“I don’t mind being independent. Nowadays, there are a lot of alternative ways to make money.”
Vayda has carved a unique path by fearlessly being confident in her creative choices, like fashion and music. Having a background as a producer, she has been able to combine the elements of high-energy dance-rap with plugg-influenced production successfully. This year was remarkable for the viral Atlanta sensation because so many people came around to the boldness she possessed within her artistry. With everything trending in the right direction, she poetically closed her breakout year, with a newly released mixtape, “Forrest Gump.”
With a tracklist of 12 songs, there’s undoubtedly a broad spectrum of different sounds that listeners will be exposed to. But if there’s one common theme throughout the totality of “Forrest Gump,” she exerts a type of stormy energy that she understands that she was born to be a trendsetter. Each track demands your attention without the use of forceful energy. Vayda truly has the power to break the barriers and be equally respected in different scenes.
Coming off Veeze’s The Ganger Tour and her new release, I got to catch up with Vayda and talk about her first tour, origins as a producer, the creation of “Forrest Gump.” and much more. Check out the full interview below.
I know you are fresh from your first tour, The Ganger Tour (Veeze, Anycia, and Talibando). Did it go as planned? I peeped in another interview how you said you had your worries because you expected the fanbase to be entirely male.
It was the same thing I expected it to be. In LA, I came out super girly, had my girly outfit, and did all my girly songs. Houston received it well, but LA did not like it. It was a mixed reaction. Some of the crowd knew me, so they fucked with it. But some of them did not like it, and some of them booed me. So, I came up in sweatpants for the rest of the shows and did my boy songs.
Do you have a male setlist and a separate female setlist?
Yeah, my boy setlist is mainly stuff I don’t release because it’s too aggressive. But they responded to it well.
Let’s take it back to the beginning. With you starting as a producer, why was that your entry into making music? I discovered you through that remix you did of Ola Runt’s “Feel Like Guwop,” and I used to have it on repeat. So, what made you go down that path?
I think it was listening to Soulection radio. I often listened to it in high school, and they would do the remixes. So I was like, I want to do that too. It really (came) from making remixes.
Are you retired from making remixes now?
I don’t do them anymore. In my opinion, it’s oversaturated, with all the TikTokers just throwing stuff on top of it. I don’t do them at all.
So you’re not rushing being signed? Do you mind being independent?
I don’t mind being independent. Nowadays, there are a lot of alternative ways to make money. You can do a publishing deal, or you can do a distro deal. Or you can do one of those smaller deals to keep money in your pocket still. I’m not rushing a big-big deal. I know it’s gonna come. I want to get my business situated first.
Let’s talk about your most recent release, “Forrest Gump.” How did this project come together?
The oldest song on “Forrest Gump” was made a year ago. I made that my first time in New York. And I made the newest one on there while I was on tour. So it’s just a lot of songs from random periods. I just put them all together to sound good.
What would you say “Forrest Gump” is about in your own words?
I feel like I’m Forrest Gump. Everybody thinks you’re green, but you’re a millionaire the whole time. Even though everybody is trying to play with you, you are still stacking up your millions. This is how this project made me feel because everybody was trying to play with me. I knew what I was doing was what I was supposed to do.
Did you face any hardships while doing this project?
I was making it hard on myself at first. I felt like there was more attention/pressure on me. I had to forget about everybody else and focus on myself. Once I started doing that, it was effortless.
What was your favorite track to make?
The third track, ‘Bait’ featuring RXLVND, was my favorite track to make because I made it in Miami. A label had flown me out. I didn’t sign to that label because I felt they weren’t paying me enough attention while I was there. So I was a little angry with them when I wrote that song.
When you’re in the studio, what are some essentials you need?
Water, Don Julio with ginger ale, or maybe Red Bull if I plan on going to a party. I like to do my studio sessions from 6 pm to 9 pm so that I can still go out at night.
So, when we were in high school, did you make music back then? Because I was unaware that you, or anybody from our high school were taking music seriously at the time.
I did. I produced for my friends. Then I was dropping remixes, and then I dropped a whole Christmas tape. And I performed at the talent show.
I didn’t even know we had a talent show. This shows how much out of the loop I was in high school.
Yeah, I played the piano in the talent show.
I also saw that your dad made music, too. Would you ever do music with him?
I don’t know. He might try to be too controlling. He’s a Virgo. He tries to be controlling with the songs I make now. He’ll always send me stuff and be like you need to sample this. Sometimes he’ll be like, “You need to listen to GoGo music from freaking DC,” And he’ll send me random DJ mixes. So it’ll be good, but sometimes he’ll say, “You need to start speaking like Nina Simone” [laughs.] Or, like, sample Nina Simone or sample Malcolm X.
What has been your biggest lesson of 2023 so far? It can be positive or negative.
It’s really about timing. Because I didn’t think all this would happen this year, I thought it’d be next year, like going viral. At the beginning of this year, I got a job. I was a telemarketer. I was like, it doesn’t matter how long it will take; I still needed to survive. I was preparing for it to take me another year to make it. But it was crazy because I got the job, and two weeks later, I could quit.
And finally, what can fans expect from you in 2024?
Hopefully, more global things. I just got my passport. So, I want to start traveling a lot more. London is in my top five streamed cities. So, I am doing more stuff for my fans over there instead of just in the States. More cool visuals, too. I want to step up my visual game.
Are there any particular videographers you have your eye on?
Not yet, which is why it’s been kind of tough, I have an image in my head, but I don’t know how to explain it in words.
I think you’ll find that person in Atlanta. There are so many different creatives out there.
I’ll definitely find it, but I’m trying to work with more animators. I don’t want it to all be just me; I want it to be animated to feel more like a video game.