Mad About: Vinch

Joe Simpson

By Joe Simpson

Joe Simpson

23 Jun 2023

Hailing from south London, Vinch has established himself as an artist who is unbounded by genre, floating between Trap, Hip-Hop, and a multitude of other influences which shine through in his music. We sat down to chat about his musical journey so far, the inspiration behind his album, and the next steps of his emerging career:

How did you get into music?

Well, I mean I kind of started from school. In secondary school, a couple of my friends used to Rap and do all that kind of stuff. Like, this was from early, but it wasn’t really my thing until one day we had to do a final exam in GCSEs. I did a little rap, and then after that everyone was just coming to me saying, “Rah, you need to start rapping.” I just thought, cool, this is probably good – let me get practicing. I think it was only when I got to about 18 or 19 when I got kicked out of college twice that I really needed to look at what I’m good at. My parents weren’t happy that I kept on getting in trouble and kicked out of scholarships. They told me to focus on my education and music let me kill two birds with one stone. I went on some random music production course in some college in Bow. From there I met so many sick people, and that was when I kind of realized that it’s what I want to do

Have you always had a love for music?

I’ve always had a mad love for music. My mum used to tell me that I used to be dancing in front of the TV watching Michael Jackson videos? I feel like music has always kind of connected with me. I get really enthusiastic about music, even just on the listening side. I knew I loved it but I didn’t know I wanted to make it, you know what I mean? I didn’t know that I had that in me. My parents weren’t necessarily encouraging a career in music. They weren’t getting me in piano lessons and this and that, you know? I feel like the music industry in the UK, in terms of the success we’re having now, is quite young. There was no real reference there for me to be like, Okay, this is something I can do, And it actually might work. I think that’s probably why I never got into it as young, plus I was very shy growing up as well.

Who would you say have been your main influences?

Michael Jackson. 50 cent. Tupac. Biggie. Mike Jones. I’m fortunate that I have two older brothers who are quite a bit older than me so I kind of grew up off of what they wer playing in the house. But my oldest brother was into Hip Hop and the one who’s eight years older than me was more into R&B, so I was kind of fortunate. I kind of had like a real mixture of influences growing up.

That definitely comes through in your music. How would you describe your style?

I feel like I really just prefer to be a vessel of music, you know? I’m a firm believer that people don’t have ideas but ideas have people. We’re just like the vessels that kind of get those ideas out into the universe. A lot of the time I feel like the ideas that have me are very different. I kind of just make what I want to make whenever I feel that feeling. Whatever I feel like gives me that feeling I probably would have got when I was younger when I was just listening to music. At the moment it manifests in the form of like Rap, R&B, Funk, Jazz, Trap.

I think as I’ve gotten older though and I’m growing more into myself, I’m more now trying to figure out how to make it more cohesive to make it like this one thing where people understand. If I look at people like Kendrick, Kanye, ASAP Rocky, those are probably some of my more recent influences. They’re just able to cross various different sounds and styles and genres in music.

From your first project to now, how do you think you’ve evolved as an artist?

One of the big differences or growth points is that when I made ‘March 15th’, I think I probably only made about three beats on there. I couldn’t really produce and I was getting a lot of YouTube beats and stuff like that. I couldn’t make beats on command so it was a lot more fluky – a lot of hit and miss. I feel like these kinds of questions people focus on the good parts being in the present, but I kind of feel like on the flip side that I kind of missed where I was back then I felt like I was a lot more innocent in terms of the industry, I didn’t know as much so I did whatever the hell I wanted. 

There were no constrictions, whereas now I know what I know. And ignorance is bliss, I guess, I don’t necessarily make my things to cater to the industry, but they might influence whether I release certain songs or not. I feel like I’ve probably gained a lot of knowledge since ‘March 15th’, but that being said, I’ve grown into my sound. I’ve got better at so many parts of what it is I do. I’m a better writer, better producer, and I just understand music on a much higher and deeper level.

You were just speaking on production there and a lot of your stuff is self produced. Do you feel like that gives you an advantage?

It’s an advantage to be able to make your original sound. I think another advantage is just being able to, to get your ideas out sometimes. I used to struggle with articulating ideas to producers because I didn’t understand the language of a producer. I’d be trying to tell the guy, “Yeah, like equalize it, or like turn the reverb on, or make the reverb sound like this”, but because I didn’t know what reverb was or equalizing was, I’d be like, “Yeah, make it sound spacey, but like, underwater,” I had to learn myself so that sometimes when I was in sessions I just had the information. It was more to be in sessions with other producers and be able to get my ideas out which I can do now. I’d like to say I’m a somewhat credible producer, so they trust my ideas, but I had to learn the language. That was like a real benefit, a real blessing. It’s just being able to tap into your ideas on a level that you can control. I think that’s been my biggest blessing.

Your new project has just dropped, ‘WHY R WE SCARED 2 DIE?’. What does that title mean to you?

I guess that whole idea of ignorance is bliss. I think that in life we sometimes know so much that it prevents us from seizing the moment sometimes or just living life to the fullest. We’re all gonna die one day, and some people harness that knowledge, knowing that it’s inevitable but allowing it to make them live their life to the fullest. I feel like some people are afraid to die and it stops them from living, which is ironic. There are two sides to that. It’s like you can harness your fear and it could be something that works for you. It could work in your favor but it could also work against you. It could be related to a fear of judgment or fear of failure, a fear of losing someone or a fear of losing something you know. I’m saying all those fears can be something that makes you act accordingly but sometimes they can be something that works against you.

The production across the tape is very diverse. Do you have a sound which is most enjoyable to make or does that change from day to day?

It definitely varies for me, man. Sometimes I just want to make some real ignorant Trap but then sometimes I have fun making real well thought out structured music with guitars and pianos and maybe a sax in there, you know? I like really building it and then singing and adding harmonies, but for me it really does depend on the mood and it does depend on the day. That’s why sometimes I feel like I’d be a label’s worst nightmare because they might want me for this one thing and tomorrow I might not want to do that. I might want to do something else. Again, it’s a blessing and a curse.

In terms of the UK scene at the moment, it feels like there is more room for freedom of expression with the likes of Len, Jim Legxacy, and others coming through. Do you feel like you have more freedom now?

In the grand scheme of things, yeah. Like I was saying earlier, when I was young, there weren’t that many people that you could look to and say, there was that space for me, but now there definitely is that space for like a lot of musicians. It is very saturated though, so there’s a lot of blessings and curses. Duality runs this world! There’s so many pools of people and so many networking circles out here now. It’s kind of inevitable. I think if you work hard enough, and you really do want to work hard to be in those spaces or get your stuff out there it’s definitely possible.

Going forward, what’s next for you and what do you want to achieve in the rest of your career?

I’m gonna be doing a couple of shows as the year goes through. We’re gonna be doing a headline and I’m performing at Jazz Cafe on the 27th of July. I definitely want to be creating a lot more physical experiences, as opposed to just shows. I’ve been painting a lot recently as well. I want to actually set up an exhibition and have a really different type of creative space. Like I want it to be one of them ones that people can come and have conversations, network, but still take in different kinds of art. There could be physical art, music, all that kind of stuff. I really just want to create spaces. There are so many opportunities and there are so many people that can benefit from what’s going on in the city right now. I want to try and have some sort of impact on the direction that the creative industry does go in in this country. 

In terms of career though I just want to be able to keep on creating opportunities for myself and creating opportunities for other people. I definitely just want to continue to get better. At the end of the day, when you get past all the antics and all the other stuff, the art is what trumps everything. Sometimes I do think about it, and I’m like, “You know what, like, when it’s all said and done, what’s my legacy?” Not even in a pretentious way – I don’t necessarily want to be remembered for being this perfect being. I just want to know that whatever it is that I’ve left behind the people that can relate to it or that see it, they know it comes from a genuine place. In my head, I definitely see myself creating opportunities, changing the narrative, you know?  I really I can do that, you know, so we’ll see how it goes■

Thoughtful and with a clear vision of his future in the music industry, Vinch has set himself a clear path for long term success within the UK scene. ‘WHY R WE SCARED 2 DIE?’ is available now on all platforms.