Young and talented music producer Avius has recently been gaining attention revolving the drop of his latest EP ‘Voices‘ – an electric and emotional 3-track project that gives you an inside feel to the mind behind the creator.
On ‘Voices’, Avius gets personal by including some of his own vocals on each track and collaborates with artist Auto for his third track ‘Pt. 2.’ The producer not only collaborated for the audio, but also for the visuals – working alongside photographer Jesse Hebert for the cover art for ‘Voices.’
‘Voices’ is amongst the many projects to expect this year as Avius has also recently been working with artists such as Zell Calvin and DVO, creating fire beats which is expected to be released sometime soon.
We got the chance to interview to Avius for the second issue of XMPL – where we talked about his new EP ‘Voices,’ the work behind the cover art and what’s to come this year. Listen to the ‘Voices’ EP and read the full exclusive interview with Avius below:
XMPL: Which one of your tracks off your new EP ‘Voices’ personally stood out to you?
Avius: Strength by far. Creating that song really felt like a breakthrough. Some of the sounds I used in there combined with the overall atmosphere of the track really nailed the picture I was trying to paint with this project. It was one of those tracks that made me kind of re-think everything I’ve ever made and put into perspective for me the direction I’m going. I guess the whole goal of the project was to create these kind of songs that mesmerize you and present themselves visually. As opposed to something that just makes you groove or something. Nothing against that, but it just wasn’t my intent with this.
Your first track ‘Strength’ lives up to its names as strong opener to the EP. What was the creative process behind this track?
The vision I had for this song was extremely focused right from the start. It differs from my other songs because I actually started with the lyrics as opposed to the drums. The general theme with this song was to try and put the listeners in my head space through a tough time in my life. In fact, something I still face to this day. I lost my mom to cancer 5 years back and she really supported my musical endeavours, so the ethos of the song is essentially that I feel she lives within me now and is pushing me to be great.
The second track ‘Drowning/Voices’ includes the EPs name in its title. What made you choose this name for this EP?
The general idea behind the name Voices revolves around a few things. In this project I played around with different kinds of vocals, whether it they be clean, distorted, synthesized, sung or rapped. In addition to that, each song kind of represents a voice I’ve had in my head over the past few years. The voice in Strength is the voice of a loved one who lives on in me telling me to push forward, and the voice in Drowning is one of deep self-doubt and destructiveness. So there’s kind of this cool dichotomy between the two of them. It’s like Yin and Yang.
Your third track ‘Pt. 2’ featuring Auto is a fire song. How did this collaboration come to be?
Auto is a great friend of mine and we’ve worked before in the past. He’s just one of those artists that kills every track I send him, and he writes fast. Auto is actually from BC, and we got in touch through a mutual friend of ours that makes EDM and does graphic design. I remember sending this mutual friend of ours the demo for my song EGO and he immediately suggested I give the track to Auto. As soon as I heard the aggressiveness of his voice and flow I was sold and never looked back. Fun fact, Pt. 2 and Drowning used to be one track until I decided to split them, as I felt it would be better for the listeners to be able to choose. When making this project I wanted the closing track to be a switch up from the kind of whirlwind of wavy sounds and finish it with something more abrasive. I was blown away when he sent me his verse and since then we’ve talked here and there about working more together in the future. I’d love to experiment with him with different sounds so I’d say, stay tuned!
You worked with photographer Jesse Hebert on the cover art for ‘Voices’ – talk to us about the work behind the visuals.
Yes! Jesse is amazing. There isn’t many other people in my city I’d turn to. As some may know, I’m pretty meticulous with the over arching visual theme tied into my music and it’s only dawned upon me recently that it’s probably because all my fave artists do that too. Yung Lean, Kanye, Gorillaz, Daft Punk… Just to name a few. The list could go on. Their music and their image are so tethered, all their cover arts and stage setups are works of art. To me that and the music is one and the same. It’s just as important. In terms of our work behind the cover art… I was ecstatic at how it turned out. I remember pitching the idea to Jesse and seeing it come to life just felt so surreal. So essentially, the meaning behind the cover is a reflection of the song Strength. I wanted the cover to be mostly dark blue and have some sort of force or version of me looking like it’s leaving my body. This is supposed to symbolize the voice of my mother that lives in me, pushing me to keep creating. A really memorable moment of creating this cover art was that during the moments the shot was taken, we were listening to the outro of New Slaves as it transitions into Hold My Liquor from the album Yeezus [Kanye West]. That album is really special to me as it’s what got me into rap and those kind of aggressive electronic beats so that whole situation felt very profound to me.
How has the reception been since releasing this project?
Incredible. Prior to its release I was under the notion people wouldn’t be as inclined to vibe with this stuff. I’m aware it’s a little more abrasive than most popular music, but the amount of people that have listened, bought the music, merch and reached out to me to say amazing things has completely blown me away. I had people tell me they’ve shed tears and that they can really feel my soul through my music. To me that makes all of this worth it. Another common bit of feedback I’ve gotten is some praise on the overall visual theme. I’m always really thrilled to hear that because the amount of time and focus I put into that is pretty intensive .
We will be seeing a music video for any of the tracks off the EP?
Yes! Strength. That’s all I’ll say.
Are there any plans for upcoming projects or collaborations this year?
TONS. I’m working on a couple fun singles right now and after that, I’ll be taking a hiatus from releasing to really plan something bigger. I’m going to begin laying the ground work for my next project which will be lengthier and very ambitious. I won’t go to far into detail but it will involve the work and collaboration of many artists, across mediums other than music. Besides that, I’ll also be working with tons of artists in my city trying to build up the scene and put my name there so expect tons of production work from me in 2019. I also have a couple tracks with my good friend SAINT AMOUR down the pipeline. Really excited to show my city and the rest of my listeners what I have planned. Stay tuned ❤️