An interview with VANES following the release of laidback hip-hop serenade ‘go your own way’

February 23, 2023
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Wolverhampton-born, rising indie rapper VANES (he/him/sensitiveboi) has released his new single, ‘go your own way’. The track serves as part 4/4 from VANES’ debut EP: pixie dust also out today.


“VANES’ emotional vulnerability is super refreshing to see. This is only the beginning for the young artist, and we can’t wait to see what he dreams up next.” WONDERLAND

As a person who loves pretty freely, the artist is also beginning to understand that his unacknowledged past hurts heavily impact his choices today. VANES’ ‘go your own way’ is about letting go and reminding himself that come what may, “I’ll be okay, girl, you know, I’ll be okay”. It is intended to serenade listeners from all walks of life as they wave goodbye to who or whatever’s holding them back from stepping into their authentic selves and living their best lives. After sitting with the song for a while, VANES now relates to ‘go your own way’ as an important marker of the self-work he continues to undertake, metabolising the influence unmet grief has on his capacity to give and receive unfettered love.

“On the EP, ‘go your own way’ was the most thought-out track. Mindaugas (producer) and I sat down and talked it out. We needed to finish the story… I needed to accept that my feelings for this person weren’t going to be reciprocated. I’d say, “I want it to be quite spiritual”, and he’d reply with, “how about something chilled, hip-hop maybe?”. I wasn’t angry or anything, hurt for sure, but it was what it was, and it is what it is… I got dosed by ‘pixie dust’, you know, that stuff of old English folklore tales, felt pretty activated, triggered, whatever we wanna call it, then transmuted the experience into music, and with the release of this EP, I’m now also ready to go my own way…” – VANES

In a recent interview with I’M NOT FROM LONDON magazine, the artist explains the relationships between his actual surname (Vanes), artist name, and the self-given name ‘being vanes’. He interprets ‘being’ as both a noun and verb, while adding his surname encapsulates the artist’s raison d’être; “exploring how it feels to be VANES, expressing how it feels to be me”. His personal pronoun ‘sensitiveboi’ is a reclamation of the kind-hearted child he arrived as, though painfully lost sight of during a self-sabotaging and tumultuous adolescence.

In 2022, VANES began collaborating with London-based Lithuanian producer Mindaugas Juozapavicius (Benny Atlas, Ivan Michael Blackstock) and LA-based mixing engineer Clinton “HeadAche” Walker III (Higher Brothers, Tiana Major9) to produce his debut EP: pixie dust. The release will be followed up by a new music video written and directed by VANES as he continues his collaboration with indie filmmakers Robin Clewley, Lee Isserow, and Stefan Tolmachov.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your musical portfolio?

I’m a sensitive, friendly and intriguing person with four indie/pop/rock/hip-hop tracks out in the world and gigabytes of unlistenable demos on my laptop. 


Where are you based and what do you love about your local scene?

Based in Wolverhampton (Wolves), and don’t know much about the local scene.


Could you summarise your latest release: ‘go your own way’ in three words?

Laidback hip-hop serenade. 


Who do you hope will hear this track?



What musical influences have you drawn from to curate this sound?

On the EP, ‘go your own way’ is a slight curve ball. The other tracks are dominantly Indie-Pop/ Rock. Referenced everything from Blondie to N.E.R.D. for those. This one was a pretty homegrown, chilled, jazzy, lo-fi (ish) vibe… 


What does the track signify to you/what story does it tell?

‘go your own way’ is about letting go and is intended to serenade listeners from all walks of life as they wave goodbye to who or whatever’s holding them back from stepping into their authentic selves and living their best lives. 


Do you have any accompanying assets to this track?

We shot a music video a few weeks back; the footage and stills are currently being edited.


If you had to get out of your comfort zone and pick any genre you haven’t explored yet for your next release, which new sound would you experiment with?

A ballad, something like Judy Garland’s “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”. 

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