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Endless possibilities with Squid the Kid & Q the Trumpet

LiFTED chats with 2 of the 5 finalists for Vans Musicians Wanted Asia Pacific

LiFTED | Marcus Aurelius | 21 Sep 2021

The Vans Musicians Wanted global competition is a huge deal. With 30,000 applicants this year, it has turned into one of the biggest music contests in the world with the chance to really push careers into hyperdrive. On September 22, the finals will be happening at 8pm and can be watched here.

The judges this year for the Vans Musician Wanted Asia Pacific finals are 88rising’s head honcho Sean Miyashiro, underground Hip Hop’s Denzel Curry, singer-songwriter Julia Michaels, and British singer YUNGBLUD. The big prize is that winners will share the stage with YUNGBLUD at a concert in January 2022. They will also receive a lot of Vans and Fender swag, as well as Apple Music and Spotify playlistings.

The five Asian Pacific finalists are Kinder Bloomen, Yishun Panik, Nathanie, Squid the Kid, and Q the Trumpet. LiFTED caught up with Squid the Kid and Q the Trumpet for a quick question and answer session before the finals.

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Squid the Kid

Can you please tell the readers a small bit about your journey to the finals?

When I released my first song in November 2019, I was studying nursing at university, but left after one year to give my all to try and pursue my dreams as a musician. It has been a long and tough grind to say the least, but making music is what I love to do so all that passion overcomes the stress of the process. Me and the guys are constantly working hard to just experiment and try new things, and with that eager drive and work ethic comes a slow evolution as musicians. We still have a lot of work to do and despite this journey being rough at times, I’m mad blessed to have stuck on this path.

You’ve said that Anderson .Paak, Mac Miller, and Tyler, the Creator are influences. How did you get into Hip Hop and what is it about these MCs that you love so much?

Growing up I was honestly just listening to pop and music on the radio, but around the early 2010s, there was a trend that was starting to happen with pop stars on the radio collaborating with rappers, so that’s where I first heard and fell in love with the Hip Hop genre.

What attracts me to Mac, Tyler, and Anderson is the soul they put in there music. For me, it all starts with instrumentation and the way they all arrange their songs, which are just beautiful and sonically pleasing. On the lyrical side of things, Anderson .Paak, Mac Miller and Tyler, the Creator all are honest with their storytelling and leave nothing behind, so I love that feeling of vulnerability.

How do you prepare for the final showdown?

I’m just enjoying the moment really. This is the biggest thing that has ever happened to me, so I just want to soak it all in. I want to share this experience with the ones close to me and have fun watching it all unfold in the process.

Out of all the other finalists, who would you like to collab with the most? Why?

Q The Trumpet, for sure. I’m a sucker for the horns section, especially with the Jazz genre I infuse with my music. I think we could gel well and make a killer song.

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Q the Trumpet

Congrats on making it to the final five of the Vans Musicians Wanted Asia Pacific. Can you please tell the readers a small bit about your journey to the finals?

Thank you. In fact, the journey wasn’t special. I put in the application and was selected to the top five. I think they recognized my development since this was the third time I put in an application.

You’ve said you found purpose playing the trumpet. Can you tell us a little more about your life before and after playing the trumpet?

I first encountered the trumpet when I was a teenager and it became my major in my 20s. Before that, I majored in Earth science, but I didn't feel it was interesting or meaningful. After majoring in music, my attitude toward life has changed a lot and I have a more fun life. Now I want to comfort people with my trumpet and leave my mark on the world.

How do you prepare for the final showdown?

It may say this is the final showdown, but this is a new beginning for me. I haven't done a live performance since my last album was released. So I'm so excited for now, and basically, I'm going to do what I do, but I'm going to collaborate with my cool friends to make a new sound. I will also make sure to come out strong.

Out of all the other finalists, who would you like to collab with the most? Why?

All the other participants are very interesting, but I want to collab with Nathanie. Her voice is so cool and I was so touched when I heard it.

What do you think winning the Vans Musicians Wanted Asia Pacific would do to your career?

If I win, it will be my first win in my life. This will be the beginning of my music career. It would be an honor to compete with such great friends and become the winner. I believe that it will be a stepping stone for a better life. It's a goal and a challenge.

[Presented by Vans Musicians Wanted]