Artist Select (May 2020) presents Vancil
Vancil is a brand new artist with his debut project recently released on March 21st of this year entitled “Maverick.” In today’s over-saturated music scene, it’s difficult to stand out and even though it’s just been his debut project, it’s left a lasting impression thanks to his unique and soulful sound. “Maverick” had set artist expectations high for Vancil leaving listeners anxious for more music. Read below and get to know this up and coming talent representing the Bay Area.
Ervin (Traklife): For people who are just now discovering you, tell us a little bit about yourself and your start in music.
Vancil: My name is Vancil I was born and raised all over the east Bay Area from Oakland down to Fremont. It was almost a new city every year. My pops was a DJ so I grew up listening to a wide collection of music. I’d say I started singing when I was 17. I never really took it serious it was just something I would have fun with. Some of my boys who did music would convince me to lay a hook down for them most of the time but I never really saw myself taking a leap and going for it. I’d say 2014 is when I took a turn and started pursuing it a little more seriously.
Erv: We feel like you have a real unique soulful sound. How would you describe it? Who or what influenced it?
Vancil: My sound.. man I’d say my sound comes from a collection of factors. Growing up in the bay we have a different lingo or dialect I’d say. I grew up around a predominately cultured environment. When I meet new people they always ask where I’m from because to them I have an accent. Some artists that really influenced me growing up were Lauryn Hill, Music Soulchild, Anthony Hamilton, Jagged Edge and to be honest even some rock bands like Linkin Park, System of a Down, etc. I feel like the r&b folks helped me develop a smooth soulful type of vibe and the rock bands helped develop a trait of digging deep within and really going for some notes.
Erv: In the competitive landscape of today’s music scene with new artists breaking out so frequently, how do you plan on standing out?
Vancil: To be honest and it’s probably going to sound off the wall. As much as it would be nice to make a living off of this music and become “rich & famous,” I honestly am not focused on standing out per say. This music is therapy for me and as many people that I can connect with on that level is my ultimate goal. I always tell my people I don’t ever want to lose myself to this game. It doesn’t matter if I’m singing to 5 or 50,000 people, if I’m affecting the emotional state of even just one person that’s what I’m in it for. I just want to make meaningful music and hopefully help shape the generations below me to realize that life ain’t about all that fancy shit or the “best” looking women. Learn to love yourself so that you can love life no matter what the circumstances.
Erv: For your latest EP “Maverick”, what was the driving influence in creating this project?
Vancil: “Maverick” this was my first project I’ve ever dropped and to be honest it was predominantly based on a heartbreak. I was with an amazing woman for 10 years out of my life. Real high school sweetheart type of love. We got married in 2017 and everything seemed amazing like life was really shaping up to be better than I expected. A year later she fell out of love and left me. Caught me completely off guard and I was destroyed emotionally. It was such a confusing time for me because I never really got any answers. So when you don’t have answers you start creating them and convincing yourself of things that could very possibly be extremely inaccurate. I beat myself up and was in a constant mental war. Within a week of the break up I wrote “Pull Away” which is the first track on my album. As you can hear, the following tracks depict the other emotions I was feeling. But aside from being in my feelings about a relationship, I also had to jump back on the horse and start feeling myself and loving myself again. So there are also tracks on the album that are a little more cocky and sexual.
Erv: How have the responses to the album been?
Vancil: The responses on the album for me have been overwhelming. To hear from people and family that I haven’t heard from in years, expressing their love and appreciation for it means so much. To hear a new fan or someone else going through a heartbreak or losing a loved one, listen to this and cry with it or smile with it means the world to me. And to see people make TikTok videos and dancers make choreography to some of the more upbeat songs always strikes a special type of emotion in my heart.
Erv: You have 10 solid tracks on the album, which is your personal favorite and why?
Vancil: Thats a tough one. I’d have to say my personal favorite is “New Guy.” It legit tells a story and depicts the two sides of my mind that have been in constant growth since starting this album and allowing myself to be vulnerable. It starts with expressing the heartbreak and hearing the pain to developing into a new guy who ate through the pain and came up on top of his own battle.
Erv: In these odd times of a pandemic, how are you staying creative and motivated to keep pushing music?
Vancil: This pandemic sucks lol. But luckily for me I’m surrounded by creative people on a daily bases. My household consists of nothing but creatives. We constantly push each other to make new music and shoot new videos and take new photos. To stay on top of this, it really takes a village. Well at least for most people. I’m blessed to have the team I have.
Erv: With all the positive feedback on your latest project “Maverick,” what’s happening next for Vancil?
Vancil: So next on the agenda for me is finishing up this highly requested R&B EP. I have so much more to say and express so we’re far from the end. I also have 2 music videos in the works at the moment that we will be dropping in the next few months. From then, the goal for me is to start booking shows and hopefully get a couple tours spinning.
Ervin Cordero is a man of many hats (literally & figuratively). As the founder and director of Traklife Media Group, he has established himself as a content producer (in all aspects of sorts including podcasts, web series, editorials, events, etc.) on top of all of his entrepreneurial duties. Eclectic, Feel-Good music that can make you dance is his jam. Downtempo R&B/Future Soul when it’s down to business.