Musician Sepehr Rashidi of Indigo District

Sepehr Rashidi, talks about the dark and smooth musical visual realm of Indigio district, along with his meaning of success and working on his upcoming EP.

Q: Where were you raised/currently live?

A: I grew up in Toronto and am currently living in Vancouver, but will definitely head back there in the next few years and this summer.

Q: When did you start taking an interest in music?

A: I didn’t grow up in a musical family or anything like that but started playing jazz piano and playing bass in indie bands in high school which opened up my palate hugely. Then I discovered acts like the Strokes and the Weeknd’s mixtapes and Channel Orange and quickly became infatuated with indie and RnB music. There was something about those acts, in particular, that was like this whole cohesive package- their demeanour, their clothes, their production and lyrics, right down to the filter they used on their visuals. That cohesion is definitely something I’m trying to capture in Indigo District.

Q: Who are some of your inspirations?

A: Recently, I’ve been super inspired by what’s coming out of the Toronto RnB scene, whether it be the whole OVO movement (especially Majid Jordan or DVSN), its Red Bull Sound select program (River Tiber, BadBadNotGood), the Weeknd’s early mixtapes, and other alternative RnB acts like Gallant, the Internet, or Anderson Paak.

Q: Your project Indigo District will be releasing an EP coming up- what was it like working on this project?

A: The recording process was actually pretty insane because I would have to juggle work and a full-time course load during the day but be mentally present for recordings overnight. Recording some of these songs, some days I’d have to be at work from 8 am till 1pm, do classes 2-6, get a few hours of sleep, then be in the studio 9pm-5am and do it all again the next day. Being in the studio exclusively overnight definitely manifested itself in the EP’s nocturnal sound. It was such a rewarding process to work with my very gifted audio engineer and some of my closest friends as musicians on the project. I really took time writing and developing these songs and fleshing out my unique sound, making it relatively stress-free. A lot of moments on the EP have been born out of happy accidents during jamming on songs, lending itself to a very organic feel. These are juxtaposed starkly with production-heavy electronic elements.

Q: Who is part of the Indigo District?

A: Indigo District is actually my solo project, but I like the mystery around people not knowing that. I often collaborate with other musicians and producers on songwriting, tracking, or in the instrumentation to diversify my sonic palate and I find that certain people really push the project forward in a great way.

Q: What does Indigo District mean?

A: There’s no real profound meaning to the name, to be honest! The branding of the project was really important to me, and I knew that I wanted a dark and smooth visual identity with deep purple hues because that's the ‘texture’ of the music. Indigo District seemed to fit that urban vibe really well.

Q: How would you describe your sound?

A: I’d describe my sound as alternative RnB, with influences from electronic, jazz, and pop music. I really like the concept of juxtaposing warm, analog sounds with hard hitting and synthetic drum or bass sounds. This continues to my vocal production, which is either very naked or drenched in effects that give it a surreal quality.

Q: How would you define the word success?

A: It’s hard to say, but there’s definitely short and long term goals I have that would make me feel successful. I was just thinking about this today- if you told 15 year old me that I’d be writing, producing, and singing my own songs, getting featured in Daily Hive and 24 Hours, or being able to work with the people that I do, it would have been pretty crazy. That isn’t exceptional at all where I am now and I have a whole new set of markers of success. Success to me now is really perfecting my unique brand, writing better songs, and taking the next step in my career. At the end of the day, I’m very blessed just to able to manifest what I hear in my head on a number of instruments and have a team of producers, writers, and videographers around me that further my vision in such a beautiful way.

Q: How is your sound unique from other musicians?

A: My sound is unique from most RnB musicians because of its jazz and live instrument elements and its diverse palate of influences. When I sit down to write a song, my head is swimming with inspirations from the numerous genres I’ve done session work in- everything from soft indie folk tohip-hop to hard rock.

Q: Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

A: I see myself working in the music industry as a brand manager in Toronto by day and absolutely grinding on music by night. I hope to have carved out a space for myself in the myriad of musicians in my genre and just be a better producer/ musician than I am now.

Q: Do you have anything else you want your viewers to know about you?

A: If there’s anybody reading this Toronto, hit me up! I want to learn more about the scene.