Great to meet you sora! Okay so let’s start things off with your upcoming single, Over. What is it all about? 

— Lovely to meet you too, thank you so much for having me! So Over is the third single from my latest musical project, VOL.24 (where I’m releasing a single a month starting from this past June). The term “over” in this case has dual meaning: we start the song thinking we’re over this person, but then when we see them again the feelings rush back and then we start falling over them again, and the story’s paired with this really dreamy tropical house-pop backing, so I thought it would be the perfect release for August. Still summery but chill, as we slowly go into fall (hehe, like falling over and over).

Whose music are you loving most right now?

— I’m a huuuuge K-Pop junkie, ever since 2010. Two of my favorite groups recently came back with new releases, LOONA with PTT (Paint The Town) and ASTRO with After Midnight. Another song I’ve been really into lately is NCT 127’s Save, which is this really funky electro-pop track, something I’d really love to play with for future releases. In terms of Western earworms, Kiss Me More by Doja Cat and SZA is one that’s def on repeat for me. Also, shameless promo, but listening to my latest single, So Long As I Got You, has also served as a great mid-drive pick-me-up!

So tell us, how did this whole music thing start for you?

— You can thank (or blame?) my mom for this. When I was in 1st grade, she signed me up for the church choir, and it was all over from there. From then all throughout high school I would sign up for the musicals and honor choirs whenever the opportunity arose, and I even studied classical vocal performance at Loyola University New Orleans. But pop music was always my main love, so I added a music industry minor to that halfway through my college career, which really helped out! I released my first song, “Hello, November”, on April 3rd, 2012, but I consider my pop career birth to be November 1st, 2011, because I wrote Hello, November completely that day. And now here we are!

What is the most important piece of advice you’ve received as you got started in the music industry?

— A lot of what we studied in the music industry program was how to be self-sufficient. Don’t rely on landing a major label deal immediately, learn how to promote and market yourself, even learning the basics of production and music law. It’s definitely a lot nicer to have other people doing things for you, but for me I was taking care of almost everything myself, which does get overwhelming. But it really does teach you a lot.

The other major piece of advice, which is moreso something I’ve picked up generally and adapted to my own career, is to learn how to take things slow. Everyone’s journey is different, and so long as you keep at it at your own pace (working hard but not burning yourself out), you’ll get there eventually. And that’s something that I’ve been really holding onto these last two years especially; I’ll get there eventually.

How do you write your songs? Is it lyrics first? Do you collaborate on production?

— It varies song to song. Sometimes I’ll have a melodic idea and set lyrics to it later, and other times I’ll have a really good concept for a song or a really REALLY good lyrical idea and fit the melody into it later. Take for instance Over. The chorus melody came to me randomly while I was driving home one night, and I sent it to my best friend and longtime collaborator, Sam Morel, to listen to it. Few minutes later, he churned out a first draft, and we took that idea and expanded on it. Ironically, Over is one of the first songs that I’ve written that doesn’t directly draw on personal experience, although it’s still very relevant once we finished it haha. Sometimes, I’ll even just have a title and literally no lyrics or melody, and I know this is how I want the song to go.

In terms of production, I always like to have a say in how I want the song to sound like. Even if I haven’t even written a single part yet, I’ll still have a mental idea as to how I want it to sound. Most recently I’ve been really getting better at the sound design for my songs, but mixing is still something I’m not amazing at yet (shoutout to my producer friends for helping me with that part, especially Elliot Lakefied for working on Over!).

What’s next for you as an artist, beyond this next single?

— So like I mentioned, VOL.24 is the project where I plan to release a single a month, and I have up to next July plotted out. Over comes out in August, but of course I have another single coming out in September. I’m really excited for that one because it’ll be the first song in my discography that has a feature, and I got not one but two of my dearest friends on the track. This year I’ve had a few chances here and there to get back into performing these new songs live, but of course now that the pandemic is starting to spike again (make sure to mask up and take care!), all I can really do is continue to focus on putting out the best quality work. I can’t wait to show y’all what’s next.

And finally, what would you like to say to your fans and supporters out there?

— Thank y’all so much from the bottom of my heart. It really means a lot that you’ve been there for me and my art, and I know that we still have a beautiful path ahead to walk down together. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for the next releases I got for you, and I hope you enjoy Over when it comes out!

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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