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L.A. VanGogh Is A Musical “Shpeshftr”

Written by on October 23, 2020

L.A. VanGogh’s sonic style and preferred creative mediums are constantly growing and transforming; “Shpeshftr” is the culmination of his cross-genre influences.

Tell us about the origins of the concept behind the “Shpeshftr Vol. 1” project …

“Shpeshftr” has always been something I wanted to present to the world. The name itself embraces all of the genres, styles, and creative mediums that I use to create. Once I fully embraced that myself, I put together a few volumes of music that allow me the space to experiment with different things creatively – my voice, my production, cadences, visuals. Then the subtitle is “Force of Gravity,” which represents two things: one – it’s a shout out to the support system I’ve had while growing into this new version of myself and making the album. They held me down, like gravity does; two – my intention with this project is to make the music attractive sonically and in content. It pulls you to it, like the gravity of a black hole pulling you towards it.

How have video games influenced hip-hop in the last few years? 

The only things I can think of are how hip-hop and sports games live together. Think of soundtracks for games like NBA 2K being executive produced by big artists. And I’m a big fan of battle rap. They’re always throwing slick references to games. (See Daylyt’s Mortal Kombat scheme in his battle versus Chilla Jones)

How did the pandemic affect your ability to create the video and multimedia elements of the project?

At first, the whole situation just made me sad. Then, it made me sit with myself. Then, once I felt good enough to create, I started a network online to create visual elements with people I found on IG or Fiverr or Upwork. If anything, it made me think of more creative ways to put together a visual without being in person. It’s working out well. I did shoot some live action videos with limited crew and safety precautions. People lately have been acting like things are over, but it’s important to remember the severity of the situation and precautions to take around it.

How did you find these different characters within yourself?

I just gave visual manifestations to the stories the songs tell. Those stories just come from lived experiences. I pull a lot of personal inspiration and imagery into my creativity. The idea of them being “characters” is just a personification of words on paper. It ties them all together.

What’s your favorite video game?

NBA 2K followed by Mortal Kombat followed by Fight Night Round 3. I like Super Mario World for a good throwback.

What 3 artists are most influential to you?

Hmmm. That’s deep. I’d say Kendrick, Lupe Fiasco and Anderson .Paak. Kendrick showed me how to embrace a multitude of ideas at a high level. Lupe pretty much taught me how to rap as well as I do. And Anderson.Paak is so soulful. His NxWorries tape had a big part in my growth and bridging my love for rap and R&B in such a soulful way. 

What 3 songs do you have on repeat right now? 

Surrender by Kut Klose, Shpeshftr, obviously, and John Redcorn by SiR. I just can’t get over that song.

Any words to live by?

“I am protected. I am blessed. I am grateful. I am worthy of earning everything I desire.”

Follow L.A. VanGogh on Instagram and Twitter, and stream “Shpeshfter” on Spotify below:

Edited for length and clarity by Morgan Ciocca

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