CUBBI is a singer/songwriter/producer from Cape Town, South Africa.
The artist is revealing his debut single entitled “Rippling”. Produced by CUBBI himself and Bubele Booi & David Baldshaw from production team Noble, “Rippling” explores CUBBI’s relationship with mental illness. Fusing elements of pop and electro, “Rippling” paints a fresh and colorful record that brilliantly showcases CUBBI’s songwriting’s ability.
Signed to TEN Music Group (Zara Larsson, Erik Hassle), the south-african artist will be revealing his first EP in 2019.
Introduce yourself - where are you from?
Hey Thread and readers, my name is Cubbi. I’m a songwriter, singer and producer from Cape Town, South Africa.
What's your story?
Sho, that’s a big question. Well, I’ve been doing music related things since I was a kid. After playing in bands in high school, and releasing an EP at age 14, I knew music was going to be a huge part of my life. A couple years later I went to college, got my degree from Berklee, graduated and found myself living and writing in NYC. This is when I really decided to get into production. After a year I felt like I needed to move home and dedicate all my time into my project and developing my own sound. Fast-forward two years later and hundreds of demos and songs I got to a point where I was stoked with the music I was making and decided it was time to put some of it out.
Growing up, what were you passionate about?
Songwriting. Hands down. I am (was) a classically trained pianist and have been playing since I was three years old. At around age 12 I picked up a guitar, googled some chords and taught myself how to play. It was at this point I thought it would be cool to write some of my own music. Before then I would just do my own “remixes” of Mozart or other classical composer’s music. My instructors were NOT impressed lol.
What or who introduced you to the musical path?
It was my mom for sure. She got me into piano when I was young and my love for music grew from there. I was one of those kids doing karaoke in the living room with my younger sister. Good times man.
When did you start making beats?
I started when I was like 15, I was a Cubase 6 boy. I had no clue what I was doing but it was hella fun. Since then I’ve moved onto Logic and more recently I’m considering moving over to Ableton. Switching between DAWS changes up the creation process for me. Sometimes I avoid my DAWS all together and use a looper to come up with all the elements of a song before even pressing record.
What gave you the confidence to become an artist and release your original music?
My manager and sister, Kelly. As an artist having the confidence to put out your own music is kinda a big thing, and it took me a while to get to that point. She’s my day one and we work really well together. After getting her to listen to some stuff I had finished she gave me the push that I really needed.
How would you define Cubbi, the artist?
What’s the opposite of a “clout-chaser”?
You’ve just released your debut single "Rippling". Could you describe us the songwriting/production process for this particular song? When did you start working on it?
This song was a finished demo back in 2017. I had done some previous work with a friend of mine, Bubele Booi. I thought it would be a good idea to reach out to him for some help on this project. He’s an amazing person and producer. Him and his work partner, David Baldshaw, are a duo called Noble, and they did some work on it, to highlight some stuff and make it sound more “commercial” as a whole. We had a couple sessions working on it together in the studios at the University of Cape Town. I really wanted it to be a very stripped down track, we used a ton of the demo elements in it which gives it a very lo-fi feel to start. It was a lot of fun working with both of them.
What made you want to release "Rippling" as your debut single?
My first EP as a whole is rather dark, both with it’s lyrical content and production elements. I thought releasing “Rippling” first, would kinda set the tone with its lyrics as well as sounding uplifting at the same time.
What can you tell us about the artwork? Where did you get the inspiration? Who did you work with?
All of the artwork I did myself. I’m very hands on. I was lucky to work with an extremely talented local photographer Thuto. A couple friends helped me with the styling of the artwork too. Big shout out to the coven.
What do you want to say to anyone who suffers from mental illness?
If there’s one thing I could say it would be to not be afraid or ashamed to ask for help. Be it with your family or friends or anyone you can trust. It shows such strength of character to be able to show your vulnerability as a human, and I think anyone who does so is really admirable.
What would be your own definition of creativity?
Being honest with your art. Being vulnerable with your lyrics, and not being afraid of sounding different, even if it means people don’t agree with your artistic direction. Do you and only you.
What does it mean for you to be an artist?
Another big question. Um, for me it means I get to do what I love and getting to share my experiences with anyone who might have felt the same way at some point. It’s so important to be able to connect with people, and it’s so healthy to do so. If my music inspires even just one person or helps them understand and connect with themselves, that’s what it means for me to be an artist.
What makes a good production?
For me, hearing something unexpected in a song’s production is great. Whether it’s an unconventional drum pattern or a unique song structure. I like to be surprised.
What are the biggest struggles you had to overcome so far? How did you overcome them?
How long can this be? Lol, um. Catch my autobiography coming to Barnes and Noble, Summer of 2069.
In your opinion, what would make the world a better place?
If everyone lived an authentic life, living more true to who they are. It’s much easier to accept and love others when you have self love.
What are your goals for 2019?
Music music music. Releasing my debut EP, playing shows, going on tour. You know, musician stuff.
What message do you want to deliver to the readers of this blog?
Keep an eye out. I’m gonna be making and releasing music until the day I die.
Connect with CUBBI: