April Wan: So you started as a producer in the music industry. How do you find the shift into becoming the artist known as Channel Tres regarding your creative practice
Channel Tres: As a producer, you’re spending a lot of time with other artists and helping them with their vision and adding to what someone has and kinda working as part of a team. You’re just trying to make the best music for them, that expresses what they want to get out, versus being an artist and you’re taking that energy and focusing it on you. Being a producer is more of a selfless job so the shift of like giving myself all of the attention felt a bit weird at first because I wasn’t used to that, but it also made me hyper-aware of things that I’m doing, how I look, or how I’m treating people, or how I’m just being a person or existing in the world. It was kinda good for me in a way of just maturing as an adult, but it was weird at first because I felt selfish and I had to get out of my mind that this is a selfish thing to do. It’s more of a passion thing because I like to express myself through dance and with my voice and music and I love performing in front of people. That’s something I’ve always wanted to do and it’s something I love doing.
AW: Your most recent mixtape refresh dropped in March of this year. When I listened to it, I was so surprised that the tracks barely included any vocals; it was a purely instrumental album. Is this the genre that your music is heading towards?
CT: I don’t know. When I first started putting things out, I used to put out beats on Soundcloud and my beats would tell a certain story of where I was in life. When I was homeless and just sitting in a Starbucks and making a project all day because, you know, I was looking for a job, but I was using my time to create the music to that soundtrack of the moment I was in in my life. So, it’s not where my total sound is heading, it’s just something I needed to get off my chest. I had recently given up drinking and just decided to make some changes in my life, going through a breakup. And coming off a really dope tour, but I had to learn a lot about myself, so I just felt I had to hit the refresh button. And those were beats that I made during that time, so it was just some ideas I wanted to put out and it was just kind of for me.