Vanilla Sugar [Musician Interview]

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Who inspired you to make music?

I was originally inspired to start writing music by my dad! He is a drummer and was playing shows when I was a kid. It was so cool to see him on stage performing. I started taking piano lessons from his piano instructor when I was 4. I then began playing guitar when I was 12 and found inspiration for my own music from bands like Mindless Self Indulgence, KoRn, The Knife, and Sleigh Bells

What is your creative process like? Do you start with lyrics? Instruments? Concept?

The creative process is typically music first, vocals/lyrics last, but that can sometimes change! Usually the song starts off with a nice synth hook. The rest of the song becomes built around that. It’s a really cool experience to watch a song grow up from just a little riff idea. There is a ton of traffic in Los Angeles, so I have a lot of time to think of random vocal ideas. If inspiration hits me, I make sure to record the idea in my voice memos to bring to the studio later. Sometimes a song can come to fruition around a catchy vocal hook. 

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What do you feel is the best song you have released/written and why?

It’s honestly very hard to pick one because each song is so special to me. If I had to choose, I would say ThisDarkPlace. This song was the first time I have been open about the demons I’m battling in my head and I feel like that’s a big step for me personally. I also just love this song so much. The music, the melodies in the synths and vocals- all of it. This is the first single from my debut album, She. 

What is the best advice you’ve been given?

The best advice I’ve been given was to continue to tour nonstop. It has definitely been difficult to do that during the pandemic, but as soon as everything clears up, I will be back on the road! 

If you could be any kind of cookie, what would it be and why? (Most important question)

I would totally be a gluten free Oreo!!!! Those are my favorite. I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease 8 years ago and haven’t been able to have an Oreo since then…however…they are releasing a gluten free one this month!!! I am so excited. 

How do you feel the Internet has impacted the music business?

I feel like the internet has really helped the music business. As a musician, you can reach so many people online compared to printing out paper flyers and putting them up where places allowed it. It also helps musicians reach out to fans overseas, whereas without internet, that would be much harder! 

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If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?

I really like how streaming enabled access to more music for more people. I have seen a lot of growth in the industry since when I first started playing music. I don’t have anything I would like to particularly change right now, but I am proud of how the industry has become more of an equal playing field for everyone. 

What is the most useless talent you have?

I can wiggle my nose like a cat, haha! 

When you’re done with music, what do you want people to think when they talk about you and your work? 

I want them to think of me as someone they were able to relate to and rely on. I write music so other people know they are not alone. Music helped me through some incredibly rough times and I want to be able to be that musician for a listener. 

What is your most recent project/upcoming project?

I recently released my debut album, She. I will be touring this album in the UK with The Birthday Massacre this upcoming July and August. I can’t wait!

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