#OnTheVerge: VINSON’s ‘SoftSweetRadical’ Will Provide Him A Proper Debut And Draws From His Motown Roots

The Detroit native’s ability to bend genres has been perfected over the years and he’s ready to show everyone.

VINSON is ready for his moment

The rapper/singer-songwriter is in a phase of transition after already making a major change in his life by moving from Detroit to Los Angeles in 2019. It was there that he was able to renew his perspective on life and music while being in one of the best cities in America to amplify his music career.

But then the COVID pandemic happened and, like many other musicians, VINSON had to step back. And while it may have dampened his ability to be present among his growing fanbase by doing shows and events, it gave him the opportunity to solely focus on creating music.

That’s what’s coming on the 31-year-old’s new EP SoftSweetRadical. Due out March 3 via Wichita Recordings, the project is a collection of introspective songs with a modern twist on ‘90s neo-soul and experimental rap that relay his journey up until this point, including relatable thoughts of inadequacies and unguarded emotions over very laid-back instrumentals.

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“A lot of the songs I first started to write [for the EP] took form when I moved out here to L.A.,” VINSON told BET during a recent interview. “So I got a full year in before the pandemic, but just having a space [on my own], I lived in Detroit my whole life, so, besides vacation, I’ve never been away for longer than three weeks to a month. So I just felt like I really got to tune in with myself and find my artistic voice where I could be vulnerable and get into a zone of making the music I want to make that's a little emotional, vulnerable, but then also still sharp and critical at the same time.”

Part of those attributes are on display via the project’s single “Sunroof”, which VINSON describes as a movie that’s based on a true story.

Amaya Logie

“It just reminded me of the blaxploitation era, just like on some players s**t, honestly,” he says. “I just wanted to kind of just encapsulate that feeling and just talk about that, but do it in my own way. I feel like I have a critical eye toward things and discuss it in my art and music, but so much of that is just to have a good time as well. It's like a hedonistic-type of vibe while I'm thinking about some real s**t in the background that I'm trying to forget about.”

Perhaps some of those old-school vibes comes from VINSON’s own family history in his hometown. Not only have the genes provided him an advantage, but also the lessons and knowledge he’s received from past generations.

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“Two of my great uncles – they were in singing groups in Motown,” he explains. “So I always had just like that history of being played music from other eras. It's how I got my start and then just kind of transitioning to me making music and being older, which was kind of separate. My uncle and cousin, they used to rap with Chuck D and Public Enemy so every generation kind of understands music.”

Citing Maxwell, D’Angelo and Anthony Hamilton as some of his biggest inspirations, VINSON’s goal right now is to parlay his upcoming release into the ability to maintain a career in music and spark an opportunity to make his family and inspirations proud.

“My main goal is to be able to sustain myself to make more projects and have more life centered around my artistic process,” he says. “I think the main focus is making the music and expanding what I do and challenging myself to make something new. I love music, and I'm obsessed with it, but especially where I'm at now, it’s like the only thing that really blows my mind is when I feel like I haven't heard anything like it before. That's what I strive to do. That's what I want to do: create my own sound or style that people recognize me for.”

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