Local producer collective 7Minutes2LA just dropped two singles in collaboration with Philly R&B-pop duo 4VR.
The songs are a part of a greater project between the two entities that they have been working on this past year and a half that grew into a major tri-state collaboration with many artists around the Philadelphia area.
PW recently caught up to 7Minutes2LA and 4VR to talk about their projects and new music
How did 4VR come together? How did you come up with the name?
4VR consist of singer/songwriter, Cesar and singer/songwriter/producer Ren. In 2018, through mutual friends, we kept hearing about each other, so Cesar reached out to Ren to work on a song, and we wound up making multiple tracks in an hour session. The chemistry was so crazy we had another session and it was decided to become 4VR.
As far as the name, we thought about different words that describe us as a unit. We came up with 4VR as a testament to how we genre-bend and can make music forever with no barriers. It also represents 4 Virtual Reality and is a call back to major parts of our aesthetic. Being able to switch styles so easily then led us to giving each project its own planet, which we will explain in depth further down the road of our music career.
How did 7Minutes2LA come together? How did you come up with the name?
7Minutes2LA consist of Delco producer Matty Moonshine, Brooklyn-born producer Solomon Caesar, South Jersey producers ARMY Zenn, Trev In The Cut, and visual artist Rob Glemser. Founding members Moonshine and Zenn met as opponents in a Sound Gallery Studios sponsored beat battle in 2017, starting the ongoing collaboration shortly after and adding producer Solomon Caesar. The name 7Minutes2LA came from the symbolism of the number of minutes of hit records it would take for you to reach success, as well as 7 being an important number in numerology with LA being symbolic of success, especially in music.
Talk a little about the collaboration between 7Minutes2LA and 4VR. How did that partnership start, and how did it grow into a tri-state collaboration with many different artists? What does the final product look like?
Cesar Of 4VR: There’s a couple different variations of this story, but the constant is a producer that goes by Digital Crates, a creative mentor to 4VR, had introduced us at a show at Voltage Lounge sometime in 2019. We had a few sessions after that and became quick friends. The 7Minutes24Vr collaboration started in those early sessions at the sound gallery studios. The collaboration was born at a session after a music video premiere party for RegoThereshego’s video for “Pray For You.” We spontaneously hit the studio with a plethora of tri-state artists, including Nic Hanson, Sad Marquise, Regothereshego, with Army Zenn and Solomon Caesar of 7Minutes. The project’s heavy collaborative spirit began there with us knocking out four songs in one night. From that point, with it already being a joint project between 4VR and 7minutes2LA, we used it as an opportunity to just add a lot of our friends and family from the local scene to elevate the music and showcase us all. The final product will be a versatile and cohesive body of work with local artists we love and respect, with various sounds, and styles, all based inside the world we are creating called 724VR.
How would you describe the Philly music scene these days? What Philly area artists would you like to team up with next?
Cesar Of 4VR: The scene right now is a little too cliquey for the amount of talent that’s in the city right now, which is why we have such an emphasis on collaboration with projects like 7Minutes24VR. We’re always excited and open to working with anyone but specifically focused on more collaborative projects with different groups of artists and genres as well frequent collaborators like Rubber, Rego etc.
Ren Of 4VR: The Philly music scene is FULL of talent, we just need each other to help one another level up and be heard, which does happen here and there, but could be much bigger than it is. Artists I would like to connect with in Philly are Nev ver, Kear, and Suzanne Sheer.
Matty Moonshine: Honestly, the question should be who wants to work with us. At the level we are performing at, we right now are picking and choosing whom to work with. The projects we create are very hands-on and it is a lot of work. So we can’t work with someone who doesn’t bring that to the table. In addition to some frequent collaborators (i.e 4VR, Ish Williams, Corey Lee, Onetakedave) all with whom we currently work heavily, as well a few others, I think we would like to work with more artists not from the city. Traveling and making music while doing it is a feeling that is hard to replicate especially after this year.
ARMY ZENN: With us being a one-stop shop for our projects, from producing the records, to me doing visuals, artwork and various promotional content, it definitely has to make sense, but we definitely have a list for the future, but right now we are just focused on making this project as impactful as we possibly can.
Talk a little about the pandemic and how it has impacted the local music scene. Have projects been canceled or postponed? What’s the plan to move forward when/if the pandemic ends?
Cesar Of 4VR: The pandemic sucks. It definitely has prolonged stuff, we have adjusted but haven’t cancelled anything. This time has been bittersweet for many reasons, but we definitely have a lot we have been working on.
Ren Of 4VR: The pandemic impacted the local scene in a way I have never seen before. Everyone we used to see here and there at shows completely fell off, or stopped promoting themselves, and the ones who stayed up and stayed working towards their goals despite the shutdown are now friends and collaborators making our connections THAT much stronger moving forward. Many projects have been pushed back, and we lost a couple big shows, but this time has been great to really strengthen our approach and prepare to come back swinging.
Matty Moonshine (who contracted the COVID-19 virus): The pandemic unfortunately contributed greatly to music releases. We had original plans to drop projects/singles that were delayed, to not being able to work on these together. It’s also a lot harder to get things done now if you are not doing it yourself. We wanted to shoot music videos for some singles and it just never worked out due to COVID. Once quarantine is officially over, we will work a lot quicker since we will be able to fully work together again without so many restrictions.
Tell Us about the two singles “Luv Etrnl” and “Not the One,” the first release from your collaboration?
ARMY ZENN: The two singles are contrasting, but similar in vibe, which is why we decided on dropping them as the first look into what we’ve been working on. We recorded a bulk of the upcoming projects at The Sound Gallery Studios in the Kensington area, which is where 7Minutes2LA primarily works out of. We got these records mixed at 4VR’s primary studio, Repercussions, in the Fishtown section of the city. “Luv Etrnl,” the more pop/R&R record that features iPhone pop star Sad Marquise and newcomer Rob Coard, was an easy song to do. It literally came together in one session, their chemistry was crazy. The production of that was super house electronic-inspired, which was new for us but definitely well put together. “Not The One,” the more rap-centric, early 2000s vibe, features New Jersey rapper Ish Williams and was a record we sat on pre-pandemic that was also finished recently once restrictions were lifted. Ish really complemented 4VR with his witty verse, super fire. We dropped a live performance video I directed and shot with the help of a visual mentor of ours, Zoe Fatblood Fitzgerald, in conjunction with the single releases, which was also a peek into the visual aesthetic we have been developing as well.
What are the best ways for people to keep up with what you’re doing?
The best way to connect with us is our social media. We are @7minutes2la on everything, and @weare4vr on everything as well. Also, keep an eye on our YouTube pages (4VR | 7Minutes2LA) as we have been dropping a lot of behind the scenes content on there as well, a lot of pre-COVID footage and in studio work.