In a short amount of time, Jesse Hughes aka Vanic has become a leading fixture within electronic music. Combining intoxicating vocals with uplifting melodies, the Vancouver producer has dropped anthem after anthem making it look easier every time. Ahead of his debut Chicago performance on Sunday alongside Whethan, we’ve partnered with the event to bring you the chance to hang out with Vanic himself. Enter the Meet N Greet contest below and keep reading as we sit down with Vanic for an exclusive RTT interview. – Max Chung
RTT: How do you approach live performances balancing the duality between heavy ‘turn up’ music and your more melodic, emotional original tracks?
I try to have most of my set be really high-energy. But when it’s time for the chill, more uplifting vibes to come in I always play my own tracks. You kind of have to go back and forth like that. I learned it from Adventure Club. Their sets are very pretty and soft when they’re playing originals but then everything else is super turnt up. They’re a lot more heavy than I am but it’s the same kind of mantra.
Earlier this year you embarked on the “Made in Canada” tour with Adventure Club. How was that experience and did you learn anything from touring with such OG’s in the game?
The tour with Adventure Club was crazy. Everything was surreal because I’m just getting into the whole touring scene. They’ve been doing it for years so they know everything. It was super cool to get to know them and play all those awesome shows together. They know how to have fun and party and I couldn’t have asked for anyone better to go on tour with. It was insane.
How was Coachella?
Coachella was nuts. So much fun dude. I had a really early set time at 2 PM, so I went out there before my set around 1:15 to scout and there were only maybe 15 people there. I thought, “wow this is going to suck.” But by the time I started the whole tent was full with like 8,000 people. It was surreal.
How would you describe your sound without using any genres?
I’ve always said my music sounds like whale sounds because I usually have this lead instrument that’s a little bit like a whale call I guess (laughs). It’s very high-pitched and pitch-bendy, the reverb on it makes it sound like it’s coming from space. It’s hard because you have to re-invent yourself and stay new while sticking to your roots so that’s a hard middle ground I’m always trying to figure out.
So where is the Vanic sound going in the future?
I try not to rely on things that I find a little bit cheesy. I work really hard on my sound design so my sounds aren’t some classic sound you can replicate from another track. There are alot of people right now blowing up from that kind of cheesy, future-y sound. I’m trying to do that future sound without being that cheesy guy. So it’s a little bit of everything. Generally very Jack Ü influenced but also while trying to stay true to myself.
Being at the forefront of this future bass craze, where do you personally see the genre evolving and going in the future?
Future bass is just trap with chords. That’s all it is. It’s just a chorded 808 basically. I think it’s just about continuing to make the genre current. The genre itself has arrived; it’s here. It’s gonna ride out a little I think. It just depends on how long people are interested in that kind of weird, quirky, fun sound. I don’t know if it’s going to die because it’s not like dubstep and trap have died, it’s just that they’ve become more of an ‘OG sound’ as opposed to “wow that’s the thing right now.” I feel like future bass is going to be made for a long time, but it’s going to be more like “okay, it’s not the future anymore.”
Laughs. Exactly, present bass.
What’s the ideal listening environment that you would want your music to be listened in?
Well that’s tough because I try to make music that people can listen to at home; you show it to your grandma and she’s like “woah I like this, this is cool.” At the same time I try to make music you can play at the club and people are like “yeah I can dance to this.” That kind of crossover is really difficult.
So it’s a duality – you want both.
I think right now, the biggest thing for musicians is at-home listening. You want people to really enjoy your music on their own time. Whether they’re working out or going for a walk or just waking up it’s got to be ‘their thing’ that they do. Club music is awesome and it’s huge, but if you really want to make it past the club scene it’s gotta to be something that people want to listen to at home.
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