1. How did you hear about the EPR Music Blog?
A. I reached out via email as Val Vicious inquiring about the opportunity.
2. What would you like to accomplish in 2019?
A. My goals are to finally drop my mixtape “Vicious Cycle” & to brush up on my production skills as I barely got into beat making. Also, I want to enter freestyle competitions since that’s 2nd nature to me and a good way to practice my punch lines and wordplay on the fly.
3. What is your take on politics?
A. Not too political. Both sides always have the same agenda.
4. Where did you get your artist name from?
A. My first name is Val & I threw in the Vicious because of my delivery. Over the years I’ve had many names but this one is most fitting and I am glad to incorporate my real name in the process.
5. Growing up, how important has music been in your life? Can you recall the moment when you decided that you wanted to be a musician? Was it an easy or difficult choice to make?
A. Music has always been a huge part of my life. Whether I was singing in the choir, making up harmonies when I was a kid, or doing shows and open mics, I have always made it a point to make it apart of my daily routine. When I realized I wanted to do music I got “the talk” and my dad then recommended I try LA Recording School and so I became a student and now I am a 2009 alumni. At first, I didn’t even understand what “stereo” was but it allowed me to learn the process, signal flow, and also Pro Tools. I got a student discount and used it to buy my home studio gear where I record 95% of my music catalog.
6. Was there ever a time when you thought about doing something else? If you weren’t a musician today, what could you see yourself doing?
A. If I wasn’t a musician I would have gone to art school possibly graphic design or web design since I know a bit of HTML.
7. What has been the biggest surprise so far about making music your career? What has been an unexpected or welcome challenge to it all?
A. The biggest hardship when you’re an independent artist like myself is that you wear many hats. You are your writer, graphic designer, promoter, mentor, and the sole driving force behind your music. I’ll admit, not knowing how to strategize or market your singles can harm your confidence if they aren’t getting recognition. Nowadays, I educate myself and do loads of research by watching videos from Smart Rapper, Brandman Sean, & even Curtiss King. It reaffirms that my success is 100% my responsibility and you always get what you give. That being said, I do slack at times. If you aren’t consistent that’ll be the death of you. So I guess the biggest “surprise” is just not always realizing how much you have to do after you record the single that’s where it gets challenging.
8. What was it like putting together your EP?
A. I’ve done 2 albums as Vally Vicious before shortening it to Val Vicious. It was hard work for sure. Not knowing the direction to go or what style I wanted to portray, I ended up taking mad inspiration from Earl Sweatshirt’s “Dorris” and in turn came out with “Between Takes” a heavily inspired underground hip hop album mixed with a small dose of trap. Because it was written from the heart and hip hop influenced it was downloaded over 100 times and I wasn’t expecting that at first being this was my 1st EP under my new name. I didn’t know crap about leases so I downloaded a lot of my beats from SoundCloud or YouTube. It was an experience but I’ve grown so much both as an artist and individual since.
9. Who are some of your favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? Who would you still love to work with in the future?
A. Kid Cudi & Mac Miller are some of my favorites. Can’t forget early Kanye and also Big Sean. Each inspires me differently. Kid Cudi because there is nobody else that sounds like Cudi and his eccentric vibes are what set him apart. Mac Miller because of the wordplay and his personality. Felt like you knew the dude. Kanye cuz when he came out there was none other. The way he incorporated his artwork and the branding of “Graduation” is epic. Lastly, Big Sean because his wordplay and freestyles are insane and I feel he’s underrated as an artist. Although I love these artists I would love to work with The Neptunes or Timbaland I feel we would create magic.
10. What has it been like keeping up with your social media accounts and all of the different platforms? Is it hard to stay up to date on it all? What would you say is your favorite way to connect with your fans now?
A. My following is awesome across the board. I would say Twitter is probably my favorite way to connect with them. I’ve built solid connections over the years and it’s just a good platform to engage your thoughts and have them retweeted to a similar following. Second is Facebook. I’ve also made really good friends and fans from the platform alone. Partaking in the “meme culture” is always fun also a great tool to make your post go viral without even trying.
11. If you were going to be stranded on a deserted island, what musical item would you take with you and why?
A. I would take my acoustic guitar. I’m not the best at it but that’s one of the main reasons why. The solitude and the waves crashing would be inspiring and I would strum away until learned it
12. If your music was going to be featured on any TV show that is currently on right now, which would you love it to be on? Or if you prefer, what is a movie that you love that you wish your music was featured in?
A. That’s easy. Blackish! I love that showdown from the actors to the screenplay. It would be an honor.
13. At the end of the day, what do you hope people take away from your music?
A. At the end of the day, I just want to inspire people with what I do while doing what I love in the process. I’ve always had a specific impact on people because my intentions are always pure and to help motivate them when they are feeling down. That has undoubtedly transferred to my lyrics and my writing. I know what it’s like to be overlooked I act as a voice for them and anybody who has ever been in a similar circumstance.
14. When you are not making music what else do you enjoy to do?
A. When I’m not making music, I am watching documentaries, researching how to expand my business, learning how to make better beats, and doing my best to vlog and upload content regularly.
15. Where you @ online?
@val2vicious on IG/Twitter
@pimpinflows on Snapchat