First, we would like to thank Voli for his time and energy. If your not familiar with his music yet, get familiar because every track is consistent but different and paints a vivid picture.
What is your name and where does it derive from?
Voli. It used to be Volatile in my younger days. The change was partly
due to the fact that all my music cohorts called me “Voli”.
Ultimately, the transition of my sound, from traditional hip-hop to a
more progressive one, led to the name alteration.
What part of NJ are you from and how if any has it influenced you
as a person and artist?
Parsippany, northern New Jersey. One of the biggest influences has
been the personal connection to North-Eastern artists. My high school
years marked the end of the golden era of rap music. I emulated a lot
of incredible rappers who happened to be from the tri-state area (Nas,
Big Pun, Big L, Canibus), etc. I attribute so much of my rapping style
to those artists. Beyond that, much of that music was sample-based.
Although, I don’t sample as much as I used to, I still try to maintain
the raw sonic authenticity that those samples had in a lot of my
How do you feel about the Nets moving to Brooklyn and the other
major sports teams that reside in NJ but have New York in front of
their name? Do you feel Jersey artists also get slighted because they
have their own vibe but are so close to the New York market?
I am not a huge sports fan, so I haven’t been too affected, hah. But,
I will say that if we hope to get legitimate, successful franchises,
we have to let go of the idea that we’re getting slighted. Music
artists alike, if the mentality is right, the success will come.
Forget geography and remember that greatness is universal.
When I listen to your work it is apparent that your not just an
emcee and producer but a student of music. What were your musical
influences growing up and at what moment did you realize that you were
going to pursue it?
Beyond my rap influences, I used to be a huge fan of film soundtrack
compositions. I believe that’s where my layered approach in producing
comes from. I want everything to be cinematic. But there are too many
list. I’ve extracted from artists that ruled in the 60s, 70s, 80s,
When did you start producing music, what is your equipment of
choice and did you teach yourself?
I started audio engineering at the age of 17, using Adobe Audition
(back then it was called Cool Edit Pro). My production started at 18,
using FL Studio (I still call it Fruity Loops!). I still use it today,
coupled with Pro Tools for sequencing and post-production. All
self-taught for the most part with an initial tutorial from some
Being that you are a producer too, what is the process like when
you start creating the composition? Do you produce the track and then
write to it or do you start writing and then produce something to fit
the vibe of what you feel compliments the lyrics? I also hear live
instrumentation on your work as well, do you play any of instruments?
Lately, I start with a melody, either on instrument or vocally. I
might start with a synth line and expand it with some help from my
guitar man Gavidia or piano player, Goldie. Or it could be the
reverse. I usually like the production to be at least 70-80% done
before songwriting/recording. Once I get the concept down, I may go
back in and add more instrumentally. Next week, this could all change,
In a time where many of us have degrees but either can’t find
employment or have to work jobs where our degree does not apply, your
music is highly relative and inspirational at the same time. Does this
come from personal experiences or would you say you tap into the
issues of society and channel them into sounds for us listeners to be
conscious of the different opportunities and ways to live out our
It’s definitely all personal, whether it’s happened to me, someone
close to me, or someone I know/heard about somehow. This subject
matter is used for the purpose of inspiring, but also to give breath
to the stories we rarely hear in music.
Do you plan on voting this coming presidential election and would
you mind sharing with us who you are voting for and why?
I do, and no, sorry! I do encourage everyone to educate himself or
herself to the fullest extent and exercise their right to vote.
We over at the theories have been anticipating your upcoming
project The Wall for some time now and are definitely enjoying the
creativity and diversity. What is your inspiration for the new sound
in the more recent music you have released. Would you say people are
embracing the new sound and what can we expect from Voli in the
The new sound has actually been the sound I’ve always had but was
waiting to release. I actually recorded “Insomnia” before all the
music I’ve released to this date. My previous releases were more
hip-hop based because I wanted to show people the roots of my musical
journey. I started out solely as a rapper and I wanted to show people
that I’m a true lyricist. As for the future, the sound is going to get
more innovative, plus fresher, and realer.
Having previously worked with J. Cole, Omen, Elite , Bebe Rexha
and Justin Baron. Who would you like to work with in any genre for a
future track and if so is there is anyone that you would like to work
on an entire project with?
So many. I’d love to work with Justice, Chromatics, Feist, Gotye,
Chairlift (there’s at least 20 more.) In terms of a full project, it
really depends on where I am sonically when I actually have the full
resources to collab with the artists that have heavily influenced me.
Can you tell us one funny thing we don’t already know but should about Voli?
When it comes to heights, I curl up in the fetal.