Vaporwave is one of those genres where extreme flexibility is allowed. It has many different styles and many different genres within the genre and anybody can express what they’re feeling through a specific sound/theme. For KAHN 美的, it’s moody emotional vaportrap that makes Blank Banshee look safe by comparison.
KAHN 美的 has been one of those artists waiting to blow. Creating single after single and album after album, he has perfected his own brand of vaportrap to the point where he has a potent fanbase already established. Though he has a perfected style and a fanbase, he has not yet been able to blow up into the mainstream of vaporwave.
Until now… The world and readers of VapoUrban will know who KAHN 美的 is and what he can truly do.
VapoUrban: Ladies and Gentlemen. KAHN 美的.
KAHN 美的: Hello, thanks for taking time to ask me some questions man.
VU: So, how did you first get into the genre?
KAHN: That’s actually a question I still ask myself. I remember hearing Macintosh Plus’s “420” track for the first time and felt like I had stumbled into this completely separate world. I watched as many videos as I could and knew I was hooked. I don’t think I’d be here without FrankJavCee.
VU: What inspired you to do vaportrap?
KAHN: Well, I think we’d all be lying if every Vaportrap producer didn’t say Blank Banshee, but he’s definitely my biggest inspiration in terms of the main feeling I want to get across.
VU: How is vaportrap different from cloud rap or any other vaporwave genre in particular?
KAHN: Vaportrap and Hardvapour are definitely the most “in your face” in terms of all the Vapor genres but I think they can be as harsh or widescope as they want to be, the difference between those two genres and the production side of Cloud Rap is any instrumental Cloud Rap track is more stripped back and won’t have as many 808 kicks as a standard Vaportrap or Hardvapour song.
VU: What makes your style of vaportrap different from the rest?
KAHN: I wouldn’t say that my specific style of Vaportrap has reached the point where any Vaporwave listener can say “Oh that’s KAHN 美的” but I feel as if i’m slowly getting there. I think what differentiates my Vaportrap from everyone else’s is my control over the emotions that i’d like the track to have. I think that’s evident when you listen to WaveStation and Live From The Grave back to back.
VU: I see you got a style that’s reminiscent of grime. How did that come about?
KAHN: Weirdly enough I’m not really into Grime as a rap genre, however in terms of having a grimier and grittier sound, that’s directly influenced by Bones from TeamSESH and the people he gets to produce for him. Live From The Grave is basically a tribute to his work.
VU: How important is the art when it comes to any vaporwave release?
KAHN: I think in some aspects the Art in any Vapor-based release is actually the most important part of any project. I could release the best album of all time, but if the album cover isn’t as distinctive as the songs on the album, no one will care. Think of Blank Banshee(there he is again), everyone in the Vaporwave community know the Lara Croft head and it’s importance as an icon within its genre, same thing goes for the Helios bust on Floral Shoppe.
VU: Your work is often emotional, often bordering on human. Tell me, how did you get that feeling?
KAHN: Emotion is the most important thing in my work. I (as a human haha) feel a lot of emotions as young adult, experiencing Heart break and happiness on an irratic level (the first more than anything else). I try to get what I’m feeling at the time to reflect perfectly through the track into the ears of the listener.
VU: Is music (not just vaporwave) defined by said feelings?
KAHN: Not at all. At the end of the day, the importance of how a song sticks with someone is up to the Artist and the listener. If I have a track and have no emotional projection into it, I feel as if the listener is inclined to fill in the blanks. Two great examples of a song having varying or set emotions are “420”; by Macintosh Plus and “Resonance” by HOME. With “420” you can be happy, sad or anything else because of the freedom of the track. “Time is running out” and “It’s all in your hands” can mean anything to anyone. “Resonance” is somewhat similar but it’s more constricted. Usually when listening to it, you feel the longing for the Future, or that Chillwave image comes to mind. That’s a collected feeling that we all share that HOME wanted us to feel.
VU: I’ve read up on the history of vaportrap and I’ve come across some sentiment that it’s a meme genre, what would you say to dispel that?
KAHN:I’m in the middle ground on that. I think in a lot of ways, Vaportrap is very much a meme genre. “0” by Blank Banshee(oh wow) is probably the most parodied piece of Vaportrap on the internet, you might disagree with that, saying that the countless Floral Shoppe album cover edits clearly triumph over “0” but while Floral Shoppe is merely a varying image, “0” goes beyond that with literally entire albums filled with either teriffic or medicore music even if just for the simple art of a parody. On the other side of that, I think that Vaportrap can be the most expansive Vapor genre, allowing it to go out of the boundaries than any of the others. So while I think it is the most memed genre, I also think that in terms of a reach to a general audience it has the most potential.
VU: One last question, you think you’ll eventually become Blank Banshee big?
KAHN: I mean that is the goal haha, but the community is restricted in terms of making it big and becoming one of the main people that listeners would think of.
VU: And if you do become Blank Banshee big, how would you use your status?
KAHN: I’d defintely want to tour more than anything, I feel more emotion is conveyed when an artist is up on stage, I can’t talking considering I choose to wear a mask. I’d definitley use my popularity/ influence to showcase artists I think are unnapreciated.
VU: KAHN 美的, thank you for doing this interview.
KAHN:Thanks for asking questions haha.