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  • Writer's picturechillroseradio

SOTM FOR MAR/APR: Kendra Dias/Mirrors

There are a few artists in Vancouver who are leading the charge in the soul, neo-soul, and R&B categories. TRS, Amber Bayani, Llex, and Kendra Dias are just a few names. Eastblvd studios (Mr. Stee, Jub, and the rest of the crew) may have something to do with this but more on that later. Kendra’s vocal delivery comes off as effortless on DMX7, seemingly floating through the groove-laden production. The crew over at Eastblvd have a formula that works, whether they’re producing for themselves or others. Kendra depicts the emotional turmoil that can happen in a relationship, leaving her caught in a cycle of loving and hating the things the other person does. Also, am I the only person wondering if they used a DM7-X during production? DMX7 is certainly my favorite track off the ep but that doesn’t take away from the ep being a cohesive groove all the way through. I had the pleasure of asking Kendra a few questions about the ‘Motions’ ep and her creative process during these times.

D: “Since releasing “listen” back in 2014, you were able to find success just releasing singles and featuring on other artists’ projects. Why did you feel like now was the time to release the motions EP?”

K: “Listen was the first song I had produced and released on my own. For a few years after that I didn’t put anything out - I was still writing a lot but never felt like anything was done/ready. Once I started releasing again I’ve just put songs out as I finish them and tried to not get too in my head. It was a very similar case with The EP. It happened very naturally over the course of a few months as I got to know the guys at Eastblvd. When lock down happened we couldn’t meet in person anymore, so it gave us the time to finish all the mixing/mastering/coordination of artwork.”

D: “Motions while only 10mins seems to evoke the feeling of getting lost in each song, with a cohesive vibe all the way through. What’s going on over there at Eastblvd, is there something in the water?? What’s it like creating with Mr. Stee, Jub, and the rest of the crew that allows you to create high-quality art?”

K: “Thank you! All the songs were written fairly close together and it was very much a collaborative project between the three of us. The production is different to the way I have produced on my own/some of my previous singles so it was a fun challenge for me! They’re the homies, they work hard so I’m sure you’ll see a lot more from them very soon.”

D: “Has there been a silver lining for your creative process during COVID or has it affected the way you create?”

K: “HONESTLY the only thing is time. It’s given me the time I need to finish things I started before the pandemic which I am grateful for. But otherwise I have been a bit stifled, I’m not gonna lie. I find myself writing far less, but when I do it’s because I have something to say. So in that sense I like the focus it’s brought me - I’m not very interested in writing anything that is not entirely genuine.”

D: “What’s something(s) that you have found to keep yourself grounded during this somewhat chaotic time? What is something you have learned about yourself from 2020 till now?”

K: “Who you surround yourself with is everything. Focus on the people you love, and especially the ones who show you love in return. / I’m still learning, but maybe that I used to be scared of saying no to things/opportunities that I wasn’t sure about. Trying to trust my gut more and only put my energy into things I’m 100% sure are right for me.”

Vancouver artist Mirrors' debut EP 'House of Mirrors' seems to reflect four different sides of Mirrors' versatility. The final track on the EP 'PAYBACK' became an early favourite of mine, with its wavy and moody production by none other than KGB. The way that the bells and keys ring out so ethereally in the intro and throughout the song, seems to be luring you deeper into the atmosphere. Mirrors smooth vocal delivery is a wave on its own as he sings about not having anymore more time for the fake friends, for dead-end jobs. It’s all about getting what he’s worked so hard for. Mirrors is a very unique artist in the Vancouver scene, who has carved out his lane and is showing no signs of slowing down. 'House of Mirrors' is a complete four-track ep, with additional production by Beatsby40k. Mirrors also produced track 2 'Seasons' and track 3 'All I want' be sure to check out the entire EP. As well as the virtual world his team was able to create for the release of the EP. I had the pleasure of asking Mirrors a little bit about his sound and creative process below.

D: “It seems that the moment you began releasing music on streaming platforms you knew exactly what you were doing, you had found your sound, vocally, melodically, and the beats all had elements of the dark and moody sound. Was this achieved through trial and error or were you and your team more calculated with this?”

M: “A mix of both, for a couple of years I was just experimenting/seeing what works and also working on getting better as an artist. Through that process, I eventually found my sound. I have a few different sound pockets I still want to explore through upcoming singles.”

D: “When did the AR experience come into play when creating “House of mirrors,” was it something you always wanted to do or did the project call for taking it to the next level?”

M: “It actually happened about a month before the release. My creative director Borna is connected with the people at Livshows and they crafted this concept. It turned out crazy. Shoutout to Borna and Livshows!”

D: "Can you take us through the creative process of “Payback”? Where you and KGB in the studio together? Did you float on the track in an hour and just knew it was a banger?”

M: "We were in the studio for a session with KGB and when he made the beat for payback I instantly

started humming ideas and writing the hook. I ended up only recording the hook that night and slept on the song for a couple of months. Eventually, I went back to the song and finished writing the verses so it was in the vault for a while before we realized what we had.”

D: “What’s something(s) that you have found to keep yourself grounded during this somewhat chaotic time? What is something you have learned about yourself from 2020 till now?”

M: “Music man. I’ve had more time to just work on songs and that’s really my only way of staying grounded especially since last year. Quarantines just gave me more alone time and taught me that it’s important to take care of your mind and your body and to appreciate your friends and family.”

Two Vancouver artists, two 4 song ep's, two different sounds, be sure to check out 'House of mirrors' and 'Motions' streaming on all platforms. I'm genuinely excited for what else these two accomplish before the year is up!

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