AViT is Blowing the Doors Off Genre Convention, One Track at a Time
Updated: 5 days ago
There are very few certainties in the music industry, but one that seems to have persisted across generations is the idea that what’s old is new again. If you’re around my age, your parents probably grew up in the rockabilly revival era, listening to artists like Stray Cats or The Blasters. This trend has only strengthened in recent years. In just the past decade, we’ve seen genres such as Disco and 80’s Synthpop re-enter the cultural zeitgeist through acts like Daft Punk and The Weeknd. Time and time again, we’re continuing to see new artists breathe life into genres that have remained stagnant for years. And if you asked 20-year-old musician AViT, they’d probably tell you emo is next up on that list.
Their recent album imperfect & incomplete mixes pop punk and metal formulas with experimental electronic production, with the result being a fusion of genres unlike any other. They make it look easy, so I sat down with them to figure out what brought I&I to fruition.
Imma be honest, I didn’t really expect much from the album release. I just wanted to put it out there, and if people liked it, that’s cool. The reception was pretty good! Everyone that I knew liked it and everyone that were fans of me liked it… I don’t really like using the term ‘fans’ but you know what I mean.
Modesty is always a good quality to have, but I think they’re allowed to boast here: The project has amassed more than 1,500,000 streams across Spotify, Soundcloud and Apple Music. I’m sure I speak for many of those people when I say that the project’s unique mix of genres is what drew me in, but AViT hasn’t always made music in this vein. In 2019, they released an EP titled My Hexes For U that falls squarely in the realm of alternative rock.
With my earlier music, I was too hell-bent on trying to keep one cohesive sound. Of course for projects, there’s nothing wrong with that, but for me I’ve always wanted to branch out into many different sounds that form cohesive themes rather than trying to keep to a single sound. I was recently trying to look for the song covers that I made back in middle school, and I only managed to find one, but I listened to it and I could just tell that I recorded it in audacity and just left it raw. I think it’s up on my twitter, if you listen to it you can tell that it’s me singing, but it’s just so unmixed that it's grating. I just wasn’t as confident with my voice as I am now. I think it’s pretty cool to look back and be like, “damn, that was me?”
They’ve... definitely come a long way.
Things have changed a lot. When I started adopting the AViT name, I started off as a producer, and I wasn’t particularly good at it, so I stopped midway. But I’ve really wanted to be able to do more experimental, out-there type shit, and I want to be able to do that by myself, so I’ve gotten back into self-producing. I’ve had a lot of great friends--shoutout Soma and Ria--they’ve helped me a lot so I’ve just been learning whatever I can. I wanna learn more so I can put my crazy ideas out there and have more freedom.
Before they eventually settled on an artistic direction, AViT had to go through years of trial and error. They wouldn’t be where they are now if they hadn’t taken that leap of faith, but some might be intimidated by the prospect of putting themselves out there and potentially failing in a public forum.
I just tell people to start making music because ain’t nothing stopping you. Just do whatever you want and have fun while doing it. I would say having like minded people around you to support you and get you to improve helps a lot. Before I had friends in the community, my mixing wasn’t the best, my production wasn’t the best, but here I am. I mean, here’s the thing, I’ve been making music under the AViT name since… How old was I? Fifteen? Around that age, and I didn’t see the amount of support that I have now until late 2020. It took me a long time. It’s all about making friends with the right people. There’s no magic trick to it, you just gotta have patience, and if you have good music, it’ll speak for itself and people will go towards it.
The thing that makes this scene so exciting is that the barrier for entry is so low--all you need is a Blue Snowball and a passion for music to get started. It’s never been easier for someone interested in music to dive headfirst into actually making it, but to many artists like AViT, this leveling of the playing field is a double-edged sword. Artists are always their own worst critics, and now that everyone is largely competing with the same resources, many are finding themselves caught up in comparisons to their contemporaries. In AViT’s case, this came in the form of fellow artist and collaborator dltzk’s album Teen Week.
I was in dltzk’s listening party the day of Teen Week’s release--and Teen Week was released a week before my album--and Zeke is really fucking insane. They’re really fucking good, and I did not feel that my album stacked up compared to theirs. I was worried that my album wasn’t up to par because Zeke pretty much blew it out of the water. I’ve kinda just realized that everyone has their own strengths and everyone has their own weaknesses. Sometimes you just gotta acknowledge that someone might be better than you in certain ways, and that’s fine. At this point I just don’t even worry about it.
Comparison is the thief of joy, but it’s far from the only growing pain caused by the scene’s explosive growth. One that’s proven to be a point of contention for many is genre labels assigned to the community.
“Hyperpop” and “digicore” aren’t really genres, they’re just labels associated with us. I don’t make hyperpop, I don’t really think that I can be classified as digicore either. I just make music. I don’t really care if people put me under that umbrella, but I just want people to know that I don’t make that type of music at all. There’s nothing hyper about my music--at most you could maybe call it pop.
There’s been a lot of debate over terms like “hyperpop” in the past couple months, with large figures in the scene arguing both in favor of and against their use. Any burgeoning music scene is bound to be generalized through blanket terms such as this, and this scene is anything if not groundbreaking. Although there were certainly artists creating music in a similar vein to AViT and their contemporaries prior to the pandemic, quarantine has given it a trajectory that it never had before. As a result, there’s never been a live performance in which artists such as AViT have gotten the chance to stretch their legs and interact with the community in-person. Unhappy with sitting around and waiting for shows to open up like the rest of the music industry, however, members of this community have banded together to launch online events in the place of in-person ones. AViT even performed at one of the largest to date, Vampalooza, just days before our conversation.
A lot of the community has always found solace on the internet, so adapting to online work just came naturally to us. Oh well, we can’t do live shows? Let’s do discord festivals! It’s not really anything different from what we were doing already because we all kinda grew up on the internet. At the same time, I can’t really visualize what a live show in this scene would entail. You could look back to the Bloodhounds show from 2019, but that was when the community was so much smaller and way less composed of what the audience is today, so it’s not the best representation. The scene and the community has grown at such an explosive rate that I have no idea what live shows are going to look like.
There are a lot of unknowns when it comes to the future of this scene beyond the pandemic, but if I’ve learned anything in the past few months, it’s that the roster of candidates for a live show is only going to expand. There seems to be another insanely talented artist popping off in the community every week, so thankfully AViT has an entire playlist of underrated artists to steer us in the right direction.
Some of the artists that I would personally shoutout from that list are quannnic, idiot, bodyGaard, hovis and oakscreen, those are all artists that are really worth listening to and getting a feel for. Christian blair and starfall too, those two are also fucking insane.
Whatever the future holds for the scene, you can be sure that AViT will be a major player in it.
Going forward, don’t expect quote on quote “hyperpop” and don’t expect pop from me. You’ll be hearing a lot more experimentation.