Talented Hip-Hop Artist VALSON To Release His New EP This June!
Gifted with a unique sound, a strong sensibility, and an extremely clear artistic vision, VALSON knows how to captivate his listeners with quality music! After the excellent EP “All Good Things End,” he recently announced his new project will be out in June!
Today, we have the pleasure of diving into VALSON’s world with an exclusive interview!
Hello VALSON, thanks for being with us today at Planet Singer! Your latest release, the excellent EP, “All Good Things End,” is one of the best releases of the decade, and we can’t wait to know more about your artistic journey, so let’s start from the very beginning. When did you discover your passion for music?
I’ve had a passion for music as far back as I can remember. Music was a constant in my household growing up. My mother had very versatile music taste so I grew up listening to music from multiple genres. My passion for making music came when I was around 12 years old. My mom bought me my own computer and then I just started writing songs on it.
Let’s talk about your EP, 6 incredible tracks that dig deep into the listeners’ emotions, feeding them a clear vision of our society and its ups and downs. Can you tell us more about this project?
All Good Things End was a very necessary body of work for me to make; for my own artistic growth. We were two years into a pandemic, then you add all of the unrest, wars, and chaos that’s happening and combine that with battles inside my mind, my personal life, my spirituality and you start to feel everything and nothing at the same. My outlet, my communication strategy, my escape, and my coping mechanism has always been music. So I decided I needed to write about it. That’s when the record started.
“All Good Things End” is incredibly modern, both in arrangement and narrative. Can you reveal what your creative process is? How does your music come to life?
The creative process for All Good Things End began in March of 2022. “Pray for Me” was the first song I actually created with the theme of the record in mind, however, it wasn’t the first song I wrote that’s on it. “Flowers on My Grave” was the first song I wrote for the record, however when I wrote it in June of 2021 I never intended on it being a part of a project. It was supposed to be a standalone single. However, right after I wrote ‘Pray for Me” I came up with the title “All Good Things End” and I realized “Flowers On My Grave” fit right in.
“All Good Things End” is about acceptance. I think when we’re young we live in a haze where we think everything will last forever. Friendships, family, careers, our idols, our parents, your favorite TV show. Then the negative things like pain, depression, anxiety, hardships, death. You hold on to the good hoping that it’ll stay that way forever and you feel like the bad times go on forever and you’ll never catch a break. So we act and we do things to cope with the changes in life; in healthy and dangerous ways. I was at the lowest point I’d ever been in my 20s when I started that project. I had a goal in mind though to find solace, understanding, and peace with the fact that all things will come to an end. I reference a lot of my childhood in the record. Professional wrestling was a major part of my world growing up. My favorite wrestler is The Undertaker. So, the song “The Last Ride” is named after one of his finishing moves and I chose to use motorcycle sounds to reference his American Badass era where he entered every match on a motorcycle. “Armageddon” was also one of my Pay-Per-Views, specifically in 2005 when The Undertaker beat Randy Orton in a Hell in a Cell match. “Welcome to the End” is partially about one of my childhood friends who lost his life to drugs, my cousin who was murdered last summer, and my parents but also autobiographical of the last decade of my life.
Typically when I make music, it starts with a title. With the title in mind, I typically write and develop the chorus first. I grew up primarily listening to R&B and Hip-Hop music but I discovered Pop & Country music when I was in 7th Grade and it taught me the power of a good chorus/hook. R&B and Hip-Hop music taught me how to tell a story/make the listener feel what I’m saying through verses and how to punch in metaphors, and Pop music taught me how to capture their replay through a catchy hook/chorus.
After I write the chorus I’ll start the beat. I’ll sing the chorus out loud and use the “tap to set BPM” feature on my DAW to get the song’s tempo. Then I typically beatbox how I want the drum pattern first and then use that to lay the drums. After that, I’ll create the bassline. Then I’ll either create a melody loop or use one from a producer pack. After that, I like to add “bells and whistles” to the song to give it individuality and character. Depending on the vibe of the song. My favorite instrument to make melodies with is definitely a synthesizer. After I have the beat at least 90% complete I’ll record the first demo. I play demos in my car….a lot. I think the car is the best place to test the acoustics, vocal arrangements and leveling. I’ll listen for days and make little notes on vocals and production. Sometimes I’ll re-work an entire song through this process. For example “Armageddon” was originally called “When the Sun Goes Down” however throughout the production of the song it shifted into a completely different concept.
Your second EP will be out in June. What can we expect from it? Will it follow the path of “All Good Things End?”
This new project is a departure from the subject matter in All Good Things End. I found a new level of confidence in myself in this new record. I talk about things that I thought I never would in my music; like my relationship with my siblings. I know it’s only been 6 months since my last record but I learned and experienced a lot very quickly after I wrapped All Good Things End. The last record was from a standpoint of opening up about things that I struggle with and areas I’m vulnerable in. This new record is still full of vulnerability but from a confidence standpoint. I’ve always been confident in my abilities, but I’ve sat in a lot of rooms where I had to minimize myself to not harm the egos of those around me. I told myself that I wouldn’t subject myself to that way of living anymore. I know who I am. I know what I want. I know what I bring to the table. I mean… I built the table. I’m not minimizing myself, my expectations of the people I surround myself with, or the goals I set for myself. I don’t ask for or expect anything that I can’t provide on my own. If you get it, great. If not, that’s cool too. Either way, I’m standing on it.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I find inspiration everywhere. I watch a lot of TED talks, public speaking, and things of that nature. It’s easy to feel inspired in different ways after watching those. I find inspiration through life experience. The reason I started making music is because I wanted to share the experiences I’ve gone through and have been motivated by.
If you could collaborate with one of the artists who influenced you the most, who would you like to share the stage and a song with?
Kanye West, for sure. I have my top 5 dream collaborators but Ye is definitely top of the list. I’m not necessarily the typical hip-hop artist you hear on the radio today. I genre bend a lot throughout my music and I used to pressure myself to stick to one sound. It was always in my head that I couldn’t find my place in music if I didn’t stick to one sound that I could be known for. Kanye West’s music helped me through that. When you listen to his albums, you can hear how he incorporates so many different genres in one album and yet it’s still a cohesive body of work. None of his biggest hits sound the same in my opinion. They all have different elements of different genres. That’s my goal for my music. I don’t want to have to lock myself to one sound for my entire career. I want to draw influence from all genres throughout my music while still maintaining my musical identity. That’s also why I choose to produce my own music.
The narrative is extremely important for you; this is one of the things that is clear from your music. While many artists prioritize only the impact/catchy elements of their music, you go one step ahead. How important is it for you to deliver a meaningful track to your audience?
All of my favorite artists make music with meaning behind it. All of my musical influences are known for evoking thought, emotion, and purpose throughout their music. Music for me in my entire being. It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. I’m not in it for the next viral 30-second sound while the rest of the song is lazy. I want the listener to get a story or a message out of every song I make. I never want to compromise authenticity for a quick hit.
In your sound, we can find a lot of the best vibes from the golden age of Hip-Hop and Rap. How important are those records that made the history of your genre for you as an artist but also as a music lover?
When I listen to Rap from back then I just can feel how hungry they were. The creativity was unmatched. The music feels so confident and headstrong. I feel like all those records were their own re-inventions of Hip-Hop in their own right. From Public Enemy, Salt-N-Peppa, A Tribe Called Quest. Sometimes I wonder if they knew that the music they were making about real-life experiences would go on to influence generation after generation.
Are you planning any live shows for 2023?
Yes! I have some things in the works for this summer and I will be doing a live session alongside the release of my new record. I’ve been rehearsing like crazy. I’m learning that you have to have good breath control to perform my songs live. I didn’t realize how wordy and long my lines were!
If you could give a piece of advice to all those young rappers working on their first demos, what would it be?
Remember authenticity will outshine every time. Make sure whatever you write is true to you in every way. Don’t feel pressured to write or make a song that fits the current trend of music. Also, learn how to comp your own vocals. It will help you know exactly how to record your vocals as far as tone, volume, and energy level. The vocal delivery is one of the biggest parts of music. You have to make sure you deliver your vocals in the way you want your listener to feel when they hear it.
Among the tracks of “All Good Things End,” we can appreciate incredible tracks such as the opening “Welcome To The End,” the single “Flowers On My Grave” and the powerful “The Last Ride.” The arrangements are dynamic, intriguing, and never obvious. How important is it to you, as a songwriter and producer, to spend those extra days, if not weeks, on a track to make your music sound the way you want?
I’m a big fan of beat-switching throughout songs. I want the listener to stay entertained throughout the entire song. I will play and tweak the arrangements of a song down to the very last minute before it’s released. I’m really proud of the motorcycle sounds in “The Last Ride”. It feels like it’s really driving past you. The arrangement is very important to getting your message across. I write, record, produce, mix and master my own music so I get to spend (sometimes way too much) time fine-tuning to my liking. Then, I’ll send it to my friends to get their take and I’ll take that feedback to make little changes to the song.
Nowadays, many young artists follow the “quantity over quality” rule. Most of them release hundreds of tracks just to increase their views, resulting in over-saturating the digital platforms with meaningless songs. What do you think about the fact that music distribution has become so easy that, everyone can potentially publish all sorts of content?
Hey, whatever works for you, works for you… I could easily pump out songs each week and oversaturate my catalog in order to try to drive views, streams, and results. Where’s the integrity in that thought? I mean, I get you have to keep the people entertained, but I wonder if artists who model the “quantity over quality” method are truly fulfilled as artists. Like, are you truly proud of those songs? Does your soul feel clean? Do they even remember the lyrics? Did they even write the lyrics?
What do you think about the contemporary Hip-Hop music scene? Any new artists you like?
I think social media virality is harming Hip-Hop in a lot of ways. I’m happy that Hip-Hop is dominating the music industry, though. I have my consistent artists that I regularly listen to but I listen to a lot of different genres mostly and I have a strong passion for 90’s & Early 2000’s R&B so that’s where I dedicate my time.
New artists, I like? Doechii & Don Toliver for sure.
What are your plans for the future?
Release my new record and hit the stage. I’m ready to start performing.
VALSON, it was such a pleasure having you with us today! Is there anything you would like to say to our readers and your fans?
I want to say THANK YOU for all of the support I receive on a regular basis. Music is the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do with my time on this planet so I’m grateful that I get to do what my passion is and it’s received and digested well.
Check the links below, discover more about VALSON and his music, and don’t forget to add his tracks to your favorite playlists!
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