O.T.R.

Interview: Vindata Reflects on Soulful Tendencies and New Meditative Single ‘Already Home’

As the duo gears up to release their forthcoming LP '...With Opened Eyes,' GUM caught up with Vindata to discuss their latest endeavors and newest release "Already Home."

One of LA’s most prolific duos to emerge from the electronic music scene, Vindata began with navigating a sound that both surpassed genre structure and sound design limits. Opting for often complex rhythms and melodies that traversed R&B and neo soul, Branden and Jared quickly became recognized among their peers for their distinct energy driven productions. With an unparalleled intuition to compliment any collaboration, this led to remarkable features with artists like Anderson .Paak and A-Trak.

Following a brief hiatus to contemplate and grow, Vindata returns at the height of this year with a refreshed approach to their compositions. Characterized by more downtempo and refined arrangements, the group has embraced a new chapter of their careers in the process. With the release of new single “Already Home,” the duo reflects on the people who keep them grounded, and the formative experiences that have shaped them into the creatives they are today. With features from Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter, JoiStaRR and producer/rapper Maurice Moore, the enduring track balances newfound harmony and nostalgia. As the duo gears up to release their forthcoming LP …With Opened Eyes, GUM caught up with Vindata to discuss their latest endeavors. 

You recently released “Good 4 Me / Union”, a sonic representation of the wide range of genres your music covers. When first building a new track, how do you usually approach it? 

Branden: We usually think about what kind of feeling we want to convey first. Especially with the album, we wanted to make sure it felt balanced and touched on specific emotions. But, production-wise, that can start with anything…a sample, chords, or a dope drum groove.

You’ve often noted R&B, gospel, and hip-hop as key influences to your music. What’s your process for reinterpreting these genres into electronic music? 

Jared: All three of those genres have a soulful element about them. So each track has to speak to our soul in some way. We like to borrow the punchy, aggressive drum patterns from hip-hop and contrast that with soulful chords from Neo-soul, R&B, and Gospel. When we work with songwriters, we try to inspire more R&B-style melodies and vocal runs.

Looking back at your previous work, for example, the EP Through Time and Space…, how do you feel your sound has evolved since then? 

Branden: I think our sound is a lot more refined, more focused. Right now, we’re concentrating on just making feel-good music instead of complex tracks with crazy sound design.

You’ve worked with a large variety of collaborators such as Skrillex, Electric Mantis, and more. What makes a successful collaboration for you, and what is your process like working with others? 

Jared: I think genuine respect for each other’s craft is key. Trusting each other and checking your ego at the door usually leads to something dope.

Branden: Yeah, we kinda just go with the flow. Everyone works differently, so you kinda have to adjust to each collaborator. 

…With Opened Eyes is your debut album. How has the writing behind this project been different to that of previous EPs or singles? 

Jared: The writing on this album feels closer to home. Each track represents an experience we went through that we think people can also relate to. Sonically, it’s more nostalgic. We really had to revisit our past to find the inspiration to put this together. 

You’ve just released, “Already Home” featuring Maurice Moore & JoiStaRR – what is this song about and what led you to bring on the two of them?

Branden: This song is about recognizing that special person who’s always kept you grounded, whether it be a lover, relative, or friend. We actually made a rough skeleton of the beat a while ago. It kind of has an early-Kanye “College Dropout” vibe, so the first person we thought of was JoiStaRR. I remember watching her, A-Trak, and Tony Williams perform with Ye on MTV Life & Rhymes back in 2005. Her voice was forever tattooed in my head.

Jared: We met Maurice through a songwriter connect. After working on one of his singles, “Back Again,” we knew he would be a perfect fit for the song. He’s super talented and brought the exact energy we wanted for the record.

As pioneering musicians and tastemakers within LA’s contemporary electronic music scene for the past 8 years, who are some current local favorites you’ve had on your radar? 

Jared: Moore Kismet, Channel Tres, and Mono/Poly.

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