The Interview: V1CE
Author: Sean Sickler
• Where are you from? Have your surroundings shaped you in a creative sense, and in what way?
Hi, my name’s V!CE and I'm desi from Mumbai, India who just happens to like in Newark, California! I'm a “professional anime nerd”. My surroundings MIGHT have shaped me” is an understatement. With Bollywood being a constant source of media thrown my way my music taste can be extremely flashy and vibrant. Add Anime to the mix and it just makes it flashy, vibrant, and very heartfelt too.
• What’s your background like? Where do you stand on the music scene in your area?
Im Desi, and not only am I Desi, I am also from an EXTREMELY traditionalist family. Anything besides cooking, and pursuing a STEM career has always been out of the question. Showing ANY type of skin automatically means you’re “doing too much” to put it lightly. So wanting to pursue music is a DEFINITE no go...but to be honest, if you know me, when has that ever stopped me from doing anything? I'm all over the place in my area, with many connections, performing at large venues in Las Vegas, San Jose, Oakland, Sacramento, etc. To getting the opportunity to meet artists like Berner, and working with bay area legends such as Big Rich. I guess being extroverted definitely has its plus points!
• What did you start doing first, producing or rapping? How did you get started?
I'm a singer, and I first started making music about a year ago. But i've been “singing” (if you even want to call it that… I was really bad) since sophomore year of highschool. I just one day realized, I like the limelight, I like the attention, and I like making people feel things. I wanna do music. So...i did.
• Do you have anyone that you consider your mentor? How has their help or advice shaped you?
Ms. Phelps. She used to be my sophomore English teacher, but to this day she is almost like a mother figure to me. I'm not going to go into much detail, but to put it in a very concise way without her, I probably would not be here. She is the most open and positive person I know and I still don't know what I did to deserve her. Another person would be Chris Drago, the drummer for PLVTINUM. He is always so open if I need help, or have questions. He has helped so much with putting myself out there and honestly he's just been an amazing human. Plus both of us are into anime … so there’s that.
• What is one experience in life that, without it, you wouldn’t be the artist you are today?
There are a few. But the one that takes the cake is my mother and her journey with cancer. My mom had been diagnosed with cancer three times and each time I had to learn to grow a lot faster than everyone else. My emotions, to say the least, never came out. I did not want to burden others with what I was feeling. To me, my feelings were, and still are quite relevant in the grand scheme of things. But music definitely helped me compose myself, and gave me the will to be stronger. Both physically as well as mentally. It was like, something I could depend on because i know it would never go away, and since I had to grow up so fast I wasn't used to that feeling of comfort. I am alway the shoulder people use to cry on, and always was. Never the other way around. But music, that was something I could rely on and I wanted to make something like that for others.
• What do you hope to accomplish this year?
I want to find my niche, well ... a bigger niche and grow my fanbase. I want to gain attention of industry professionals and perform at bigger venues! And of course, I want to grow in order to someday (which i have no doubt will DEFINITELY COME) perform with my idols.
• What does your work aim to say?
I don't have a set style of music. I kinda like to explore genres, because being stuck in one place was never my style. Like even my playlist is from ALL OVER THE WORLD. I've got Stromae, BTS, Sonu Nigam, Shawn, Louis Fonsey, FLOW!, etc. I have always kinda been very open minded to new people and new cultures. So another thing about music that intrigued me was people from EVERYWHERE could feel things with music, no matter the language, so my aim is to support my saying of “Beats Break Barriers”.
• Who are your biggest influences and what do you like about them the most?
That's gonna HAVE to be BTS and Eminem. Both of them were the underdogs and there was a point where the not only socially suffered, with people constantly not taking them seriously and putting negative pressure on them, but even financially. But they still moved up.
• How would you describe your own style?
I would say...something like Lofi Pop mixed with EDM and a hint of Bollywood. It's very...everywhere, but I would say it's mainly leaning towards the pop side.
• What are the main inspirations for the lyrics you write?
I can't really emote feelings in real life, so my lyrical inspiration comes from those emotions. It's easier to express myself through lyrics and music.
• What would be your dream venue in which to perform?
Poptopia, Jingle Ball, and the SAP Center in SJ.
• What’s a song you have stuck in your head these days?
A Lot actually! Polaris by Blue Encount, Fighting Dreamer by FLOW!, Skeletons by Keshi, andddd….. War of Hormones by BTS