Spotlight of The Week: Vincent Van Great

Vincent Van Great is a Milwaukee artist with a creative and adventurous outlook on his career and his journey in the music industry. This interview took place the day Vincent gave the opening pitch for the Milwaukee Brewers.

Me: Hey Vincent! Are you excited to do your pitch tonight?

Vincent Van Great: I’m extremely excited.

Me: Are you, are you a good pitcher? Did you practice or are you gonna just wing it? 

Vincent Van Great: I’m gonna wing it. 

Me: What if you throw a home run pitch? 

Vincent Van Great: *Laughs* That’s the goal!

Me: My first question is how has your collaboration with Wisconsin music ventures changed since you first started with us?

Vincent Van Great: Oh, so when I first started with you all, it was Allison who was my piano instructor. So Allison was teaching me piano for a long time and then of course,  with the Green Room status and her just building that program that she has. I just got more interested in seeing all the musicians she had or what not. And I just thought it was something that, that I would love to be a part of and, and just continue to, to push whatever narrative she’s pushing cause it’s always positive and it’s always uplifting and it’s for the music community. So now I’m more one on one with Allison. She’s a consultant for me and she’s just a great person and someone I love to get advice from and I love working with her now.

Me: Yeah, I’m interning with her this summer. So it’s been amazing.

Vincent Van Great: She’s a beautiful person. She’s really awesome.

Me: I read in the last interview we did with you, you were taking piano lessons. How has that been going or have you kind of stopped a little bit?

Vincent Van Great: Well, so the thing is I’m a producer, I produce my own music. So with Allison teaching me piano, it was more just to keep me sharp and just keep me back on my toes, and it was more for me to learn more chord progressions with Allison.

It was all about chords and me learning chord progressions. So it wasn’t like me being a beginner and coming to her, you know, just empty played and learning piano. It was more like we had a vision and this is exactly what I was coming to her.

Me: Do you feel like you’ve been able to apply that to your production work as well? What music production do you typically incorporate?

Vincent Van Great: As far as music instrumentation, I love heavy bass lines. I love those soulful bass lines and those big bass lines and again, I love heavy chords and piano and strings and I’m a keyboard guy cause I like stacking sounds and putting things together. They just take you somewhere and the chords make you feel certain things and they just take you to different places. So I’m all about the chores and those heavy bass lines and a lot of melody.

Me: What daw do you typically use?

Vincent Van Great: We’re in ProTools. Yeah. I, so I produce my music and machine with Native Instruments and then we track all my stuff and mix it down.

Me: I love Native Instruments.

Vincent Van Great: Girl look at you!

Me: *laughs* So my next question for you is who have been your biggest influences in your music?

Vincent Van Great: My biggest musical influences. Are we, are we speaking as far as industry or are we speaking musicians?

Me: Musicians you think have influenced your music and message.

Vincent Van Great: So my biggest musical influences I would say are Pharrell Williams, James Brown. people like Justin Timberlake and different phenomenal producers. I just grew up, like my favorite band is like, n B Black key. You know, those are like my favorite things and I would say my, obviously my biggest musical influence is Pharrell Williams and James Brown, too. 

Me: Are there any other venues or places that you’ve been to that you feel are a big accomplishment for you this year?

Vincent Van Great: Oh, for sure. Well, this year I’m getting ready to release my new album. So now I’m getting ready to hit the scene again. So this year has been really, really chill for me so far and now it’s getting ready to start tonight. It’s gonna just start picking the hell up and there’s so much stuff going on. But past things I’ve done like being a teacher on Cartoon Network on the Eric Andre Live tour, being a halftime entertainment for the Milwaukee Bucks. Yeah, those are big accomplishments for me.  Opening for Ludicrous, opening for Lupe fiasco. All of these things are just so humbling and it also just puts everything in perspective like, “hey, this is why you do it.” And these are the opportunities that you see and then when you have those opportunities, you just have to capitalize and maximize the moment.

Me: My next question is what’s the best advice that you’ve been given as an artist?

Vincent Van Great: The best advice I’ve been given as an artist is to understand your process, trust your process because for a while I will look at what other artists were doing and what the things they were accomplishing. And I’m looking at my management team like, why in the hell are we landing this? Why are we not doing this? And you already met John and Dema is like the other John. So John and Dema would always tell me like Vince, your journey is your journey. Like things are gonna happen differently and you know, the work you put in will kinda dictate that, you know. So and that like it, it’s really cliche but it, it stuck with me, you know, so like be patient, just make sure all your shit is together before you, you think somebody owes you something or you think somebody owes you a listening ear or like make sure you have a quality product for their ears first off and you know, just trust, trust your journey and trust your process, whatever that is and just make sure you’re doing, checking all those boxes dotting the I’s and crossing those Ts.

Me: I love that. I feel like it’s such an important thing to remember, especially as artists. We just gotta remember everyone’s different, everyone’s life is different. We all go through different things. OK, so this one is a silly one. What is your go to sing in the shower song?

Vincent Van Great: Honestly, I practice in the shower. I like practicing my sets in the shower. Like I’ll sing like three of my songs and I live alone, so I’m able to belt it out and I can actually get in there.

Me: My last question for you is what is the biggest thing you’re currently working on that we should look out for?

Vincent Van Great: My new album Ladies Please. It is releasing August 25th. Preorders are available right now. Visit Vincent Van dot com. You can check out the new Merch I have for the album. So it’s gonna be a bigger release for me and I genuinely feel like it’s my best work and I’m just so excited to share it with you all that will be on the lookout for it.

Me: Thanks, Vincent.

Vincent Van Great: Thank you so much!

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