Happy People: xPanda
SoundCloud - https://soundcloud.com/xpandaprod
We at Caliva prides ourselves in our brand aesthetics and are committed to bringing innovative design to the cannabis space. That said, it’s no surprise a member of our branding and design team is an accomplished producer. Known as xPanda, his beats embody the mellow vibes and chilled out lifestyle we all seek. A sound reminiscent of Dan the Automator or J Dilla, xPanda is the perfect soundtrack to an evening at home, cruising through The Bay or a mellow dinner party.
How long have you been making beats and producing tracks? How did you get started?
I started making instrumental beats in early 2011 when I was in high school. Before and around this time, I was listening and discovering various classic hip hop, underground hip hop, and trip-hop artists mainly through Youtube and Pandora during my leisure. I was also learning piano at this time.
My brother also listens to hip hop, and I would listen to the dope tracks he played on his playlist whenever I hung in his bedroom. I remember this one specific time when I clicked on a video on Youtube. It was a vlog and I remember listening closely to the video’s background music. It was an instrumental beat and the sample used sounded so amazing and melodic that I wanted to check out who made the track. “Sincerely” was the track’s title and the artist was Tsutchie, a Japanese hip hop producer who worked on making tracks for a well-known Edo-era/hip-hop themed anime titled Samurai Champloo. On the related videos section, I also noticed another name of a Japanese hip hop producer, Nujabes. I listened to “Feather” , and immediately fell in love with the piano’s jazzy melody and the beat’s rhythm. His music has a beautiful blend of jazz, chill, and hip hop music that stimulates pleasant, sentimental, and relaxing moods to the listeners.
What kind of atmosphere are you trying to create with your music?
For my music, I have the favor of creating an atmosphere where listeners can take a listen to my beats for lounging, traveling, studying, working, creating artwork, designing, reminiscing, for inspiration, and for developing a deeper musical appreciation for jazz and hip hop music.
How does cannabis play a role for you while making music?
Cannabis allows me to really be in the moment with my sounds. The vibes I produce start to sound very detailed and the resonation is more intense as if reverberating through my whole body and mind. I start to vividly imagine beautiful sceneries like sitting at a warm beach and watching the sunset that glows brightly on the horizon, or standing on a balcony and watching the city’s radiating lights and cars passing by at night, or observing a beautiful mountainous landscape as the clouds above the mountains delicately float away. I tend to think more clearly of the type of ad-libs and instrument samples that would match a particular beat’s vibe I’m producing. I also tend to pick up more on the subtle sounds that I wouldn’t usually notice.
Are there any strains in particular or products that provide the best mood for music making?
I prefer hybrid strains to get the best of both worlds. Personally for me, I prefer choosing Indica-dominant hybrids because I would love my body feel more relaxed while my mind goes really creative into what kind of vibe I want to come up with while I choose specific drum samples, as well as what to add, mix, and change on each type of sound I include on my beat. Sometimes, edibles can do wonders if I wanted to keep on vibin’ to my music for a while.
Why do you like working at Caliva?
I like working with Caliva because every coworker and team member has positive vibes and are really friendly and supportive. Everyone here is passionate and very knowledgeable about their products and the cannabis culture. As a designer for Caliva, I am granted the freedom to experiment with my own creative visual design and artistic style for each of the company’s products, as well as creating fun and playful .gifs for their social media content. This method of experimenting with my art and design style, as well as handling assignment challenges, has personally made me grow more as a creative individual.