Interview and Malibu Photography by Sally A. Edwards
VNP Photography by Selly Sy
I am a proud member of Generation-X. We were the “latch-key kids”, the ones who carried the Yales that got us home to the quiet house with the notes on the kitchen worktop from our parents who were busy at work. “Pizzeria in the freezzzeeerrr” or a tin of Chilli Con Carne that would blow off the roof of your mouth, with a tin opener on the side.
The silent house would soon be filled with music - think Nirvana, The God Machine, Public Enemy and De La Soul. The smell of the food would fill the air. Homework on the table - early training in the art of multitasking and working all hours.
We indulged in as much creativity as we could, juggling at a pre-information age speed.
Fast forward and the generation born of X is mostly Y - the vast majority are giving me more hope for the future than you can imagine. These kids care. They care about people, they care about the planet and they care about their outputs. They’ve inherited that creative spirit and it’s very exciting. I’m so lucky to have great friends with Generation Y kids who I’ve seen go from nappies to graduation. None, thankfully possessed the mean-spirit of teenagers I grew up with. Nothing in anyway shape or form. Herein enters hope and admiration. My friends did a great job.
So, it gives me great pleasure to introduce you to two of the ever growing squad I’m proud to be an honorary Auntie of. Distinguished readers, please meet the super sweet, multi-talented Davis and Skyler aka Very Nice Person.
How does it feel having your single, Plastic released? You had so much love and support on the release day! We’re also super proud “Aunties”!
“It feels amazing. We are so grateful for all the support we got and especially the awareness we raised about plastic pollution. It was great to have finally released the song but it also felt great to support a cause so relevant to us and the planet.”
Describe the sound and tell us what the song is about?
“To us, the sound of “Plastic” strikes a combination between being driving/powerful, yet while carrying melody and emotion. We drew inspiration from some of our favorite groups such as “MGMT”, “Björk” and “Phoenix” to create this sound. As hinted in the title, “Plastic” is about plastic pollution. An issue we are constantly reminded of as surfers. We actually wrote the song after being hit by a recent deluge of plastic pollution while surfing. This drove the song and motivated us to speak up and raise awareness about the harsh condition of our oceans.”
Tell us about the musicians, producers and engineers you worked with.
“We are so grateful to have the good fortune to be around such amazing musicians/creatives and get them involved in this project. Although the Covid 19 pandemic has had harsh impacts on our society as a whole, fortunately for us, it has caused many musicians that would be on tour to be stuck at home in L.A. Because of this unordinary event, we have been able to collaborate with some of the best musicians around. This came into play with “Plastic” as we were able to work with amazing producers Rex Kudo and Jason Lader. Then, we were lucky enough to get a banging mix from Spike Stent, someone very familiar with the sound.”
Tell us your roles in VNP.
“Contrary to most brothers, we actually get along fairly well and work as a unit on most of our music. Davis is the lead singer and a producer and Skyler focuses on production and drum programming (and occasional background vocals). Interestingly enough, neither of us really end up playing live instruments that much on most of our songs. Rather, because we are around such talented musicians, we let them do the playing, but with our production.”
When the world opens back up, will you perform live?
“Yes, whenever things get back up and running, we would love to perform live. As we continue to build up our music, audience, and creativity, performing live is something we are very interested in pursuing. However, it may take some time as playing live is something really intriguing to us, so we plan to really hone in on it and make it right. This would include assembling a great band and deconstructing all our songs to perform live.”
How do you envision the show?
“When we perform live, we plan to bring our lifestyle and aesthetic to the stage. We would like to go all in on what we call the “Malibu future music aesthetic”, throwing in things like the beach, broken surfboards, golf carts, bonfires etc. Another funny idea we had is to have a giant stack of Marshall amps (heavy metal style) but opposed to using guitars, we would use drum machines (something we do at home quite often).”
Who are you inspired by and why / how?
“We draw inspiration from many different places. We grew up listening to a lot of modern hip hop artists like “Kanye West”, “XXXTENTACION”, and “Travis Scott” and weave this influence into our music. We are also inspired by many older icons such as “The Beach Boys”, “The Beatles”, “Marvin Gaye”, as well as other obscure/experimental acts such as “Cocteau Twins”, “CAN” and “Aphex Twin”. These are inspiring to us because of their musicality, production, originality, and song structure. Thankfully we are exposed to so much cool music by all the musicians/creatives around us.”
Your both excellent surfers, describe the feeling of catching the perfect wave.
“Catching the perfect wave is among one of the best feelings in life. It brings so much joy, happiness, excitement, and satisfaction. It is the ultimate reward.”
How does this influence your lyrics and music?
“Surfing and music for us are two of the main things that make up our life. After having various surf experiences, such as living in Bali, it has inspired us to weave our love for the ocean into our music, writing songs about topics like plastic pollution. These two passions are just so synergistic to us. After working for a while, it is so refreshing to just unplug and be with the ocean. And then, once you go back to work, it is even more refreshing and brings the excitement right back!”
Listen to Plastic by Very Nice Person now on Apple Music
Read Very Nice Person’s Ten Essential Ways To Be Kind To The Planet too.