We sat down with Piccoloblack, an artist and producer originally from London, UK, but now based in Vancouver, Canada. In this interview, Piccoloblack shares insights into his musical journey, starting from the moment he received a cracked copy of music production software Reason at school, to his recent release “Palabras”, which marks a shift from instrumentals to vocal-led tracks. We delve into the impact of living in both London and Vancouver on his music and how collaborating with artists globally influences his creative process. Looking forward, he also expresses a desire to collaborate with various artists and shares his plans for the rest of the year.
* * *
Channel WAVY: How did you get your start in music?
Piccoloblack: One of the workers at my school gave me a cracked copy of Reason, and so I started making beats for my friends. Fast forward, I had to sell all my gear and move to Japan, so I stopped making beats for the two years I lived there. Once I got to Canada, my boy Finn pulled me back into music production, and we put out an EP, Blackfinn. After that, I really cared about improving my craft, and I finally started to release music.
Channel WAVY: You’re originally from London but reside in Vancouver. How long have you been living in Vancouver and what was the reason for the move?
Piccoloblack: I have been living in Vancouver since 2017. Moving to Canada was actually a goal me and a friend used to talk about all the time when we were kids, so I just wanted to see that out. Ultimately, we both hit that goal, even though we ended up in different provinces.
Channel WAVY: How does living in Vancouver compare to London?
Piccoloblack: The main difference between living in London and Vancouver is that you need a car in Vancouver; otherwise, everything is a hike. In contrast, London offers more convenient public transport, and most things are within walking distance. I’d also argue that living in Vancouver can be tougher due to the significant number of homeless people here, which is something I have never seen in my life. The housing crisis is very real and needs to be addressed in a way that genuinely helps the people who live here.
Channel WAVY: What influences do these two cities have on your music?
Piccoloblack: When it comes to musical influence, growing up in London, I developed a great admiration for the UK rap and grime scene, but I can’t say that it was something I was fully embraced by. As for Vancouver, I don’t really get out enough to say living here influences my sound – maybe on a subconscious level. Music has become so global now, to the point where my closest friends and peers live in Cyprus, the UK and the US respectively. Collaborating with them, sharing ideas and experimenting with different sound design techniques is what has the most significant influence on my music.
Channel WAVY: Congratulations on the release of your new single “Palabras”. How did it come about and what’s the meaning/message behind the song?
Piccoloblack: Thank you! It was just one of those scenarios where you make a basic beat and hum the melody, and you kind of know what it will be before it’s even finished. The message wasn’t so much a message – more so just me sharing a life experience that I think can occur multiple times throughout anyone’s life if you have enough people close to you that take your history together for weakness. I guess the message is: loyalty and respect over blood and water.
Channel WAVY: Your previous releases were mainly instrumentals. What was the reason for deciding to sing on this track? Is this something you’re going to explore more going forward?
Piccoloblack: I just had a change in creative interests. I did the instrumental thing, and I still do, because it’s fun, but I wanted to try creating an actual song that I could be proud of. And after “Palabras”, I kind of just decided on a whim that I may as well share all the other songs I have worked on that feature my vocals. Once I feel like I have nothing more to offer there, I’ll likely go in another direction.
Channel WAVY: Who are some artists or producers you’d love to work with in the future?
Piccoloblack: I want to work with as many artists as I can, mainly because I learn so much from the process. But I think the people I would find the most interesting to work with are: Liv.e – her writing style is super inspiring. Louis Cole is a musical genius; there is no way you can’t learn something from working with that guy. JPEGMAFIA is a mixing god. I would also love to produce for Dev Lemons, Lance Skiiiwalker and Contour. Simply because of the vibes, I know we could create something really weird and fun together.
Channel WAVY: What are your plans for the rest of 2023? What can fans expect?
Piccoloblack: People can just expect more singles, more visuals, more vocals and maybe some collaborations. Hopefully, some of you will witness the continuous journey.