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Powfu

1883 Magazine sits down with Powfu to talk tell me your feelings and i won’t tell you mine pt. 2, tour plans, and everything in between.

Canadian artist Powfu skyrocketed into the mainstream music scene in 2020, when his lofi hiphop track (with a sped up beebadoobea sample) death bed (coffee for your head) picked up significant traction on TikTok. Since then, Powfu has released a steady stream of music, from various collaborative singles to his debut album. 

The tail end of 2022 saw the release of surrounded by hounds and serpents, Powfu’s debut album. Sitting at 9 tracks long, the record explores Powfu’s classic lofi sound, and features a variety of other artists. One of the highlights is a pop punk cover of Taylor Swift’s Mine, which strays from Powfu’s usual sound. The cover has over 1.2 million streams on Spotify as of now, and expanded Powfu’s audience to include both pop punk fans and Swifties. By including this cover on his debut record, Powfu proves his musical range, showcasing his ability to do more beyond his usual genre. 

Most recently, Powfu has released the highly anticipated second EP from his tell me your feelings and i won’t tell you mine duo. Featuring previously released singles like life in a locker and keep your love alive, the 5 track project covers themes of estranged relationships, struggles with mental health, and even exploring an abandoned house (on the appropriately titled abandoned house.) 

Despite gearing up to tour Europe this Fall, Powfu’s continuous releases aren’t stopping anytime soon. 1883 Magazine sits down with Powfu to talk tell me your feelings and i won’t tell you mine pt. 2, his latest collab with Cody Lawless, tour plans, and everything in between.

 

You’ve had a pretty big year so far, with the EP and a few singles being released.  How are you feeling about the fan response to all this new music?

I love it! I feel like I’ve got a solid fanbase, and they always appreciate what I post. It makes me happy.

 

Totally. Your latest release was a track with Cody Lawless, could you tell me a bit about that collaboration and how it all came together? 

Basically we were driving around the highway together, and he was showing me his music. We live in the same town, we were friends in high school and stuff. We were hanging out and he showed it to me, it was my favourite song that I’ve heard of his. I was like, ‘yo, let me do a verse!’ I think he had someone else doing a verse on it already, and I think he kicked that person off [laughs] so I wrote a verse. That’s how it came to be!

 

I’d love to talk a bit about your collaborative process, because you have some tracks where it’s all you, but then you also have a decent amount of tracks with features. How do you decide which tracks to collaborate on, and which to keep to yourself?

To be honest, I usually get features when I’m too lazy to finish a song [laughs]. Or like, if I have no more ideas for melodies and stuff. Sometimes I’ll have somebody in mind, just thinking that they’d sound good on it. Usually it’s just when I run out of melodies, and decide to have a friend help me out.

 

Always good to have a fresh set of ears and new ideas, totally. So with your latest EP, tell me your feelings and i won’t tell you mine pt. 2, how did the creative process differ from part 1? Can you tell me a bit about it?

I feel like I just make songs, like for my EPs and stuff, I don’t think too hard on them. I just finish songs and choose ones that are different from each other, that would make a nice little book together. So with this new one, I had keep our love alive which was on a Beatles type beat, kind of different from what I usually make, which was kind of cool. I also had abandoned house, which was on an anime lofi type beat. I feel like there’s quite a bit of contrast in the songs.

 

I’d love to talk a bit about the videos you put out for each track on the EP, how did those come together?

Yeah, so the keep our love alive video was basically me and my director Aze, who does all of my stuff, we went on a date and just vlogged it. Abandoned house… I was going to film for it, but I didn’t have time, so I just made an AMV quickly. It ended up being pretty cool though, and matched the song. That movie [When Marnie Was There] was also an inspiration for the song. The view from my bathroom window was the one where we tried the hardest, we drove to Vancouver and filmed all night. It was pretty cool, I was freezing the whole time though.

 

 

What does a typical session look like for you, or all they all different depending on the track?

It’s usually the same thing, I just go into my bedroom here. I’m usually working on multiple songs, so whatever I’m feeling that day is what I’ll work on. I just play the beat, and then sit down and try to come up with melodies and stuff. Once I finish the melodies, I start working on the lyrics, figuring out what I want the song to be about. That’s how I usually do it.

 

How do you feel that your creative process has evolved over the years, especially on the production side? I went to school for Music Technology so I’m super curious about this, do you use the same DAW that you started with? What’s changed versus what has stayed the same?

I upgraded a little bit, when I started I was on Garageband. Very basic stuff. I think my process, though, has always been the same. I start with the beat and the music, and then I move onto vocals. I’ve gotten better at producing a bit, I’ll produce some of my beats sometimes. I’ve got different plugins now. But the main stuff is the same, though.

 

You put out your debut album at the very end of last year, how was creating a full length project different from creating shorter projects like EPs?

It takes more time, of course. I was pretty excited about that one, since it’s the first album I’ve done. It was cool to put out that many songs at once. I feel like people were pretty hype on it. It’s basically the same process, but just more songs, so more time. I also have a bit more freedom, when I release more songs I can do some more weird stuff. Like I did the Taylor Swift cover, which is a little off brand.

 

For sure. Was there a particular song on that record that you’re most proud of?

There’s one song on there called butterfly rumors, I personally like that one the most. It makes me happy when I listen to it.

 

Totally. Shifting gears a bit, I think it’s really admirable that you’re so open about your faith on social media. Has being open about your faith allowed you to connect with fans in that way, or connect with other artists who share the same values?

Yeah, it definitely has! I’ll get people reaching out to me a lot. They’ll reach out to me about what they’re going through in life, and I get to share Jesus with them, and the peace and hope that he gives me. I’ll get people asking me questions about my faith, like what I believe in and why. It’s really cool, it gives me conversation. In terms of artists, I’ve met a few artists who are believers which is really cool. It’s encouraging to have, I feel like most people in the music scene aren’t Christians, so it’s cool to come across somebody who has similar views.

 

It’s cool to be able to connect with people on another level like that, whether they’re fans or fellow artists.  You’re gearing up for a European tour this fall, what are you most excited about when it comes to getting on the road?

I’m excited for everything! I’ve only been on tour once, and it was super fun. Every morning I would wake up in a new city, it’s really cool to go for a walk and explore. That’s definitely one of my favourite parts. And performing, I haven’t really performed too much in the past. I’m excited to meet the Europeans and play songs for them, and just have a fun time.

 

Do you have a particular tour stop or city you’re most excited for?

I feel like I’m excited for every single one. I’ve never been to Europe, so I have no idea what to expect. Every city will be an adventure, you know?

 

Totally. Is there a moment in your live set you’re looking forward to? Like a specific song you’re excited to play?

I haven’t really thought about my live set much yet, to be honest. I think I’m going to be playing a worship song in it, which I’m always excited about. It’s pretty cool to have a whole room sing along with you and worship God. And deathbed is always fun because everyone knows those lyrics. I’m excited for it all.

 

To wrap up, are you still working on music and planning for releases throughout the tour preparation process? Or are you taking a step back from creating to focus on the tour?

I’ve got quite a bit of music coming out still, yeah. I feel like I never really take a break from making music. I’ve got a lot of songs stored up that I’m excited to release, so there will be more stuff!

 

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