Action over words is how he operates and his words make it clear that he’s not playing a bluff. Based in Hawaii’s Honolulu, Virgø was born in September 1994, and Mike Shinoda, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West, and JAY-Z all had an impact on him growing up. Virgø was drawn to the hip-hop scene by the drive, the creativity, the savviness, and the cultural shift that these artists offered. “All I got is dreams. Nobody else believes. Nobody else can see. Nobody else but me.” As he quotes Shawn Carter. Although not his words, Virgø has adopted them to advance his career.
“We’ll Meet Again” is the title of his debut EP. It took two months for the project to be completed. Even though it was a challenging task, it was ultimately worthwhile. Beyond that, he has nothing more to say. He leaves the rest to the songs. “Sky,” “No Competition,” and “West Coast Park” are three of his favorite songs. Check out the exclusive interview and the EP below:
1. Can you tell us a bit about where you come from and how it all got started?
VIRGØ: First and foremost thank you for the interview. I am from Honolulu, Hawai’i. The way this venture has started is with me having a moment of self-discovery. My love for music came at 11 years old through Reggae, Reggaeton, Hip Hop, and Alternative Rock music. The style and liveness that each of these genres brought is something that I’ll keep a part of me for the rest of my life. As far as craving out my own path with music, that came from a mosaic women that knew how to read palms. What stick out to me during that sit-down was her telling me “You have something that’ll excite the world.” And that’s all see wrote; that was the catalyst for me to start doing now what I’m doing now.
2. Did you have any formal training or are you self-taught?
VIRGØ: Everything that I do is self-taught. Piano, Guitar, Song-writing, singing, and rapping. All derive from a kid that loved music.
3. Who were your first and strongest musical influences and why the name ‘VIRGØ’?
VIRGØ: Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West, and Jay-Z. For my artist name its simple, I’m a Virgo. September babyyy!
4. What do you feel are the key elements in your music that should resonate with listeners, and how would you personally describe your sound?
VIRGØ: As a relative new act I wouldn’t say I develop my signature sound as of yet. I’m still “finding” that as an artist. The current music I do have available on streaming services is fierce, honest, and bold; with integrity.
6. What’s your view on the role and function of music as political, cultural, spiritual, and/or social vehicles – and do you try and affront any of these themes in your work, or are you purely interested in music as an expression of technical artistry, personal narrative, and entertainment?
Music is culture. It influences how we dress, talk, interact, etc… It has a masses effect on society as a whole. Spiritually, that just depends on the individual and where they’re at in their lives. As human beings our emotions change frequently every day. I necessarily don’t care for politics, it divides us as a society if you like at it from afar. The last three traits that’s said in this question is what I try to bring into my music. Music, to me anyways, as far as a listener is an escape from the confines of reality through sonic sounds & expression. I hope to achieve that for the consumer whenever I put out a collection of songs.
7. Do you feel that your music is giving you back just as much fulfillment as the amount of work you are putting into it or are you expecting something more, or different in the future?
It is. There’s so much going on behind the scenes with myself I wish I could tell you everything, but it’ll be too much to explain. But what I can say is that I am currently working on my next project. The next one it’s going to me a total 180 from my latest work. More melodic, more emotional, more vulnerable. I’m excited for the future. Also, I’m going to start playing shows as of next year.
8. Could you describe your creative processes? How do usually start, and go about shaping ideas into a completed song? Do you usually start with a tune, a beat, or a narrative in your head? And do you collaborate with others in this process?
I listen to the production first before anything. If I don’t enjoy the music by itself for an extended period of time, let’s just say 2-3 day on repeat. Then I’ll discard it and move along to the next one. If the production is chosen I listen to the structure of the song heavily to see how this would be best written to. I only collaborated with three artist thus far. The process as far that goes is with me presenting the song already completed with and open slot for them to do whatever their heart desires.
9. What has been the most difficult thing you’ve had to endure in your life or music career so far?
VIRGØ: Song writing. Easily. I am so hard on myself when it comes to my writing, that’s definitely the only reason why I take so much time to complete any song.
10. On the contrary, what would you consider a successful, proud or significant point in your life or music career so far?
VIRGØ: People enjoying the music. That’s all I want out of this. That’s what I enjoy the most out of this whole thing. Bringing people joy is the best feeling.
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Photo credits: Ramon Grullon