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Interview: 2020 Must-Know - SPENCER.

Interview: 2020 Must-Know - SPENCER.

"A lot of these songs deal with the idea of problematic love," shares the self-produced Spencer. about his upcoming EP - which slides between moods, from the restless energy of 'Automatic', to the intimate confessions of '2much'. He further explains, "No matter how much you care about a person, sometimes it’s just not a good fit, for you or for them, and the best thing you can do is go your separate ways."

Having started piano lessons at the age of four, Spencer. had also picked up the trumpet, guitar, bass, and drums before finishing high school in Rochester, New York, also setting up his a makeshift studio in the basement of his parent's house for his own recording and mixing purposes. He says about his father's musical influence, "My dad put me onto a lot of great R&B and gospel music when I was little. He’s one of those people who sings along to every single song in the car, tapping out the drum patterns and singing the instrumental solos, too. It taught me to pay attention to all the little details that go into making an arrangement."

Dropping out of college with the deadline of a year to make music a sustainable career, Spencer. says of his two years at SUNY Fredonia studying sound recording: "Part of my strategy was to just completely burn the bridge. If I did badly enough in school, I’d have no choice but to leave and go all in on the music." Now signed to 4AD and millions of Spotify streams later, only a fool would bet against Spencer. as he looks to the future, and how he in turn can inspire others, "I definitely want people to connect and relate to the music because I know how important that is to the listener, but I also want to inspire people to be creative and make music themselves!"

MUST-LISTEN: 'Hold It Down', 'Automatic', 'To Be You'.
YOU WILL LIKE, IF YOU LIKE: Monsune, Jakob Ogawa, Gallant, Daniel Caesar, Dijon, Cautious Clay... and the warm embrace of unconditional love.

COUP DE MAIN: In 'Hold It Down' you say, "You still love me when I’m down and out." Is unconditional love one of the most important things in any relationship, be it romantic or platonic?
SPENCER.:
Yeah, I’d definitely agree that it’s important. Through any relationship; platonic or not, it’s important to be with someone when it’s not easy because it’s not always going to be, you know?

CDM: What was running through your mind while writing '2much'?
SPENCER.:
It was a weird process because I didn’t understand if the theme of the song would be about wanting to leave a relationship or to stay. I wrote a lot of lines for both and all of them ended up in the final version of the song. I really loved the finished product because to me it was about being torn in-between those two extremes.

CDM: How does your music-making process work?
SPENCER.:
A lot of times I’ll start a session by myself at around 10pm and go until maybe 5am. In my head I’m very much a producer first, so I’ll always start with making a beat on FL Studio. After that, I’ll start writing. A lot of my lyrics come from free-styling and recording voice memos, and a lot of times the idea won’t make it past the voice memo stage. Anything that actually gets recorded usually becomes a song!

CDM: Producing all your music yourself, what do you enjoy most about being so self-sufficient?
SPENCER.:
Being self-sufficient is great because you get to challenge yourself to learn and explore ideas with no limits. You really have to teach yourself how to write, perform, and execute ideas in order to follow the vision you have in your head, and you ultimately come out a better and more well-rounded artist because of it!

CDM: Lyrically, what's your favourite song that you’ve written?
SPENCER.:
Probably '2much'.

CDM: What do you think is the difference between a good song and a great song?
SPENCER.:
I really feel like it depends on the song, but I love a song that feels like there was intent in the writing and production, and it means something to the artist. It doesn’t even have to be serious, making a bop can be just as intentional as making a heavy sad song.

CDM: At what age did you write your very first song ever, and what was it about?
SPENCER.:
When I was 19, I wrote 'Better Things'. It was about my first break-up and kind of accepting it for what it was.

CDM: What do you hope for people to take away from listening to your music?
SPENCER.:
I definitely want people to connect and relate to the music because I know how important that is to the listener, but I also want to inspire people to be creative and make music themselves! And to maybe learn some bass lol.

CDM: Would you ever want to get into producing music for other artists?
SPENCER.:
Oh for sure, that’s a huge dream of mine. I have so many unused ideas and beats for both rappers and singers, it’d be really cool to be a part of someone else’s creative process.

CDM: If you could steal one thing without consequence what would it be?
SPENCER.:
Anyone’s Prophet 5 synth. I want one of those so bad.

CDM: If you were a country, what would be your national anthem?
SPENCER.:
Right now, 'Homecoming' by Lil Uzi.

CDM: What are your top five necessities for isolation/quarantine/lockdown?
SPENCER.:
My bass, switch, and my airpods. I’ve also started biking and skating again since I’ve been back in Rochester.

CDM: You’re one of our 'must-know’ artist picks for 2020… who are yours?
SPENCER.:
Tafai, Erika De Casier, and Westside Gunn.

Watch the music video for 'Automatic' below...

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