Student Music Profile: Shagabond—Print Issue 2016

By Daven Boparai & William Goldie, Feature Photo via Facebook

This article originally appeared in Demo 12, our 2015/2016 print issue. You can find a PDF of the print issue here.

Nicholas Arvanitis, increasingly better known as Shagabond, is at an inflection point. At 19, his textural, strikingly individualistic R&B productions have already garnered him a release with prominent UK duo Bondax and a steady string of gigs throughout Toronto and Montreal. Demo sits down with the Toronto producer and first-year U of T student as he readies his debut EP, due later this year.

Who’s pushing you forward right now?

I’m trying not to be influenced sonically, but there’s definitely influence on work ethic. There’s a lot of guys on SoundCloud that I have mad respect for in terms of the amount of music they put out. I don’t understand how they put out so many projects out so quickly. In terms of sound, I’m really just trying to do my own thing and keep the same vision in mind.

You’re currently hard at work on an EP. Kind of a big transition from SoundCloud to the world of published music. How’s it coming out?

I wouldn’t say that there’s really a plan for release quite yet, but I do know it’ll be available on multiple platforms. Nothing is complete yet so we haven’t reached out to anyone for promotion.

As of a U of T student, do you have trouble switching from your classes to something you love to do in a creative space, or is music a way for you to escape?

It can be both at times; music is a love-hate relationship. Sometimes you can’t wrap your head around it, and other days it just flows. With school, it takes consistency, whereas music is inconsistent. It’s like I have two feet in totally different spaces. Balancing the two is definitely difficult.

Do you want this EP to reflect every musical facet of you at this point, or are you hoping for something that’s more of a vision — things that are connected or building upon one another?

Right now with the EP, I want to do something kind of in between those two ideas. I don’t want it to be a straight-up story album even though I love that concept. I want to still have quality pieces that you can listen to on their own just because it’s an EP, and at the same time I feel like in this digital age of music no one is really listening to full albums.

Top three places to get grub in Toronto?

[First] probably Lee’s. I really enjoy Burger’s Priest — it’s really divine. Also the Vietnamese restaurant, Anh Dao.

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