"..Press play, start strutin', nod your head to the beat every once and a while, you'll get some followers eventually...."
Soft Oppidan Jams
Vanilla is an Instrumental Hip Hop artist based in Oxford, UK. He now has 6 releases to his name: 2009’s ‘Thought Process’, the 2010 EP ‘Night Visions’, the full-length ‘Chrometrails’ released in May 2010, the LP ‘High Life’ dropped in May 2011, ‘Soft Focus’ released in May 2012, and finally ‘For What It’s Worth’ in January 2013. Vanilla’s music can be downloaded here: http://vanillabeats.bandcamp.com/
Hello, how are you?
Pretty good thank you.
What are you currently listening to?
I've not been listening to much lately but have been enjoying Flume's debut album, which has some great vocal sampling in it. Also 'Home' by Nosaj Thing, which has a very atmospheric, almost 'filmic' quality to it. I'd definitely like to explore this kind of sound more in my own music.
When did this project come about and whom were your biggest influences for said project?
'For What It's Worth' is basically a compilation of unused tracks made over the last year that I wanted to release primarily to remind people that I'm still here, as I hadn't released anything in ages and everyone seems to be so prolific these days so it's good to try and keep up. I guess stuff like 'Old Donuts' by Dilla and other loose beat tapes inspired the idea, as when you discover producers like that it's nice to try and get hold of all their old and unreleased tracks.
Out of all your tracks/releases thus far do you have one track and/or album in particular that you are fond of?
I'm probably most proud of 'Soft Focus' as an album, as I think it's the most stylistically and musically consistent project I've made yet. I'm quite fond of my Nas remix as well, has a sort of Vice City vibe that I've failed to capture since.
Have you ever thought about doing a vocal heavy/more lyric-based album?
I'd love to work with some vocalists at some point, definitely for more sample-free material. Vocals/lyrics aren't exactly my forte so it would be great to collaborate with people who know what they're doing. Hopefully soon!
If you could choose any artist(s) to remix your work, whom would you choose and why?
I'm not sure my work is really suited to being remixed, seeing as it's all built around other people's music to begin with. But if I could pick anyone, I guess someone like Onra because he is one of the best out there, definitely one of my favourite producers. He knows how to chop up a sample.
Got any other projects we should know about?
I've got a future-funk album that's been in the works for ages now, as well as the 'Soft Focus' follow-up and some original compositional stuff that I hope will see the light of day sometime this year.
What movie would work best on mute while listening to you music?
That's a tricky one, I'd like to say something like 'Drive' which is very stylistic but already has an amazing soundtrack, so maybe with the vintage sample-based nature of my music something by Martin Scorsese would work better, possibly Taxi Driver. Or anything with Nicolas Cage losing his shit.
You can only keep/listen to ONE album for the rest of your life ..which album would it be?
'Where You Go I Go Too' by Lindstrøm. It's probably the grandest, most impressive thing I've ever heard. It's so dense and detailed that there's always something new to pick up with each listen.
Are you living your dream?
It's hard to say as I haven't exactly figured out what that is yet, but I feel like I'm getting closer to it.
Vanilla is currently making new music (I'm sure of it--this guy is pretty prolific/quick with releasing new jamz, each one better than the last), try to keep up...