Conjuring the Magic of Youth, bloody white Opens Up About the“first time” [Premiere + Q&A]

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Photos: Brighton Galvan

As we grow older, the memories of our youth begin to fade and with it, our recollection of what it was like to experience the peaks and valleys of life for the first time. Yet through music, we can relive those experiences and re-remember the exact feelings associated with most formative moments of our youth.

For 20-year-old, artist, songwriter, producer and mixing & mastering engineer bloody white, the trials and tribulations of youth are sitting at his doorstop, much of which are still packaged by the unknown. The Santa Barbara-based wunderkind began tinkering with beats at age 11, moving on to write fully crafted songs in his teens. Self-taught in his childhood bedroom, bloody is a rarity in the music industry, as he not only writes and performs his music, but produces, mixes and masters his work as well.

Cutting through the noise with break out single "tongue tied" earlier this year, bloody's unique blend of anti-pop, punk, electronic and lo-fi hip hop allows for an active listening experience, one that is both intriguing and magically captivating. Fresh on the horizon with new music just around the corner, bloody releases the next single "first time" off his debut EP you'd walk right over me, due Sept. 9. 

A song chronicling his first intimate experience with a girl he truly loved, bloody outlines the profound impact the encounter made on him musing, “First time, / I could hardly move / It's like the first time / And I don't know what to do / And you just pause time, And you lose yourself inside my breath."  

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Sonically he plays with an amalgamation of sounds and the juxtaposition of heavy and light percussion, mirroring the vulnerable yet explosive sentiment attached to his experience. Highly emotive in his vocal performance, bloody reminds us all of what it's like to express love for the first time. Accompanied by home-video stylized video, edited by Jay Seba, bloody creates a distinct feeling of nostalgia, featuring moments captured from his everyday life during this very unique period in his life.  

We had the chance to catch up with bloody white on a range of subjects from his first experiences with music to the grappling with mental health, a subject that has become the crux of his upcoming debut. Read on below…

Ones to Watch: Where does your story with music begin?

bloody white: I've been listening to music since before I can remember, just hearing whatever my parents put on. But I really started to get into music when I got my first laptop and pirated as much Coldplay, Deadmau5, and Daft Punk as my hard drive could hold. I got really into EDM when Dubstep became a meme back in 2011-2012 and that set me on a path to learning production.  But it wasn't until later that I began to write lyrics and sing over my instrumentals.

Where do you see that story ending?

I really don't think it'll ever end.  Even if in the future i'm not making as much music, I'll always be a fan of other artists.  

What is your favorite and least favorite part of the solo creation process?  

My favorite part would have to be building the instrumental from the ground up.  To me, nothing really comes close to getting lost in the creation of an instrumental. My least favorite part is definitely mixing/mastering.  It just isn't as creatively fulfilling as the earlier stages of the song creation, but maybe i just need to learn to be more patient.

You can only listen to one album for the rest of your life, what is it?

That's a really good question. If i absolutely had to pick, it'd be 'The Definition' by Jon Bellion

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What was the inspiration behind your newest single "first time"?  

The inspiration came from me reflecting on the first time I had sex with a girl that i was in love with, and how drastically different it felt from any other personal experience up to that point.  I've had a lot of firsts in my life so far, but that one was unlike anything else.

Tell us about the making of the song's home-made visual companion and what the significance of going the home-video style was for you?  

The process was pretty laid back: just bringing a camera with me whenever I went out for a couple months and capturing as much of myself and my friends as I could before it got annoying.  As far as the home-video style, I just really like how tape camera footage looks aesthetically and of course there's also a comforting nostalgic element to it as well. 

Your debut EP 'you'd walk right over me' covers such subjects as suicidal thoughts and addiction. Can you tell us about your personal experience with mental health?    

Yeah, I mean I've struggled with bouts of pretty severe OCD since I was a kid and was never really sure what was causing them. And by the time I got into high school I was totally consumed with obsessive thoughts and strange compulsions, which made everyday life quite tedious and difficult.  I would have panic attacks multiple times a day and have trouble focusing on anything but my thoughts.  My four years in high school were pretty rough because of that, but having been through all of that, I was slowly able to start recognizing useless thought patterns and dig myself out of the hole I was in. So, thankfully i'm in a much much better place than i was several years ago.

Can you tell us about a time of significant pain in your life that transformed into strength?  

I think all of high school was pretty difficult due to my mental illness and self destructive behaviors, but if i hadn't gone through any of that I don't think I'd be able to understand myself or relate to people the way i do now.

If you could give the younger you one piece of advice, what would that be?

Don't be a dick to yourself.

Who are your Ones to Watch?  

There's this dude I found on Soundcloud that goes by JKuch who's been putting out some really innovative stuff.  I don't know what genre he'd fit in to but that's probably part of why I like him so much.  Great voice, insane production and overall just makes killer tracks. And if you're just looking for some grimy beats there's this guy that goes by Yojas. on soundcloud.  Dude makes some of the craziest hip hop/trap beats I've ever heard. Highly recommend.  

Check out the video for "first time" below! 

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