Empty Piñata’s world?

In Empty Pinata’s, I’m the biggest fan of everything and everyone! Seriously, I listen to a song all day like if I’m vibing to it, I’m driving to work playing it, I’m driving back home playing it, I’m in my apartment, at the gym, going on a date, playing it in the car with my date and I’m looking all crazy and corny but I’m playing whatever movie or song or scene or whatever I’m feeling cuz I love feeling shit! The songs of the week for me have be

Frank Sinatra – Like Someone In Love

Tobi Lou – Hot Tub Dream Machine

Andy Shauf – Neon Skyline

Wallows – These Days

Father – ICEMAN

Like it’s been days and I’ve really only been listening to those songs! Those and the other night I watched the Wilder | Fury fight with my ex from high school and she showed me this ‘Strokes’ song called “Call It Karma,Call It Fate” and I can’t tell you how many times I’m looping that! Like the chorus sounds like slowing dance with a ghost in your grandparents house when you were a kid! I think that’s pretty much what goes on in my world. Listening to music because of my ex’s and talking about it.

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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