Bryce Vine Just Wants to Make People Feel Better

We sat down with the hip hop and pop musician whose dreamy hits won’t leave our Spotify summer playlists.

It’s been a wild year for Bryce Vine, the Los Angeles based pop and rap artist whose popular singles “Drew Barrymore” and “La La Land” have been climbing charts since 2018. “It’s great to get there and immediately sell out,” Vine joked on Dec. 5 at the T-Mobile Union Square shop — a bizarre, hot-pink laden setting for Vine’s intimate, brief concert. “Speaking of which, what’s up T-Mobile?”

The crowd laughed. Self-aware, witty, and undeniably charismatic, Vine was the headliner for T-Mobile’s signature series concerts. Before the show, SF Weekly chatted with him about talking with fans on social media, his musical inspirations and aspirations, and what it means to be “living the dream.”

SF Weekly: What’s it been like since you released your debut album, Carnival?

Bryce Vine: It’s funny, you work so hard to get it done and it feels important because its you first one. But you just keep doing what you do. And you keep moving forward, and you just keep writing more stuff. You can’t ever focus too hard on something. But I’m happy with it. I’m always happy with the songs I put out.

SFW: Do you ever get revisioner’s worry?

BV: Constantly. That’s just being an artist. Things are never done. If it weren’t for studios, directors would never be done with their movie.

SFW: What do you draw inspiration from?

BV: Life. Talking to fans. I try to have a pretty direct connection with them through social media and let them actually be heard. They tell me their stories and I love commenting on pop culture or tongue-in-cheek stuff. Having fun with me and friends. We joke nonstop. It’s always music to try to make people feel better.

SFW: So you haven’t shied away from social media.

BV: I focus more on responding to the fans than posting stuff. When people post on their story, I’ll repost them, and comment back. And if they direct message me something that’s important to them — I try to look through my DMs everyday and find people who are really in need of someone to talk to, even if I can only give them a slight moment of excitement.

SFW: What’s something you want people to be able to take away from your music?

BV: I just want them to feel better. I think everybody is stressed out all the time, and social media shows us what we should be stressed out about all the time. So it’s nice to have a way to relieve that stress with songs and lifestyle music and things you’ve done with your friends that you’ll remember.

SFW: You’ve been in music ever since you were a child, but your solo success has really ramped up at the start of the decade. What’s surprised you most about this world?

BV: How much it is really a job. It’s called “living the dream,” but the dream is a job. It’s different from any other in its very specific requirements of you as a human and what you can take and handle. I couldn’t sit in an office all day, but people who can probably can’t fly as much as we do. 

That surprised me. You have to keep working for the dream.

SFW: A Pitchfork review of your album, Carnival, said it wasn’t “designed for conscious, focused listening. This is music for poolsides and basements.” What do you think your music is designed for?

BV: I don’t know. It’s definitely not designed for a Pitchfork review. It’s supposed to make people feel food. I feel like Pitchfork can make everything into an art project if they decide to. I just want people to feel better. Sometimes people listen to lyrics and sometimes they don’t. But before anything, people want to hear something that sounds good to them. That’s what I try to give them. 

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