Jesse Hughes, the musician behind the celebrated moniker Vanic, departed on his Canadian tour in January, and is set to make waves in the EDM scene with his genre-bending productions that reimagine how lyrics and instrumentals collide.
With Vanic having recently signed to Sony Music Entertainment’s Disruptor Records, the same label that boasts names like The Chainsmokers, he’s got an exciting year ahead of him.
Before kicking off the tour at Toronto’s Uniun Nightclub, Vanic sat down with Trend Hunter to discuss how he got started, what’s to come, and what goes into his creative process.
Can you explain a little about how you broke into the industry?
In the very beginning, I wasn’t really considering a serious career in music, I just started fooling around on platforms like SoundCloud, and used it to publish music. Without me even realizing it, other people had taken what I’d published on SoundCloud and uploaded it onto YouTube. A few different uploads began to get a lot of traction, and that’s what really launched everything for me.
Do you think being from a smaller city like New Westminster in BC made the process a bit more difficult?
Although New Westminster is a smaller city, it’s still a part of the Great Vancouver Area, so I never really had a disconnected feeling from the industry. When I started out I wasn’t really concerned with landing gigs either, it just happened later in a more natural way. After the music had blown up online there was more of a demand to do shows so I started booking them.
In your Forbes interview you say that music has been one of the biggest parts of your life since you were 3 – what have been some of your greatest influences that inspired you to pursue it as a career?
I don’t know if there’s any band or person in particular that inspired me to pursue it as a career, it was just something that I wanted to do and thought I was capable of doing it. I was in University and I had a bit of a revelation moment and realized a music career was what I wanted to pursue because it would allow me to have a more exciting lifestyle, and give me the opportunity to do what I really enjoy.
You’ve mentioned that you were really into metal growing up, do you find the genre still influences your sound?
Definitely, I still listen to metal on a frequent basis and it’s a huge part of my life. My older sister originally introduced it to me when I was growing up, and I developed a love for lead guitar and those headbanger rifts. Although my music has a happier and sometimes poppy sound to it, metal continues to shape a lot of the sound design that I do.
You really position your music around the vocals that are featured, are there any particular vocalists you’d love to work with in the future?
I don’t know if I have anyone in mind right now, I tend to just see where the process takes me and that’s allowed me to work with some really amazing artists so far. I don’t think there’s anything I’d change, I love the creative process that comes from just sitting down with someone and having a personal connection and collaborating that way.
What’s your creative process like?
It’s very vocal-based, I usually like to build everything around that. I’ll play a vocal on loop and then I’ll build the beat around that. By doing that I’m able to produce in way that matches the atmosphere and the vibe of the vocal, and then just amplify that feeling to reflect it. I don’t like to limit myself genre-wise, if something inspires me and I want to work with it, I’ll do it.
Are you planning to work on more tracks while you’re on tour or are you waiting until your back home in your studio?
I’m working on some tracks right now, I pretty much only need a laptop, headphones, and a keyboard, so it’s been pretty manageable. I’m polishing up a couple of tracks right now and we’re trying to line up a consistent release schedule so that they’ll be more for people to experience throughout the tour. So far I’ve released a new remix of Above and Beyond’s ‘We’re All We Need.’
What are your plans once your Canadian tour comes to an end?
The biggest focus towards the beginning of the year is going to be content and creation. Once we come back we’re just going to sit down and just set out more planning so that we can get some great releases. Tour wise, we’re just focusing on the Canadian tour for now, so we’ll just be focusing on the content afterwards and see where that takes us.
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