On Wednesday afternoon I was able to interview the new solo artist, Stan Rapoport. Rapoport grew up in The Bronx, New York, where he was the drummer in pop, rock, and hardcore bands. As time went by, Rapoport decided that he would do his solo project, Black Coast, where he would produce his own music and start collaborating with other singers. Most of you probably have heard his song, “Trndsttr.” I was able to talk with Rapoport about music, his solo project, The National, Black Coast, and his journey as a musician.
First off all, I love your music and I have been listening to it for a while! When did you start getting into music?
Black Coast is my solo project that I started than in late 2014 and I was just finishing playing with another band. I kind of wanted to be in control of the music and do things on my own time and on my own terms. It is sort of easier to make all of that happen because I’m in my own apartment and not a huge studio.
Do you like doing this more than being with a group of people?
No, not necessarily. I think I’m more creative that I ever have been because when I was in the band I would just play the drums, and now I’m basically playing everything and writing every aspect of it. I collaborate the vocal part with other people and I can certainly have more freedom and really shape the sound of every song and show a real feel of Black Coast all together.
Do you produce most of your music or do more remixes of songs? What is your process when composing music too?
I’ve never really done any remixes. I’ve only been writing for myself and Black Coast and collaborating with singers who sing my music and they contribute their voice to my music (M. Maggie, one of the artists who works with a lot). They typically are writing most of the lyrics and we just talk about the feel of the song and what vibes I was thinking about when I was writing the instrumentals. Then they start working on some lyrics and melodies and then we might go in and tweek some stuff together and maybe change the arrangement of certain parts. Often times they’ll write a verse and then realize that maybe we can move it over here and it will be a great chorus. This is sort of the process.
If you could collaborate with any artist in the world, again anyone, who would it be?
That’s a really good question (laughing). I think if I could do it with anyone, I would take the opportunity to make something that is a little unexpected, rather than to make something that is similar to what I do with the people I currently work with. If I could do it with anyone, I’d love to make a song with Matt Berninger from The National (lead vocalist), I think that’d be really cool. I would also really love to work with a really good rapper, somebody who is a little more alternative like, Chance the Rapper. I think that would also be really cool.
I actually saw The National at the first Boston Calling concert and they were really good.
They’re a really good band and I think I’m certainly influenced by them a lot too. The droniness of their guitars and some of the melodies but I’m influenced by their guitars.
Do you have any musical influences other than The National?
It all varies because I listen to a lot of rock and indie-rock but also a lot of pop music and electronic-pop music. This morning I was going to work and I was listening to Lana Del Ray’s older stuff and I really love her music. I’ve been listening to bands like, Phantogram, and there a big influence and their debut album let me learn a lot in terms of production. I grew up with rock music and listening to a lot of drummers. I think it certainly influenced the way I approach writing music and figuring out the rhythms for when it’s drums or rhythms for all different types of guitars.
Are you planning on going on tour, coming out with an EP or album, or writing new music?
I’m writing a couple of songs right now with four or five different singers, so all singles. It’s going to be a couple of months before anything gets released because I just signed a deal with a label and they’re really trying to push, “Trndsttr (remix)” on the radio. I think it is going to be a little bit until the next song comes out. I’m using this time to also develop a live aspect of Black Coast. When this all started I never really did Black Coast as a full-time project and to play shows the whole shabang, it was really to just write music and release it. Now that it has sort of become a little bit more real and how I want to take this to next level, I have been taking this time to develop a live show. It’s hard to say but in a month or two I will start doing live shows here in New York and will see where it goes.
Is “Trndsttr” the song you’re most proud of?
I’m very proud of “Trndsttr” and it’s really the first one I’ve ever produced and released. It’s the one that is most popular and the remix is the most popular one thing that has ever come out of Black Coast. It’s sort of like with the single that is on the radio right now, “I Took a Pill in Abiza (remix version).” The remix pushed the original and the remix has become way more popular than the original. It has hit a whole different market and demographic and their way younger kids who are sharing the music and adding it to playlists.
It’s gotten huge and I’m certainly proud of the story that “Trndsttr” has made and in all these different forms it has taken. From the remix to all the dance videos, music, and lip sync videos on the app. It’s been so much and its been a crazy to just see the transformation from one step to another. Also musically, I’m proud of “Ride,” and I really love that song. I enjoy playing it live now and practicing and rehearsing the live version. So I think “Trdnsttr” and “Ride” are the songs I’m more proud of but I’m proud of them all.
What is “Trndsttr” about?
Maggie M. came up with the concept of “Trndsttr” and she was first writing the chorus for it because it was supposed to be a song with a rapper. Her idea was to write about the kind of person who is creating and going with their own flow and being ahead of the curve. Just being themselves and being confident about it and a being a”Trend Setter” The way the name came out was when she sent me a demo of it and she spelled it that way and I don’t know if she did it intentionally or not but I said we need to keep it that way for the title. It stuck with us.
Stan is one of the nicest guys in New York and please listen to his music for me. Listen to the oringinal version of “Trndsttr” too and not just the remix!