Vidorra was 13 years old when his world was turned upside down. He fell head over heels, was enraptured, obsessed, experiencing the kind of love that changes everything. It wasn’t with another person, mind you. This infatuation was in response to a song -- Swedish House Mafia’s thumping 2012 EDM anthem “Greyhound” -- which he caught on MTV. Specifically, it was how that song put him in contact with unfamiliar structure, novel sounds, and an epic, out-of-nowhere drop that felt “alien to my brain and made me feel extremely present.” Now, all these years later, Vidorra says the moment of hearing that song “birthed a love with not just music, but with sound, with vibration.” And it was at that moment that he decided, “if I want to make music, I have to start now and go HARD.”
Which is what he did. He devoted himself to listening, playing, producing, and performing. He helped form the band Spilt Milk Society, serving as its drummer. He sought out fellow UK-based producer Matt Ball, who helped him get his start working behind the glass. He submerged himself in EDM and hip-hop subcultures on SoundCloud, and learned how to make his own music stand out and go viral on the platform. And all the while he steadily created, experimented, and pushed himself as a solo artist, working at an unfathomable pace (9 albums since 2018!).
But for Vidorra, all the hard work and dedication isn’t in pursuit of a tangible goal, so much as it’s in pursuit of a feeling: Euphoria. “Everything that has ever inspired me to the max in music has made me feel so full of energy, excitement, absolute happiness, all at once,” he says. “For me, with regards to music, there is one specific purpose, and that is to feel that euphoria and to give listeners that feeling.”
Though the feeling of euphoria is always the destination Vidorra strives to arrive at, the route there is often different; you’ll find him utilising different tempos, textures, and compositions across his catalog. While EDM was his first true love, he couldn’t help but be influenced by the hip-hop his older siblings were constantly playing growing up. “I wanted to use EDM song structures and sounds, and combine them with the more rhythmic grooves of hip-hop to elevate the music,” Vidorra says of how he’s approached his own music. “That was the initial premise, and that developed and is developing.”
How exactly is his style developing? Take for instance Vidorra’s approach to lyrics. Initially, the meaning of lyrics were never as important as the sounds, rhythms, and vibes they conveyed. But, Vidorra says, “the more I got into the hip-hop genre, the more I started realizing how lyrics can paint a picture for the listener.” And so he adapted. “My first hit single 'M.I.A' (2017) was made with a great vocalist named Mickey Shiloh. I asked her to write and record to a hip-hop beat, and once I got the vocals back, I took them in isolation and built a whole new song around them, using the vocals and lyrics as the centerpiece, and seeing how that inspired the music.” The song went on to be streamed hundreds of thousands of times, and be featured on several Spotify editorial playlists. Suffice to say, the approach was successful.
But while Vidorra has a clear grasp of how his musical influences inform his work, he’s less certain about how his cultural influences show up. Vidorra grew up in Staffordshire, UK, born to parents settled from India. “I don't really understand how my Indian heritage influences me, but it definitely does,” he says. Maybe that’s because it was so woven into the fabric of his upbringing, there in the “amazing weddings and parties” his family would attend, in trips to different parts of the country, in being exposed to the language, the comedy, the music. Growing up, even when Vidorra couldn’t understand jokes told in Hindi, he enjoyed their rhythmic phrasing. His cultural upbringing is baked into his subconscious, simply part of his identity as a person and as an artist.
As Vidorra continues to grow and evolve as an artist, he’ll find new muses, new sonic approaches, and he’ll work with different collaborators. But his mission? That’s unwavering:
“I want to give listeners something to be excited about,” he says. “Something they can listen to in the morning and have it affect their whole day energetically, positively. Something that can entice feelings that they may not have yet experienced, or more of those feelings they already enjoy. I want them to feel euphoric.” ~ Max Cea.
Max Cea is a writer who has contributed to GQ, Vulture, SPIN, and Billboard.