So we sat down with Vanic moments after he came off the stage after delivering a much-anticipated set at Commodore Ballroom whilst opening for Adventure Club on their Made in Canada tour. It was 1:30am but he was on his game and we were extremely excited to pick his brain and get to know Vancouver's Very Own a bit more.
Huge thanks to Postmark Brewing for providing some much needed hydration, and some fresh merch to go along with! Like we always say... bribery is the key to a successful interview. Or was it engaging questions? Anyways, here's what transpired...
So you’ve made it all the way across Canada with Adventure Club, what’s the tour been like? They have had you open for them before for shows and there are some similarities in sounds between you guys, it seems like a great fit.
It's my second tour, first tour with someone else headlining and it's been crazy, I've been trying to keep up but they party super hard and I feel like an amateur because I'm just getting started. When I opened for them before a year ago for one show when they stopped here, afterwards they started playing my tracks at all these different festivals which was really huge for me, our managers became friends and now we're all on the same tour and it's been awesome. We have a lot of crossover fans, the same way that they kind of pioneered a lot of dubstep awhile ago, it's the same way that I'm taking trap into a more melodic vocal based style which is what I'm doing with Trap at the moment.
Any tips you've picked up from Adventure Club as you've made your way across Canada on this tour?
I learned a lot about live shows and sets, DJing is a lot different than live shows and producing. When your DJing at home and pretending to take it into the club it's a lot different than when you get here to what you expect it's going to be. The stuff that I work on is not necessarily club oriented, it's for a home listener, it's for the gym, it's for parents, it's for kids, it's literally for everyone so trying to incorporate that into a club setting can be difficult.
At the end of 2015 you played Contact at BC Place, which is obviously an incredibly massive venue, what was that like, and with a massive setting as opposed to the more intimate setting here tonight?
Yeah, in a year-ish it's went from nothing to festivals everywhere. I'm pretty reserved so it's hard to be a different person onstage, it's kind of like a weird awakening experience, I've been DJing for about a year, producing for three or four years, but just DJing for a year, it's pretty new to me still.
So chatting to friends of yours and other artists, you don't seem to realize how big of a deal you are at the moment in music. You went full on into music just over a year ago...
Yeah, I actually hear that a lot. I get that a lot. I go out to restaurants and get recognized a bit now. I don't get star-struck by other people so it's a bit weird, so I think that relates to why I don't feel like I'm that successful, people are just people, I'm still just a guy. And plays don't really matter until you get to the level of like Kygo, if you have five million plays spread out all over the world trying to convert that into something that you can live off is a lot more difficult than you'd think. I'm not sure what it's at right now, around 100 million plays and even trying to convert that into an audience that wants to see you play live is a totally different ballgame. It's really an industry where you barely, barely make it or you make a lot of money, and it's celebrity status, and I'm definitely not there.
And you’re a home owner now, what area of Vancouver did you choose? Aside from making massive hits in Vancouver, what else do you enjoy in the city during any spare time? You’ve just travelled the country so how does the scene in Vancouver compare to the rest of the country? What's Vanic like away from the decks?
Okay well I was born and raised in New Westminster and I still live there now. All my friends are from New West and I'm not super familiar with Vancouver culture. Having travelled the States and Canada now I would say that it's the most beautiful city in North America, it's really unreal to actually live here. I just love it here. My life outside of DJing is literally I hang out with my friends, I play Rocket League... One thing I've really struggled with is that I always want to be the best at anything, so I don't do many things but the things I do I really focus super hard, like I play ping pong, one of the best ping pong players you'll ever see, Rocket League, pretty good at music, I don't wanna pat myself at, everything else I'm shit at, it's only a very few things.
This is a difficult question to articulate, but how are you doing this? By this I mean consistently banging out undeniable, melodic and captivating smashes? Take K. Flay for instance, her non-Vanic assisted releases (up until her recent single) have not been overly popular, but then you bring her to over 12 million plays. You are legitimately one of our top three favourite music artists in the world but you seem so new and humble and fresh, how have you done this, what’s your secret?
A lot of people talk to me about that, wanna attribute me to these bands success like K. Flay, but I wouldn't be anywhere without them. The one thing I'm good at is if I really like something already, I'm able to move it into a direction where a lot of people are going to like it. My success is 100% based on their amazing vocals. I feel like producers might feel like I'm not that good because the songs I used were already good, and I'm 100% on board with that but if I'm good at one thing, it's taking something that's good and making it a little bit better.
Lastly, what do you have in store for 2016? How many singles are you sitting on right now waiting to release? For example you played “High” in your sets for a couple months before you actually put it out there on Soundcloud.
Everything has been and will always be about the music, so it's been super hard to find the right music and now that we're trying to do that with original music and it's been super hard. We're trying to take songs that no one has ever heard and make them into brand new tracks that no one has ever heard before. The thing about copyright and releasing songs, you reach a certain point where labels have to be on the same page as you and things have to coordinated with a lot of people so things take time. I've got a few that are ready to go and then a ton that are in various stages of being finished. It's a process, you can't really tell until it's done.
Our final question is for your top three Vanic songs, ones you’re most proud of or feel would be your singles if all your songs were just released at once as an album? We’ll go first, our top 3, and this was very tough, Vanic songs are “Make Me Fade”, “Can’t Sleep" and “Skinny Love (Vanic Remix)".
Well those three kind of dominate my set, yeah probably my three favorites, it changes because some seem better at the time and then some seem to last longer. But at the moment mine are: "Be Together", "Borderline" and "Skinny Love (Vanic Remix)".