Intriguing artist Cubbi returns with his new EP ‘nothingspecial’ today, an incredibly personal project where he confronts his demons from addiction, sexuality to mental illness. We featured GTFO recently, an “infectious tune that is musically and lyrically gripping.” The EP also features 3 other previously released singles as well as 2 new ones. Despite hard-hitting themes, the package they are wrapped in is glossy. Being a Producer as well as a singer-songwriter, Cubbi knows his beats. He knows how to make the music sound fresh but with his own unique flavour. It’s very easy to listen to and suits every mood from hyper to melancholy.
‘nothingspecial’ in a nutshell:
‘Lose A Love’ is a heavily auto-tuned ballad but that only adds an edge to the song and Cubbi’s emotions still shine vocally. It’s obvious every arrangement within his tracks is well thought out and nothing is put there by accident. The thunder sounds add drama, “do you know how it feels when you’re under, and the waves become one with your blood, and your hope has run dry as a river, there’s no mistaking what you’ve become, do you know how it feels to lose a love?”
‘GTFO’ is “a fast-paced and exciting track filled with fresh indie-electric beats repeating throughout that complements Cubbi’s delicate yet assertive voice.” He says, “I was going through a rather dark time and I didn’t know how to handle it, so I was self medicating and doing a lot of drugs and drinking a lot. The first half of the song was written in that state of mind so it really came from a very honest and raw place…”
‘Fall Out Boy’ has electro-RnB vibes with a hip-hop edge. It’s upbeat, and screams summer (and endless radio play.) “fall out boy, fall out of love with me boy, flavour of the season“.
‘Buzzkill’ (co-written with Robokid) is moody, layered electronica with subtle trigger sounds and gives the finger to those who kill the vibe. “Oh I do regret the time I said that you could spend the night, if only my looks could kill, cos you’ve become a buzzkill“.
‘Rippling’ is very clever as the production does sound like rippling water – there are many dynamics to the serene song with quick-fire lyrics and a folky guitar-struming intro. Cubbi describes it as “a love song, but one to mental illness.”
‘White Lies, Like Flies’ is Cubbi’s most serious track which explores a relationship gone wrong following a trail of deceit. It’s dark but dreamy, very poetic and Cubbi’s vocals are particularly raw. It’s obvious this means a lot to him and the theme affected him deeply. “I couldn’t stick around“.
If I have anything negative to say at all, it’s that the EP flies by rather too quickly. Put on repeat and discover something new each time. Cubbi reveals a bit more of himself upon each listen. He’s a very exciting artist to keep your eye on.
Tell me about your New EP ‘nothingspecial’
nothingspecial is a collection of songs I’ve work on over the past year or so. It documents the journey I took from breaking up with my ex, who cheated rather badly, to me becoming a cynical dater, to having to process the emotional wreck I had become. It’s all rather soppy, and a bit hyper at times.
Your songs are very personal – can you walk me through the creative process when writing your music or recording a song?
Each time is different, depending on whether I’m working on the song solo or collaborating with other producers. I like to come into the session prepared with a bunch of different ideas. I think the only song on the EP that wasn’t a premeditated thought was ‘Fall Out Boy’, which I did with the producer Bublele Booi.
What would you say is your favourite track or lyrics on the EP and why?
They are all my favorites. But if I had to pick a line from a song it would be “if creep was the game, you’ve won” from ‘Buzzkill’. Creepers are the worst.
Who are some of your musical inspirations or influences?
Right now I’m really into Francis and the Lights and the new James Blake record. I’ve also been feeling Lizzo a lot lately.
What do you think about the electro-pop landscape at the moment and where do you think you fit in?
I like to think I make sarcastic pop. Sure I have electronic influences but so does most music nowadays. I like to explore a multitude of genres with my artists project, pop, R&B, soul. I think it’s stifling to tie yourself down to one single genre. It stunts exploration and growth.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I’m a huge gamer. PS4 and LoL forever.
What’s the one thing you couldn’t live without?
The up-and-coming artist you love the most is…?
Joaquina Mertz, seriously check her out. I wrote a song for her called, ‘Mama Nature’ and I’ve also had a chance to listen to some of her unreleased music, and wow.
What are the biggest challenges you find being in the music industry today?
People expecting you to do work for “exposure” when you are an upcoming or new artist/producer. I had a client once tell me that because of the exposure she would give me in Paris I should own fewer rights to the songs I wrote for her. Girl, exposure don’t pay anybody’s bills.
What advice would you have for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Find your own path. It’s the only way to do this authentically. Believe in yourself, and when you don’t keep going. Hard work pays off.
Who would play you in a movie and why?
Lindsay Lohan, because she is a mess.
Shawn Mendes, ice cream and salami sticks.
What’s next for Cubbi?
Shows, tours, music videos, and more music releases. Also, follow me on Instagram @cubculture_ if you want to know more.