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Welcome to the world of SEBii

Player one ready?

Listening to SEBii’s music is a lot like stepping inside a video game; you, the player, are transported into a world that has been meticulously designed to escape the everyday. But this world does not end once you’ve stopped listening….the SEBii universe is imprinted in every one of his music videos, artworks, and visual features through recurring characters and design. In particular, the floating demon named VV, SEBii’s mascot. 

Growing up in Shanghai and later moving to New York for art school, SEBii quickly made waves as a producer in the underground future-based rap scene. Now, he’s blowing up, dropping tracks filled with ear-candy hyperpop, catchy lyrics, and basslines that hit hard – like HARD. And guess what? He’s got a bunch more stuff lined up for 2024, so you’d be missing out big time if you didn’t hit the enter button into the SEBii world. Oh, and by the way, he just dropped a fresh single today, 10<20<30<40, go give it a spin! We caught up with SEBii to chat about how his journey into internet stardom, his obsession with Pokémon, and why world building is so important.

Hey SEBii, how are you?
I’m good thanks, and you?

All good. Can you tell me a bit about the journey that got you to where you are now?
For sure! It’s funny, the way I started making music I think was quite different to most people. As a kid, I would just pirate a bunch of software haha. I had so much fun using Logic, and it ended up sticking with me and before I knew it, I was making music every day.

What age were you during your software piracy era haha?
Well, I’ve bought logic now haha. But I think I was like 14 years old. I‘ve just always been on the internet, I was a very nerdy, geeky kid. love just making stuff.

Nice. Can you share some of your musical influences?
I watched a lot of Anime growing up, so a lot of Anime openings and soundtracks. I am a also huge Pokemon fan, the soundtrack for Pokemon Platinum was the soundscape for 14-year-old SEBii. SoundCloud future-based stuff was also a big influence. When I started making music, I wasn’t doing vocals I was just producing stuff and that’s what got me uploading.

What aspects of the Pokemon soundtrack were you drawn to?
It has such a good range, it has a lot of cutesy moments then a lot of heartfelt and emotional ones too. I spent so many hours with the game, and If something was happening in my real life, the game was an escape that transported me into a different world. So, the soundtrack now has so much nostalgia which takes me back to that place.

Does your music give you that same escape?
Totally man, I feel like I use my music to make my own world.

When entering the studio, do you have a mindset that you try to keep?
I think my motto is to never take myself too seriously but to take the craft seriously. I think having fun and being spontaneous is crucial for me when making a new song, and letting things happen naturally and not overthinking stuff.

You having fun makes people have fun listening! In your music videos and artwork we often see the floating demon VV who you call your mascot, what is VV’s importance to you and your music?
When I started making music, I knew I wanted to make a logo or some kind of image that represented me and my music. I know I’ve already mentioned that I’m a big Pokemon fan haha. I wanted a creature that was Pokemon-influenced, but it had to be super simple and that anyone could draw it. It’s so fun for me to have something that people can recognise and I can play around with.

I think it makes your art more accessible when having such a strong visible aspect.
Totally. I think there are people that just fuck with my stuff because of the world-building. Honestly, sometimes I’ll spend more time on the art and building out the world.

Nice, good world-building means attention to detail. As a producer what are the most important characteristics of an instrumental?
I think a bassline makes or breaks the beat. For me that’s where my ear goes first. A lot of times I’ll strip everything away so I can hear it because I’m a bassline fiend! Haha

 Can you give any examples of your favourite basslines?
Those 2000s club anthems, like Jeremih and Chris Brown. That’s like the DNA of a lot of my bassline sensibilities. They are just engrained in my head. To me, club basslines are like music crack haha.

2000s club bangers (the musical drug). Can you tell us about anything you have in the pipeline for 2024?
For sure! I’m gearing towards the release of my next big project, VVSS 2, the sequel project for ‘VVSS’ which was an important project for me coming up. I’ve been working on VVSS 2 for the last 2 years so I’m super pumped and talking about world-building… this is the craziest world-building I’ve done!

I’m excited to experience the next world!

Words by Dexter Burningham

Image courtesy of artist