California singer-rapper contradash is back with "hi neighbor," the latest from the release of his debut EP, all-star. While the video opens with a mundane morning of fetching the newspaper, contradash is no typical boy next door.
It's been a wild year for the artist, born Chase Blohm. Ever since releasing "blocked" at the beginning of 2020, the artist has been churning out genre bending songs, with each release showcasing a different dimension of his multifaceted talent.
On "hi neighbor," contradash essentially resurrects the age of beaded bracelets and handwritten notes, revisiting a time when bands still practiced in garages and peeking through the blinds took precedence over gossiping on Nextdoor as a means of spying on the neighbors. The song feels like a long drawn-out eye roll, bemoaning the highs and lows of getting caught up in someone that's sending mixed signals. But to have a guy like him across the street means being endlessly frustrated while watching contradash do pushups in the front yard.
The warm familiarity the visuals bring highlights the penchant he has for this particular era of music, a time when getting your friends together for band practice in hopes of one day securing a slot to open the Ernie Ball Stage on Vans Warped Tour was more tangible than an illusory fever dream.
Here, as with almost every other release, contradash is a high-speed hand mixer plunged into a bowl full of nods to the chart toppers of the late 2000s, emerging with a wild concoction of energy and nonchalance only a digitally overstimulated 22-year-old could possess.
We caught up with contradash on his wide variety of influences, the themes behind all-star, and what his goals are for 2021.
Ones to Watch: How did “hi neighbor” come together?
contradash: I liked the idea of being neighbors with an ex because I was fascinated with how something that once made a relationship great and convenient, (being neighbors) is now making a breakup horrible, and hard to get away from.
What inspired the music video? Did you happen to take any inspiration from Taylor Swift's "You Belong with Me?"
The music video focuses more on the post-separation instances that would make things awkward. Smaller instances like taking out the trash and getting the mail become filled with all these unsettling emotions you'd never really feel otherwise. We definitely should have thrown a Taylor reference in there though, that would have been sick.“
You used to do graphic design before music, how has that influenced your vision as an artist?
Oddly enough, graphics has kind of clouded my ability to see my own project visually. Because I like everything, I get option paralysis on what’s my favorite, vs what fits the project best. It's easiest to see what fits best from where you're standing. Same reason we have mirrors if that makes any sense.
Living in a sort of 7th grade mentality and early 2000s nostalgia have shaped a lot of your creativity. How do you push your sound forward and make it fresh?
I think it’s something you achieve by not actively trying to achieve it. It’s best to let stuff feel like it writes itself, and if the end result is something fresh, you'll know instantly. I personally try to keep my mind on neutral when writing & recording to avoid overthinking it.
You like to bait your audience by provoking them with little absurdities, like drumming with some bananas in "white lie" or including shots of you doing pushups in your music videos. What do you find fans reacting to most?
I usually act ridiculous out of pure fun and it makes the final cut. It also makes set go by faster for the people working. The goal is to always document real stuff, instead of creating gimmicky moments. As far as reactions go, the internet reacts to the hair above everything. It’s always the unintentional things that draw attention.
If the all-star EP is a well-rounded team, which player would "hi neighbor" be?
First Baseman for sure.
2020 has put you in a position to continue working on recording music instead of touring the world. Has it inspired any plans for 2021?
2021 plans are closer to what 2020 maybe should have been. I’ve had so much time to perfect all aspects of this, and I really hope it shines through.
If there's one thing you want people to know you for, what would it be?
Without taking myself too seriously, hopefully people recognize how insane the work ethic over here is. I literally write, record, direct, shoot, design, edit & color every piece of content you see. I don't desire to be known for anything other than the music, my MW2 accuracy, and my insane desire for a Britney collab.