Vindata is the brainchild of Branden Ratcliff based out of Los Angeles, California. With a sound that fuses rugged hip-hop beats with deep R&B passions and indie-pop sensibilities, Vindata is on a mission to expand how we define dance music. We had the chance to chop it up with Vindata to talk about early influences, studio kicks, and the most recent release, "Circa Now."
ARE THERE ANY PLACES OR CITIES THAT HEAVILY INFLUENCE YOUR SOUND?
Obviously, Los Angeles has played a major role in my sound. But, I'm also influenced by other cities. London has always been a source of inspiration. I grew up on 90s Boom-Bap era Hip Hop, so New York will always have a special place in my heart. Paris and Chicago are also cities I grab influence from. Finally, Virginia Beach is home to some of my favorite artists (The Neptunes, Timbaland, and Missy Elliot).
YOU RECENTLY ANNOUNCED THE DEPARTURE OF YOUR BANDMATE AND CARRYING ON VINDATA AS THE SOLE CREATIVE FORCE. LOOKING AHEAD, WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD?
Yeah, things are a little different now that I'm spearheading the project solo. But I look at It as an opportunity for growth. I will definitely stay true to the Vindata signature style, but I can see the project exploring new territories. I want to release more club music and dance-ready records coming off the album.
"WITH OPENED EYES" HAD A BROAD ARRAY OF TALENTED COLLABORATORS, WALK US THROUGH THE PROCESS FOR CREATING THOSE TRACKS.
First, I gotta give some love to all the songwriters on the album. Each vocalist did an amazing job. I'm very selective with who I can hear on a Vindata song, so it was an honor to work with all of them. Most of the songs started off with very stripped-down instrumentals we crafted before getting in the studio. A couple of them were demos my producer friends Tyler Rohn and Dave Cappa helped with. But everything started off really minimal with simple chord progressions.
WHAT GETS YOU EXCITED ABOUT THE MUSIC INDUSTRY RIGHT NOW?
I guess just the notion that anything goes at this point. There are no rules. We're all just trying shit, making what we feel, and connecting with other people who like it. This is why I'm really starting to appreciate the NFT space. I believe it can be the future.
WHAT'S ON-FEET IN THE STUDIO? WHAT ABOUT ON STAGE?
I like to feel fly in the studio, so I might wear my wheat Timberlands or Jack Purcells. I like to be more comfortable on stage because I never know what I might do. I usually rock a running shoe like my Adidas Ultra Boosts or Nike Reacts.
IF YOU COULD GO TIME-TRAVEL TO EXPERIENCE ANY ERA OF MUSIC FIRST-HAND, WHEN WOULD IT BE & WHY?
Hands-down, the 1970s! To me, this era is responsible for so much. Rhythm & Blues/Soul music was phenomenal, Jazz was pure, Disco was massive, and Hip-Hop was created. On the technical side, this era pioneered a lot of the same recording techniques we still use today.
TOP 3 ALBUMS CAN YOU PLAY ON REPEAT?
- NERD - In Search Of...
- Toro Y Moi - Anything In Return
- Bonobo - The North Borders
Check out the playlist that Vindata curated. Make sure to follow us on Spotify at atmos USA to stay updated with our playlist and newest sounds.
Hear the sounds in person, catch Vindata live on January 27th at the Oddwood Bar in Las Vegas for InnerBloom. Click here to cop tickets.