VNCCII Interview - An Evolving Narrative
Meet VNCCII, one of Australia’s next promising acts ready to transcend the scene. With a multi-focused approach, VNCCII blends her skills across a multitude of platforms to evolve both music and cultural boundaries with a strong authentic vision and fresh sound palette. We chat to VNCCII, about her new single 'CITIZEN A.I', what it means to be human or artificial intelligence, as well as the project’s future.
Futuremag Music: Hey VNCCII, how're you going?
VNCCII: Hey ya! I’m good, just going crazy in the studio with all this new music. Can’t wait to show everyone what’s in store.
Futuremag Music: How'd you move into music? What's your relationship with music been like over the years?
VNCCII: Whoa, dude that’s a big question because music has always been a part of my life like everyone’s I guess. It has defined moments of childhood, teenage years and all the way to adulthood. What I love about music is that is has enabled me to have conversations with people all over the world with a shared love for something. It’s a way of uniting people especially with all the crazy things that happen in this world. Music can suit every different emotion and situation.
Ever since I was 3 years old, I was on stage performing, whether it was singing, dancing, or acting. It’s been an interesting journey throughout the years, going from a singer-songwriter to then teaching myself how to produce on Ableton Live, to DJ’ing, to becoming a music artist - the journey is kind of full circle.
Futuremag Music: Congratulations with the release of 'CITIZEN A.I', it's such a banger! Could you talk us through the production process for the single?
VNCCII: Damn thank you! I had so much fun making the track and it came together quite quickly. The production process started with a visualisation of my avatar and the concept of “Artificial Intelligence” being granted citizenship. From this, I created world in my head for my avatar to go rogue, because she’s a badass. This created a scenario and sense of danger for the imagination that would inspire the track’s intensity.
I then mucked about with sound design, starting from the drop and working my way out with the arrangement. I often sonically like to start first with the drop or the hook in the song. In this case for “Citizen A.I”, I was making different bass noises in Serum and Diva (plugins) to get cool patterns and rhythm. I particularly love the menacing bass sound at the beginning of the song I made in Diva, it kind of reminds me of being in a Tron action movie and sets the scene for the song. The pluck sound I made in Serum, I was going for an oriental Asian vibe as I pictured the setting in a futuristic Tokyo dystopia, neon cityscape. In terms of the crazy 2nd drop where I take the sound design somewhere else, besides Serum, I was using the good old Operator in Ableton Live. In terms of the bass pattern for the 2nd drop, I actually like to dance in my studio (I used to be a dancer) to work out cool accents for moving to the beat. Now this could be quite a sight for a fly on the wall if they were to see this creative process of mine dancing to all the accents.
Overall, there’s a pattern across all the music I make. I really vibe with nuanced textured sound design and using sounds to create another world or universe. Also every sound that is placed in the mix is there for a purpose, whether it is minimalist or maximalist.
Futuremag Music: Could you talk us through how you developed your visual aesthetic?
VNCCII: I was pretty inspired by Sophia the robot recently been granted citizenship in Saudi Arabia. From this led to the idea of my cyborg avatar and questioning what it would mean for her being granted citizenship. I’m super into the concept of the Singularity, where the exponential rise of technology supersedes humanity’s capabilities and the merging between man and machine. It also ties into this universally renowned image of Leonardo Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man; adapted to half man and half robot. Elon Musk’s venture, Neuralink is also a concept that I have been inspired by in terms of the thematic concepts in my music and live show as it relates to my avatar with her super-human intelligence.
‘Citizen A.I’ is just the first taste of a much larger story at play when it comes to my avatar spearheading the brand. I also like to leave the visual animation of her running through the neon city open to interpretation, as it leaves room for the audience to interact with their own theories and stories behind the avatar and what she could be doing making it super engaging. I kind of like the concept of getting feedback from the listeners and audience so in a way they contribute to writing the story…
Futuremag Music: What's the plan for the VNCCII project in the coming year?
VNCCII: That’s a super great question, I’m at this point where I’m sitting on a whole lot of new music. I’m working out how I would like to roll it out, as I envision dropping a body of work in conjunction with the live show. There are singles but there are also cuts that fit into a body of work as at the end of the day, I’m creating a futuristic new world and universe around this music.
When I made the music, I consciously thought to myself, “what would be the kind of show I would like to see as a music consumer and what would allow me to go crazy with super high energy, laugh but also cry - an arc I like to call it.” I remember seeing arena and theatre shows growing up and how the performer always took the audience on a journey, but also raves where you can dance and just get lost in the music. Besides the live show, I’m also super into DJ’ing creating a high energy atmosphere.
Futuremag Music: A funny one to wrap it up. If VNCCII was a cocktail, what would be in it to best describe yourself and your music?
VNCCII: I’m not much of a drinker, but let’s go with the Flaming Lamborghini because it’s crazy and different! Plus I dig fast cars such as Lamborghinis - anything that simulates an action movie. I also chose this cocktail as that’s the explosiveness, I would carry on stage cause imma crazy girl ahaha. Have I tasted this particular cocktail you might ask? No but the name is cool I have to admit.