The basis of every individual on the face of this earth begins with a name. It is their identity, it is who they once where, who they are now, and who they want to eventually become. But behind every name, is a person, a living, breathing, individual, with a story that goes well behind the moniker that defines them as a human.
For Vincent, his name literally defines him and his humble roots growing up in a small town right outside of Winnipeg, Canada. Coming up as youngster, it wasn't a computer that he took liking too, but a something a little more classical, the piano. From behind the piano keyboard at a young age to the computer keyboard during his teens, the seamless transition has given way to some of his monster originals and remixes we listen to today.
We were lucky enough to sit down with the “up-and-comer” last week at Webster Hall, and by the looks of things, Vincent is destined for big things over the next few years. Check out the full interview below and let us know what you think!
Lets kick this off with something fun. I was actually following you on twitter today, and saw some posts about Time Square. What was that experience like and be honest with me did Shake Shack live up to the hype, or are you an In & Out guy?
“So this is actually my first time in New York and I decided I had to do a little exploring. I did like all of twenty minutes in Time Square because honestly, it was like really overwhelming there was so many people! So in my home town, I have legit like 3,000 people, so like my entire home town worth of people condensed into a few square blocks, was like woah! It's not like a holiday, or spring break, it just a Friday, like I am still a little overwhelmed.
Shake Shack was unreal and it was all the hype! But for me living in California now, In & Out definitely takes the cake, but hey, I've only eaten at Shake Shack once, but damn was it good.”
So for you, I know this is your first time playing in New York City, what does it mean to you to be taking the stage tonight at such a famed venue like Webster Hall and especially to playing with your friends GTA?
“Like three years ago, I was sitting at home and of course I was always looking at these places. Doing my research and looking at who was playing here, I was like holy crap. But to be playing at such a famed venue and being tasked to open up for guys like GTA, it really is such an honor and so frickin cool.
For me, like the two biggest venues in New York for artists who play my type of music, have to be here and Terminal 5, and to finally get the chance to play here really is a dream come true.”
So lets kind of take a step back here. It wasn't very long ago you made the complete switch from your old moniker under XVII to Vincent. What was it like to go from one name to another, and really essentially have to reinvent yourself as an artist?
“It was tough to do, but it came down to the decision that XVII was really a place holder for me as an artist. Like when I came up with the name, I was 17 years old, like when your 17 you don't really have an idea who you are or who you want to become, but it definitely fit for that time, it wasn't going to be forever.
At the end of the day I wanted to be true to my name, and nothing can be more true then using your middle name. Vincent, really speaks to me and really embodies who I am as a person and who I am as an artist, so I am really looking forward to pushing forward under this identity.”
Branding, it has become a huge deal over the past year and has really been the backbone for artists to rise to prominence on a global scale. Tell me a little bit about how you and your team are looking to grow the Vincent brand in 2016?
“So for me and my team, what we are looking to focus on is a specific style. When I first starting releasing music, it was like all trap ,trap, trap. It was a simple formula with simple beats. I don't want to talk bad about my own music, but it wasn't up to the level that I am producing now. Like I have a clear vision now, and I am able to really settle down and focus on that sound, it really paints a better image and picture for the next six months to a year.
Like with my new name, I am able to really breath life into Vincent and with the music and the branding, we can tie that all together moving forward. XVII will never go away and those original sounds still get tied into my new projects, but with branding, we have that clear cut idea now, so we can move forward with that.”
Growing up, your first exploration into music was obviously playing the Piano. With so much growth over the last few years, your sound is definitely progressing in a different direction then where you were when you first started. How do you see your sound progressing and changing as an artist?
“What I am trying to do now is obviously bring a greater musical aspect to my songs. It's not just a bunch of percussion build ups into a drop, into another percussion build up into a drop, like I am not looking to make straight festival music. I am trying to bring words and emotions, and tie that all back into the greater idea of what I am looking to do.
With that being said, the root of piano is emotion and ideas, so it all really ties back into my original foundation behind the keyboard.”
Artist this day in age, are pretty consistently dropping track after track after track, week after week. For you it's a little different. You definitely look for more quality over quantity. Why do you believe in that sort of style, versus the new age producer who drops a new tune once every two weeks?
“It kind of ties right back into the answer I just gave you. I want to make sure what I am producing is actually music. I sat down with my management team a few weeks ago, and we had a long discussion between what constitutes a track versus what constitutes a song. And for me, a track is just a build into a drop and a song has quality and doesn't necessarily fade away after two to three months, like a lot of these tracks are doing currently.
Like when I put out my single “Her” that was a finished product, and something I was obviously really proud of. Every song I release, I want to ultimately be proud of, and that's why I believe in this idea of quality over quantity.”
Your fans, what can they be expecting from Vincent over the next few months? New tracks, new mixes, more tour dates?
“Definitely more tour dates for sure and we are looking to branch out everywhere, which is great. Music wise, tons of new music! We have tons of stuff we are sitting on currently, we just need to make sure we grow these songs organically. It all goes back to branding and making sure we are cohesive in what we are doing moving forward! “
Ok, so last question! I saw on your twitter page some nice satirical cartoons of Donald Trump, what are you opinions on the current state of the United States Political Scene?
“I'll be 100% honest with you, I don't really follow any of it, even with me living in LA, but from what I do know, is this current situation is an absolute sh*t show. It's like insane to watch, because I think its turn into more of spectacle then anything else, but hey to each his own right? The Canadian political scene isn't much better, but its always funny to watch and to somewhat keep up with!”