By BRUCE DENNILL
Vinnie Vidal, from Baghdad, is a singer, songwriter and composer who has produced multiple singles, gaining momentum with his unique sound and versatility, adding integrating jazzy instrumentals and other imaginative sounds to hip hop. Vidal started his love affair with music at age eight and composed and directed for a church choir at age 14. He makes his own beats from scratch, writes music, sings and raps and creates custom tracks through his company Royal Play Records.
“Influence” is a loaded, often misunderstood concept. An artist may sound similar to another but have no knowledge of them, or be a super-fan of someone whose output is completely different to their own. Who or what was the artist, album, song, era or scene that initially mapped out the road to you becoming a musician?
I listened to a lot of Yanni, Beethoven, and Ray Charles. Those guys made me appreciate intricate classical music. I remember when I was eight years old, I told myself that I would always try to incorporate classical vibes into every song I make – but with a fresh modern twist, like adding heavy trap drums and dope rap lyrics.
Has that changed over the years? If so, how and why, and what are you currently exploring?
The vision for the music I always wanted to make surprisingly hasn’t changed, and I am still making intricate instrumentals. I am always listening to new artists because I feel like you can take something from every song – whether it’s good or bad!
Name one song you wish you’d written or one you’d like to be known as the definitive interpreter of. What makes that song so important?
I like the song Heartless by Kanye West. The lyrics are powerful, the emotion is consistent, and the beat is amazing. It’s a cool song, but very relatable.
In production and arrangement terms, what are facets of your music and the music you love most by others that you feel are crucially important in terms of creating the mood you’re after or supporting the message of your song?
I am a big believer in creating a proper environment; resonating with people and creating a good vibe before the music creation process begins. A clear mind is like a clear canvas. Being in a good place is important for me because that is where the magic happens. I also love to collaborate with like-minded artists, because everyone brings something unique to the table, making a song that is satisfying to all.
Which aspects of your music do you prioritise? For you, would you rather have that your lyrics, your melodies, or your vocals or instrumental work are the are the most memorable parts of your songs?
All parts of the music are important. It’s the instrumental parts that grab people’s attention and the lyrics that make them stay. The lyrics are the most important part for me, because that is what makes the artist – getting the message and agenda across and having people relate to it and feel what you felt when you were creating it.
What’s your favourite piece of gear?
I have a lot of equipment that I like, but I would have to say that my microphone the Neumann U87 is my favourite. A lot of big artists use it and it has been around for over 50 years!
What is your most recent release? What is the story behind it – the genesis of the song, the people involved, the muse behind its creation?
I just released a song called, Self-Made Boss. The title says it all. I started with nothing and turned myself into a successful businessman. I have always loved entrepreneurship, making moves and going for it!