Following an artist’s career arc is part of a blogger’s job. Identifying talent and then sharing their music with the Internet over and over again is another. The best part is when I get to play even more of a direct role in shaping and supporting an artist I really believe in. Today is one of those days as we’ve got a great DAD mix from Boston-based up-and coming artist and future R&B star Sevnth Wonder. In case you haven't been following, Sevnth Wonder has been taking SoundCloud and blogs by storm. To say the man has been hustling would be an understatement, too. Through a series of mixes and free remixes of modern and classic R&B (and of course original material), Sevnth has been carving out his own style. He's definitely not alone in the "future R&B" sound, but he is one of the talented few making it a central piece of his sonic identity and overall package with competence. It really feels like it's only a matter of time before Sevnth is on the next level and I can't wait to see where his career goes.
So who/what is SevnthWonder? Introduce yourself!
SevnthWonder is my producer/DJ alias for my future R&B music. It is the result of many long months of hard work and dedication. SevnthWonder is one of many outlets for my creativity!
How did SevnthWonder get going and started?
I opened up my first SoundCloud account back in January of 2013. I had originally opened it up for my production-alias “MTO Beats,” however, after deciding to disband that project and focus more on my own artistry, I re-opened a new SoundCloud account as “SevnthWonder” in March/April of 2013. I had originally posted some boom-bap hip-hop remixes, as well as some R&B instrumentals, but it wasn’t until about a year ago that I posted my first Donell Jones remix that my music started catching notoriety.
How long have you been producing? Is SevnthWonder your first alias/project?
I’ve been producing since I was a freshman in high school, so about nine years now. It seems daunting, however, there was a period of about a year and a half when I moved to Massachusetts, that I had almost given up on producing music. SevnthWonder is also not my first alias. I can trace back almost five or so aliases that I had used in various times of my production career before settling on “SevnthWonder.”
What’s your musical background like?
Music has been my life ever since I could remember. I began taking piano lessons at the age of five and continued doing so for about eight years. I studied a mixture of classical arrangement, as well as jazz improvisation. Looking back, taking piano lessons was probably the smartest decision I was ever forced to make (thank you Mom & Dad). After lessons, I continued learning musical theory on my own, however, for the most part, I’ve been improvising most of my compositions since then.
How long have been DJing and what's your set-up?
I DJed a bit back when I lived in Houston, however, I was only using Virtual DJ and didn’t really know what I was doing. I picked up DJing again around January of 2014, and have been using a Pioneer DDJ-SX & Serato ever since.
What’s been your go-to-track from your own catalog for your live sets? From other artists?
I don’t really have any “go-to” tracks for my sets, however, I was playing Lido’s remix of Yung Lean’s “Gatorade” at the start of all my shows. I thought it was a comical way to set the tone that my set was going to be sexually charged and very smooth. Outside of that, I like to play a handful of unreleased material, as well as my favorite songs on SoundCloud right now. I try to keep it at least 50% Sevnth, 50% SoundCloud material.
You’ve been extremely prolific in 2014 with over 20 releases alone. How do you keep up such a pace?
I’m not too sure! I keep worrying I’m going to end up in a long dry spell of “producer’s block,” but every time that feeling comes around, I come up with an idea for a new song. I think it’s even more impressive to note that on top of my prolific release schedule, I still work a 40+ hour per week job.
Not only have you been prolific, but also you’ve been consistent in terms of quality and carving out your own signature future R&B sound. What’s that process been like for you; developing your own sound and trying to separate yourself from the pack?
To be quite frank, I don’t try to influence my sound from others. There are tons of producers I admire and that I really enjoy, and while I do feel inspired, I try to not let myself “mimic” their sound like many up-and-coming producers do. I think what separates me from the pack is that I don’t see the fellow producers in the community as “competition.” This allows me to just produce what I want to make, and release the content I am most proud of, instead of having to figure out how to make the next big festival trap song, etc.
What exactly is "future R&B," in your mind?
When I first came up with the idea over a year and a half ago, my thought was that I would define “future R&B” as a hybrid between '90s R&B (and earlier) and electronic dance music. I think the idea has evolved a bit more now to generally label any futuristic/spacey R&B-themed composition.
In terms of your love for R&B in general is obvious as a whole, who have been some of your favorites and inspirations in your life?
As one of the most-asked questions I am always given, unfortunately, I have no clear answer. I could sit through my entire R&B/soul/funk vinyl collection and list all the names, but I don’t think anyone would care to read me ramble on. As far as some of my more recent favorites, I’d have to name Joe, Donnel Jones, and Majid Jordan as my go-to picks.
As far as the Future R&B sound overall, it seems like it’s similar to what the dudes over at Soulection are doing, some of HW&W as well and a bunch of folks sprinkled around the world. Who in your mind are some of the names on the same wave for you to look out for?
My “future R&B” sound definitely has some roots from the guys over at Soulection & HW&W, however, I’d still define my future R&B sound as being a little less commercial sounding, and a bit more raw. I think some of upcoming future R&B producers to be on the lookout for, are Nehzuil, SteLouse, Capsun, Cosmic Quest, Obeson, El Train, and Manilla Killa, to name a few!
Outside of the future R&B jams, are there any styles or genre’s we can expect to get hear in the near future with that SevnthWonder touch?
I’ve been wanting to make a Kaytranada-styled house remix, with my own twist, however, I am extremely unfamiliar with the style, so I haven’t been able to get the groove right! And like all musicians, I’m sure my sound will evolve more over time, however, I hope to keep the R&B-theme consistent with my music!