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INTERVIEW | ORRIN crafts trippy dreamscape on "Perfect Blue"

MUSIC | The up-and-coming rapper talks about creation amidst coursework and an exciting new video

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Remember Kanye's graduation?

You'll be sure to remember Orrin Campbell's. Attending the notoriously arduous New York University Stern School of Business in the day, Orrin never lost sight of the burgeoning career he was building. Making music and playing shows at venues like Webster Hall and Silent Barn, the grind never stopped: now freshly graduated and able to further focus on music alongside collaborator Warren Wolfe, Campbell continues to keep the ball rolling.

His most recent and exciting release is perhaps the acid-haze of a music video for new song "Perfect Blue." Styled by VFiles collaborator and Parsons graduate Olivia ØBlanc, the video's choppy editing meshes seamlessly with Orrin's garbled vocals and the track's chaotic yet subdued production. The video saw its premiere last week through Indie Mag.

We caught up with Campbell via to talk about how he got his start in music, balancing being coursework with a burgeoning career, and what exactly he's listening to right now.

via Orrin Campbell

How did you get your start making music?

In high school, I was helping a friend record some tracks and I made a couple of lyric suggestions. He said, "Why not feature on the song?" We camped at his place for three days, making tracks in the closet of his bedroom. I eventually had to leave because I had soccer practice. The songs sucked, but I kept bumping them.

You recently played a gig at Silent Barn; how did you feel the crowd? Was that the biggest venue you've ever played?

It was an intimate experience with a lot of my close friends; it snowed that day, so it felt extra cozy. It was not the biggest venue I've preformed at; Webster might be the biggest, but Silent Barn and Shea Stadium are super home-y and comfortable spaces.

Your music is heavily trap-influenced, but has different genre labels on your Soundcloud. Would you define yourself by any one genre in particular or do you not want to box yourself in?

I would say that I create Hip-Hop, but I have a special love for trap and drill music so those genres tend to influence me. I listen to a range of music, and a lot of those sounds tend to guide my personal music.

Who are you listening to right now?

Trippie Redd, Steve Lacy, Crim3s, AnnaMelina, Okay-Kaya.

What inspires you to make music?

Random events. Life. Museums. People. My feelings. Anything, really.

Do you have anything you're working on right now?

I am working on my debut project which will be produced by close friend, and collaborator, Warren Wolfe. We just released our first single "Perfect Blue" on SoundCloud and Spotify. Watch out for the next single in July.

Where do you want to take this project as it continues to grow?

This project centers around coming of age and the narrative of my experience as a black male in the suburbs (where I went to high school) and the city, where I was born and later returned to for college..

You study business; how do you balance demanding coursework that has nothing to do with the arts with a burgeoning music career?

I get through the day like most people. I graduated in May so it feels amazing to kiss Stern goodbye.

Follow Orrin on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Watch the video for "Perfect Blue" below.


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Orrin at Silent Barn

Orrin at Shea Stadium

Orrin at Silent Barn

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