Daily Discovery is a feature that will highlight a new or recently discovered artist that we’re excited about. See the rest of our Daily Discoveries here.
vōx (pronounced like “wokes”), took the promotion of her latest track into her own hands, hitting me on Twitter with a link to the video for “Money.” In fact, she Tweeted the song to a bunch of writers and music-related people, the kind of tactic that is off-putting and annoying unless the music itself is excellent. And that’s exactly the case with “Money.” It’s a track that builds slowly, the opening a capella vocals giving no indication that dark, offbeat electronic production will shortly join the fray.
The Los Angeles-based, Minnesota native had been uploading covers of pop and rap songs to YouTube, but “Money” and “Better,’ the other original track on her Soundcloud, are about as far removed from a Taio Cruz cover as possible. The subject matter is dark, with lines like, “we’re all so hungry, bloodthirsty / we’re all so hungry, come eat me,” the production nods to forward thinkers like Shlohmo and Flying Lotus, and the vocal performance is commanding.
With a well-defined image (check her Instagram) and a good taste in collaborators (Londoner Kyan guests on “Money,” after vōx discovered him on P&P), we’re already looking forward to the singer and producer’s next moves. For the meantime, listen to her two tracks here, and read our interview below.
How long have you been making music?
I’ve been making music since I was around 10 years old, but at that point there were no words, only piano. I had a teacher who encouraged me, bless her soul. From there, I was once again encouraged by all of the wonderful, obscure music found on the internet. And my music has been holding me up ever since, through all of my darkest hours.
You used to put covers of songs up on YouTube—when did you start working on your own original tracks?
I was making original tracks long before the covers, actually, though those in question have mostly made their way into the vaults now. It wasn’t until I was out of school, and in the midst of everyone blowing up on YouTube, that I decided to take a swing at it. My first cover was “Dynamite” by Taio Cruz. Ultimately, I think the covers blessed me with a serious respect for hip-hop and pop that I probably didn’t have before. And these are the genres that are inspiring my original music today.
You seem to have a strong visual aesthetic which extends from Instagram to the “Money” video. Where does your sense of style come from? Do you think the visual side is important for new artists?
I’ve always admired the fearless style icons. As a teen, my walls were covered with pages from British Vogue. My style today is heavily influenced by art, as much as it is fashion. I’m very into the movement of style, the constant evolution. And hand in hand, I also find it endlessly fascinating to peek behind the curtain. I like to look at something that’s being sold to me (whether it’s music, fashion, art, etc.) and then look deeper to ask “why?”.
I think visuals are equally as important as the sonic stuff, when it comes to music. I don’t think our culture is patient enough to have one without the other. We crave that stimulation!
How did you link up with the singer Kyan who provides backing vocals on “Money”?
I first heard Kyan on P&P actually, so this is quite fitting! We started bonding over art and our processes last August. Just via email, since we live quite far apart. We’d been thinking about collaborating one way or another, but “Money” was the right fit for Kyan’s incredible vocals.
This song in particular touches on the desire, the greed that comes with overwhelming passion. I do want it all. The darkness you hear is that inner voice asking, “How far will you go to get it?”
The song’s lyrics are very dark—what inspired them?
I think this last year and a half of building the new project, vōx, has been really eye opening. I’ve learned an incredible amount about myself as well as what I want out of my career. This song in particular, as well as the first single “Better,” touches on the desire, the greed that comes with overwhelming passion. I do want it all. The darkness you hear is that inner voice asking, “How far will you go to get it?”
What other artists are you feeling at the moment?
Royce Wood Junior is blowing my mind, consistently. Young Fathers are absolutely killing it. In my home base, producers are king. Mono/Poly, TOKiMONSTA, Fei Fei, Flying Lotus, and Shlohmo are standing out at the moment.