CODE First Play: Vindata featuring Kenzie May, 'All I Really Need'
Musically speaking, Vindata’s Jared Poythress and Branden Ratcliff could not be more millenial. Their influences include all that their ‘90s childhoods could offer plus that edge of eclectic, genre-blending urbanity that only living in Los Angeles (or most major North American cities) can provide.
Their debut EP, “...For One To Follow,” reflects what was on their radios as well as a knack for innovation. Aptly signed to Kastle’s Symbols Recordings (home of other genre-agnostic, beat-loving producers including Kastle himself), the four-tune set drops March 4 and includes “All I Really Need,” featuring hotly tipped British singer Kenzie May. Listen to the exclusive premiere of “All I Really Need” and check out our Q&A with Vindata below:
Bilboard: It seems like you have a lot of freedom, but how do you know what musical direction to take when you go into the studio?
Ratcliff: I think for the most part we don’t have a distinct musical direction when we first start working on a new song. We usually play around with a few sketches or ideas and somewhere in the middle there’s an ‘Aha' moment and everything clicks. After laying down some quick ideas we have a basic skeleton of a track. That skeleton gives us some insight to the feeling, tone, and direction we want to go in. However, the song rarely turns out exactly the way we first imagined.
There are certain vintage ‘90s qualities to your records. Do those influences stem from somewhere in particular?
Poythress: ‘90s gospel, R&B, and hip-hop were extremely instrumental in our upbringing. We also dabbled in the more commercial house records that were out then (we’re obviously too young for the underground rave scene). Groups like A Tribe Called Quest and Tony! Toni! Toné! definitely struck a chord with us. Not to mention our favorite producers Timbaland and The Neptunes emerged out of the ‘90s.
What was working with Kenzie May like? How did that collaboration come about?
Ratcliff: Our manager, Mike Power, actually went to school with Kenzie and introduced us to her. We loved what she did with Sub Focus [on his track “Falling Down”] and her original stuff is so deep. Working with her was probably the most natural collaboration we’ve done thus far. She just understands us musically. Without any side notes, explanations or edits, she heard the track and blessed it with the exact vision we were going for. It was such an honor.
How did you get to know Kastle and what made you want to sign to his label?
Poythress: Actually, our buddies gLAdiator and our manager introduced us to Kastle’s music last year. Before that, I remember seeing his name on a few blogs.
Symbols just felt right for us. The label is all about what we are already about -- "the feeling is the genre" -- so it was a no brainer. Not to mention, we already supported the music [Symbols artists] Sweater Beats, Lindsey Lowend, and Kastle were putting out. It seems, we’re all a part of this new movement.