Earlier this year, the electropop artist Vanilla Sugar released her debut album, She, and Vanilla was lucky enough to tour the album briefly before the COVID-19 pandemic struck. It has lead herself, and all musicians across the globe, with some extra down time. Unfortunately it also caused the postponement of her tour with The Birthday Massacre in the US and the UK twice. Both Vanilla and myself discuss all this and more in plenty of detail.
Is there any significance to your name Vanilla Sugar?
Vanilla comes from a nickname I was given in high school, “JP Vanilla.” Sugar comes from the term “Kitty Sugar.” …Please feel free to Google that term when you’re not at work… Hah! Add the two together, and… Vanilla Sugar!
How would you describe your music for any person who may have never heard of you before?
I call it Horrorpop. The style is a mix of dark synth riffs, animated vocals, and crazy beats. It’s a combination of many different genres. I grew up listening to metal, and began exploring electronic music later in high school; I feel like Vanilla Sugar meshes all of that together.
What are your musical influences?
I am influenced by a couple different artists! I listen to Grimes, Alison Wonderland, KoRn, and Mindless Self Indulgence a lot. I love the electronic vibes from Grimes and Alison Wonderland, and the heaviness of KoRn. Mindless Self Indulgence is an awesome combo of EDM and punk. They’re very fun to listen to. I love the uniqueness of each of those artists and find that their genre bending abilities influence my sound.
What are your musical inspirations?
Helping people through music is what inspires me to create. Music truly saved my life when I was younger. I was depressed most of the time and did not know how to handle it. I got into KoRn and felt like I could really connect with their lyrical content. They talked about deep, dark things I had never heard someone else be so open about before. I want to do that for people who listen to my music. I want them to know that they are not alone; that there is someone else out there they can relate to.
If given the chance, what musician would you like to collaborate with? Rather this being to either write a song or be featured on a track.
I would absolutely love to do a collaboration with Grimes. We could definitely make some cool jams happen with our creepy and dark synth based styles. I feel like we would end up being friends as well!
You released your debut album She back in January. How has the album’s reception been this year?
It’s been awesome! I am very grateful for that. I want to give a big thank you to everyone who has listened to it. The music video for my single, “ThisDarkPlace,” is already over 724,000 views on Facebook! I think that is so incredible. I always love to hear what people’s favorite tracks are and how they feel when they listen to them. I had the opportunity to tour the album in January. It was a great experience. I made a lot of new friends as we worked our way around the US in the Vanilla Van.
Speaking on your music, are all the songs written and performed by yourself? As well, are all the instruments on She performed by you?
My producer Jim Finley and I co-wrote and recorded this album. We spent so many months and hours in the studio putting in a lot of blood, sweat, and glitter to make it happen. I perform the songs live -singing, headbanging, and playing the occasional keytar and guitar for different tracks!
I’d assume with the worldwide pandemic, all of the support plans for She were put on hold by COVID-19?
Oh yes. I was so extremely sad, but I prefer that we plan to be safe! I was scheduled to go on tour with The Birthday Massacre in the US and UK in April through November. April came so quickly and the tour was postponed until September…which also approached extremely fast, and the US leg ended up being cancelled. The UK portion of tour has now been rescheduled for July and August of 2021. I can’t wait!
How have you been keeping busy with all the COVID-19 down time?
I decided to use this time to get to know my fans more. I have live streams every week across all different platforms so I can interact with everyone in any time zone. On Mondays at 7pm PST, I live stream video games on Twitch! That is super fun; we are all able to chat and hang out virtually. On Thursday nights at 7pm PST, I host an “Ask Me Anything” session on Facebook and Instagram Live. We talk about whatever comes to mind! On Saturdays at 1:30pm PST, I live stream a cooking show on Youtube and Twitter. Fans can suggest a dish they would like for me to make and I create a gluten free and vegan version of it. That has been pushing me to become a better cook for sure. I am trying all kinds of new recipes.
Thanks for the time, Vanilla. Is there anything else you may want to add?
Thank you for the interview! Let’s be friends on social media. You can find me here: Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, Twitter, Twitch.