Have you ever looked up chill music for studying, locked onto a chill/lo-fi hip-hop station, and gotten in the zone? Chances are, you were listening to Burbank, a young and aspiring producer who has accumulated over 43 million streams on his buttery, jazz-infused, atmospheric tracks.
At just 20 years old, Burbank has already navigated a wave of viral success and continues to put out consistent and calming instrumentals. His most recent release, “Blizzard and Paradise,” dropped on July 3rd and expands his sonic pallet through an ethereal ambiance peppered with natural sounds.
This stylistic exploration is broadened even more through a Burbank’s second musical alias, “slowghost,” which he has officially dropped one track, “airpods,” under. The release incorporates lyrical structure and harder-hitting hip-hop beats. Pulling from his experience producing buttery beats, this new project is something to look out for.
We met with Burbank/Slowghost to learn about his production and personal life. Get to know him below:
Hey Burbank, hope you’re doing well during these unprecedented times. Thanks for taking the time to let us get to know you a little better!
Let’s start by hearing where you’re at now – what have you been up to during quarantine? (*Just for your consideration* Has it affected your writing/production process, fan engagement, etc)
I actually have been working on improving my art as well as getting new inspiration by listening to a lot of amazing artists! Quarantine has given me so much time to actually sit down and learn about music theory, music production techniques, and most importantly given me more time to produce more music. I have been getting interested in video editing and graphic designing as well. I make videos primarily for my music as a visualizer that I post to my Youtube channel and I create my own covers for my music as well! I’ve also been gaming a lot with my friends on Discord from time to time.
Do you have any hobbies outside of music?
I used to be really into drawing growing up, drawing different cartoon characters in my sketchbook, making animations using post-it notes, and using my iPad for digital art in high school. I would gradually get really decent at it until I eventually stopped because of music production. It became more interesting to me than drawing. I want to try to draw more in the future, and maybe even start painting landscapes portraits, like the ones that Bob Ross does. I like to play a little bit of basketball and floor hockey, but I haven’t played in a while because of everything going on. For the future, I really want to get into photography and filmmaking as a hobby. I want to get really creative with directing different types of film.
In just a few words, how would you describe your sound?
My music can be described as really jazzy and mellow, while also sounding almost nostalgic in a way. I usually create what I want but I am more attracted to the somber and mellow tones for my music, and it shows throughout most of my songs. Along with being mellow, I also try to introduce a lot of texture into my music, using different foley and percussion sounds to carry the melody along with the drum groove.
Did you always know you wanted to make Lo-Fi songs?
I didn’t always know I wanted to actively make LoFi, I just really wanted to start producing the chill music that I was really getting into in late 2016. I would use Soundcloud to listen to all these different artists like shamana, swum, and early joji, Then I would gradually build up the inspiration to make my own type of music. Back then I didn’t really know much about production so it really was trial and error until I began understanding how music works, how arranging works, how mixing works, ect. It took a lot of courage to release something from myself and I was nervous that people wouldn’t like it, but I’m glad to see that people do enjoy the music for what it is.
What does the process of producing a song look like for you? Is it similar each time or does it vary?
The process mostly has to do with what I think sounds good, so the actual act of producing can vary between each song. I want to make each song sound different from each other. I usually begin with the melody, sample, or chords and I build upon them, putting down what I think would sound good. I try to make each instrument complement each other, creating a nice groove to the drums where the chords fit. I begin to expand the loop into a full song, arranging the sounds to sound like a comprehensible song that changes in dynamic and tone. I try to experiment with different ideas that can make the music sound better or sound unique. I listen to the music a couple of times to see if anything is wrong, if not and I like the song, I release it. The process itself can vary from time to time, it basically comes naturally from where I begin, building upon those ideas.
What’s the most rewarding part of being a musician for you?
The most rewarding part is having people actually like something that I make. It means a lot to me when people message me saying that I helped them in some way because of a certain song. I like that people enjoy the art that I am putting out and appreciating the work that goes into creating music.
What’s something people don’t know about you?
Something that people don’t really know about me is that I am ambidextrous. During middle school, I would get bored a lot in class and would try to write words with my left hand, even though I was primarily right-handed all my life. I began to practice writing with my left hand whenever I was bored and had nothing to do for the rest of my school years. I continued to do this all the way up to my senior year of high school where I’ve gotten to the point where my writing was decent enough to read which I was really happy about because I think it’s really cool to be able to write with both hands. It’s not as good as my right handwriting but it is still pretty good!
What are you listening to right now?
I am currently listening to a lot of amazing Soundcloud artists and beat-makers that are having a really heavy influence in my sound currently. These artists vary from different genres but their sounds are so unique, which inspires me. Some of these artists are Monte Booker, Quickly, Quickly, Iglooghost, Gareth Donkin, William Crooks, pandi, Chuck Sutton, and laxcity. I am also listening to a lot of Frank Ocean and Flying Lotus. I am also currently listening to a lot of JPEGMAFIA, Tyler, the Creator, Amine, and early Kanye West.
What can we expect from you in the near future?
I really want to branch off into more electronic, chillhop, and future RnB beats. I really want to evolve my sound and my production into something different. I am working on an album at the moment as well! I am really gonna try to evolve my sound using inspiration from different artists on soundcloud. I am really inspired right now by different artists like Underscores and Quickly, Quickly, who use a lot of textures and sounds that I really admire. I am also working on another album that I really want to be unique from the rest of my discography with more expansive sounds and more influences from electronic!
Lastly, can you tell us about Slowghost?
Slowghost is a different artist alias where I will put my electronic, future RnB, trap and house beats! I really want Slowghost to have its own signature and cool aesthetic that accompany the beats that I will release. I am currently working on Slowghost tracks on the side while working on Burbank stuff, and I will probably release a lot more tracks on there as the time goes! I really hope people like what comes out of there as I try to expand my production to different genres and evolve as an artist.
Make sure to listen to more of Burbank/slowghost below!