Editors note: This is the first of a series of interviews with people in vaporwave, I hope you enjoy this first piece.)
Vaporwave is a genre where you can be both an artist and a fan, it’s also a genre where the barrier between the artist and the fan is basically nonexistent. Due to it’s size and meme status (also adding up MTV’s pillaging of it’s look), it’s a genre where anybody whether music lover or artist can get into the genre and find someone or an audience to connect with.
Nobody knows this better than 3D Blast who many consider a superstar in the vaporwave world but still an outsider when it comes to real life. He has his own podcast, he has multiple top supported albums on Bandcamp, he even has his album on /r/vaporwave’s “best of 2016” list and it’s position #2.
Everybody has beginnings whether experienced or inexperienced. Vektroid helped launched the genre, Nmesh helped refined the genre and 3D Blast through hard work and perseverence is providing a voice for vaporwave in these hard times of corporate pillaging and accusations of staleness. Though you’d be surprised by his beginnings.
Ladies and Gentlemen, 3D Blast.
3D Blast: Hi! Super excited to do this!
VapoUrban: How did you get into vaporwave initially?
3D: There was this podcast called Genre Cult that would do these features on very underground electronic music genres. One of the episodes was all about vaporwave. They played stuff from all the different sub-genres but I remember the one song they played that actually pulled me in was Fantasy by Saint Pepsi. I’ve always been in to dancey stuff and this track really stuck with me. I was also getting into sampling and it was almost perfect timing because I was like “I wanna do this like right now.”
VU: What inspired you to create albums?
3D: My very first “album” was Pioneer and that was a collection of 3 EP’s in which I was essentially trying out the genre. So it has classic style, future funk, a vaportrap track, late-nite lo-fi stuff and so on. I took all these random tracks and threw them into this super long album type thing. So my goal from then on was to make things a little more focussed and tighter.
VU: And how did you come up with your distinctive style?
3D: I’ve been kind of style hopping since I’ve started but mainly keeping everything beat focused. So I tend to say I’m more of “vaporwave inspired” then actual vaporwave. Like I said before, I’ve always been into dance sub genres or boom-bap stuff so I took the vaporwave sound and put a beat-centric take on it. That’s why I tend to stay in the realm of future funk.
VU: Who would you say inspired you most?
3D: Narrowing it down would be tough but the obvious is Saint Pepsi (because of the way he combines his samples with tight drums) but with loads of influence from the way MF DOOM and J Dilla uses samples. Especially the way MF DOOM throws in samples from old cartoons he used to watch. Except I do it with dumb anime. Honestly I also take in a bunch of influence just from the people in the direct internet scene itself. People like: Fantasy Deluxe, Dante Mars Ajeto, Dan Mason
VU: I saw you were the 2nd best album on /r/vaporwave’s “Best of 2016” list, you must of been so proud.
3D: Well I don’t think it was in order like that. It was alphabetical but that’s the benefit of having a number in your name. Either way I ended up on the best of 2016 list and it was quite a surprise! Ever since Pioneer ended up on the 2015 Essentials list, it’s always been a running joke to get on every list and be over braggy about it. But honestly I’m always super happy to be included in stuff like that. Especially when some of my favorite albums are up there with me. It’s rad!
VU: When did you feel like you became big, like you made it?
3D: Still waiting on that. But in terms of the scene and maybe the reddit, I guess I am? I don’t really consider myself big or famous at all. But one time I posted your review of 3D: Die A Hero on facebook and someone I had went to school with years ago was like “WHAT!? YOU’RE 3D BLAST?” because apparently he had been listening to me totally on his own. That was pretty fun.
VU: How have you made use of your fame?
3D: Once again I don’t think I have fame to use. But if anything I guess I used some sort of recognition to be able to approach people in the scene and talk to them. I’ve made some great friends in the scene.
VU: How is vaporwave different than other musical genres?
3D: Most popular music genres are always trying to achieve being cool. Vaporwave is the opposite. We wanna break the samples we use. Glitch this shit up. Take lame stuff and make it sound even lamer. I love finding value in stuff that’s normally conveyed as cheesy.
VU: I see there’s a lot more interaction between the artists and the fans, is that a beneficial part of the scene?
3D: It really helps the scene grow especially since a lot of fans are also artists themselves. It can lead to many people working together.
VU: Your podcast is often cited as an example as one of the best vaporwave podcasts out there. How did that come about?
3D: Well its the only vaporwave podcast currently soooo… I was a fan of The OSCAST and just podcasts in general so when OSCAST ended I knew it was my job to fill the void in all our hearts. I never wanted it to be an interview show but it kinda became an OSCAST sequel and I never wanted that. In 2017 we are rebooting to the format that was originally intended. Our biggest criticism is that we joke around too much and honestly thats how I want it. So hopefully we can remove the whole “OSCAST 2” thing and become our own thing.
VU: How has your work touched fans of vaporwave?
3D: Thats a loaded question! You would probably have to ask a fan if my music has effected them. I’d like to think that it brings joy at least…
VU: I see artists of vaporwave are often fans themselves. Tell me, how does it feel to be both a top artist and a fan of vaporwave?
3D: It is actually pretty great to come into this scene and start listening to all these people who I thought were untouchable. But now I have worked with some of my favorite artists and can call some of them my good friends. It’s pretty nuts.
VU: Last question, do you see yourself settling down or are you just going to keep on going?
3D: It’s only the begginning baby. We ain’t stoppin’ WOOOOOOO
VU: 3D Blast, it has been such a pleasure to interview you.
3D: Thank you so much for having me! It’s been real my dude.