EM: What has it been like transitioning from performing with a band to creating your own sound?
AV: It has been a very liberating feeling. Being in a band comes with a lot of compromise and making way for other band members’ ideas. It’s nice to collaborate with others but it’s even more rewarding to work on music that's entirely your own. It took me a while to start making my own music, but when I did, I was able to follow my own vision and write from an emotional place that is pure inside me.
EM: I understand within your music you’re pretty vulnerable and in tune with your emotions, what do you think has allowed you to really open yourself up?
AV: It’s a constant battle to continue to open myself up and allow myself to be vulnerable. Being vulnerable sometimes goes against what society tells us it means to be a man. I think it’s very important for men to be in touch with their emotions. Emotionality leads to compassion and understanding. Most of my favorite artists, male and female, are not afraid to show raw emotion in their music. I think I strive to be as open as they are and push myself to always be honest.
EM: I know you’ve been really making your mark in the industry as a producer, what has your experience been like producing work with artists such as Kan Wakan and Sabrina Claudio?
AV: I love producing music with other artists. I love to dive into different projects and service the music in whatever way possible. It is different from doing my own music but it’s another rewarding, collaborative experience. Kan Wakan is an LA-based artist that I’ve looked up to for a while, and collaborating with him has been so much fun. We work well together in the studio and both have very similar taste. We have a song together coming out in the new year. Sabrina is just an incredible talent all-around. She sings so well and it’s a pleasure to record her. She also has such great lyrical concepts and harmony ideas. It’s pretty crazy how well-rounded she is as a musician.
EM: Lastly, who are some artists currently in your playlist that really inspire you?
AV: Some of my favorite artists are older artists that I am still obsessed with: Bjork, Radiohead, Tom Waits. The thing that I love about all of these artists is the diversity in their sounds. There is so much depth to the music and they are constantly reinventing themselves and keeping it fresh. Some newer artists that I love are Sevdaliza, Jacques Green, James Blake. Also, I have so many talented friends that I work with who inspire me: Vōx, River Tiber, O Future, Jens Kuross.