Social media and streaming have changed the definition of “hit.” Two-plus decades ago, album and singles sales offered a clear metric.
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These days, ubiquity and subsequently success come from how frequently a song gets downloaded or listened to on YouTube and Spotify, and how often it appears in TikTok videos.
Singer, songwriter, and producer PLVTINUM fits this modern-day definition. His career blasted off in 2016 with “Champagne & Sunshine,” a viral hit fueled entirely through social media.
Truth be told, PLVTINUM avoids the sugar-coated, evasive, between-the-lines treatment of pop songs, and that’s particularly evident on his latest offering, “DIE4MYBITCH.” Leading into his upcoming EP, the track gives off a sinister vibe while describing destructive, relationship-killing possessive behavior.
With his EP slated for release later this fall, we had the opportunity to talk with PLVTINUM about his current release, career, and influences.
Your music pulls from diverse sounds. What influences you as an artist?
I’m obsessed with combinatory play. When I’m producing my records, the goal is always to find two textural palettes that wouldn’t intuitively pair well, and to blend them.
I frequently reach for sounds with a cinematic lean, and sounds with a hip-hop lean. Then, I write vocals and lyrics to the production and try to capture the essence of how the instrumental feels.
You’re a bit electronic, a bit alternative, and a bit pop. Where do you think your sound fits?
I have no idea, haha. I think artists always have a warped perspective of themselves and where they fit into the creative landscape. I call myself alt-pop because it feels like a catch-all.
Tell us about your background: How did you start making music?
I started by making folk music in my early teens, as it felt like the fastest way to garner female attention was to croon with an acoustic guitar.
Then, I discovered production and have been obsessed with making records top to bottom ever since.
Your 2016 song “Champagne & Sunshine” went viral. How did this influence your career?
That record has gone viral four separate times now, growing with each wave. First on Musical.ly, then on TikTok.
It’s been a great “magnet” song that helps fans enter the PLVTINUM universe.
Your lyrics explore the darker side of human experience. What do you draw from, or what story do you look to tell with your lyrics?
I like to accentuate the more unsavory aspects of my personality. I find it cathartic to take my darker internal dialogue and broadcast it creatively.
Your new track “DIE4MYBITCH” focuses on possessive behavior in relationships. Why did you decide to write a song about this topic?
What is your process for writing a song?
Production first, always. I have a two-bed apartment in New York City. The second bedroom is a recording studio. I sit in there for hours on end every day producing ideas. Once the production feels right, I jump into the songwriting and vocal production.
You’ve done a few collaborations, too. How do you select artists to collaborate with?
Generally, I like to work with artists who bring elements to my music that are distinctly different from what I have to offer creatively.
I’ve worked with a ton of hip-hop/R&B acts (Skizzy Mars, Marc, E. Bassy, Yung Pinch) and would love to work with Latin and K-Pop acts moving forward.
All that being said, one of my favorite collabs to date is my track “Hit My Line” with Chase Atlantic, and I’d say that they live in a similar sonic world to me.
As you’ve been making music for a few years now, what would you say is the next stage of your career?
I want to create universes around my music that fans can dive into – more music videos, merch, tours, unique experiences, interesting collabs.
I pride myself on giving my fans the strongest and most compelling artistic offering that I can, and I don’t think I’ve come close to the ceiling of what I can offer at this stage in my career.