Known aptly as ‘The Vaporwave Valedictorian’, Pad Chennington creates informative and interesting YouTube videos about a variety of musical topics, most notably being the Vaporwave genre. As well as this, Pad also dabbles in music production himself, with a few albums already under his belt and collaborations with the likes of ev.exi and SAINT PEPSI standing out brightly on his musical resume. Pad is playing WAVEPOOL, so we caught up with him for a quick interview to see what he’s up to and what he may have to offer with his set that weekend.
Montaime: So Pad, you’ve hit 50,000 subscribers on your channel and you’re well on your way to hit 60,000 subscribers (as of this interview he has now hit 60,000 subscribers). Did you ever expect your channel to get that amount of subscribers?
Pad: No… Never! For those who know, I started the channel off just as a project to make that first video on my channel and I was kinda bored one day and decided to make a video and hit up the topic of the correlation between Vaporwave and 9/11 and all that stuff.
It’s funny, we hit 50,000 subs three weeks ago and now in about two weeks we’re about to hit 60. I’ve never seen growth like that with a channel that covers topics like mine. The interesting thing is, though that the two most popular videos on my channel are Japanese Noise related videos and those are the videos that really exploded my subscriber count.
Channel-wise just expect a bunch of different videos I think at this point just covering all different types of music. I’m still gonna stay true to my Vaporwave roots, but it’s fun exploring all those different types of music and growing the channel. Thanks to everyone for the subs, I could have never imagined it honestly.
Montaime: Is there a video you’re most proud of making?
Pad: There’s a couple I could sum up, but if I had to choose one I really liked making the video on DERELICTメガタワーwith Ryan B, like we had a bunch of people on that one like Porter Vong, S H E E P from Private Suite Magazine and James Webster from DDS.
It’s really fun getting other people involved with the videos you’re making, you just get to hear a whole other side of the story. Especially when you’re talking about a project that came from that exact artist in a video and getting them involved in a video. I’d say that or the Top 100 Vaporwave Songs video that I just put out, we worked with a bunch of other people on that one too. As of right now, those are my two favorites.
Montaime: What do you think of YouTube as a platform currently?
Pad: It’s really the only video platform that you have the chance with. The keyword is the ‘chance’ here, of getting really big making video content. There’s so many things going against small YouTube creators and there’s this real big window that if you’re not above that count and you get lucky or aim to make viral content, it’s kind of difficult to do YouTube full-time. I think the right way to go about it is to be consistent and just try different things.
Montaime: Your Block Party festival happened over two weeks ago now. With it’s overwhelming success, will you be throwing another one in the future?
Pad: Yes, definitely! The Block Party was meant to be in real life, but COVID killed that off. If anyone knows me, I always like to change my plans all over the place, so my plan is to do two big festivals a year, virtually. The Block Party in the summer and I wanna plan something around the Holidays. This is the first time people are hearing this besides the people in the Block Party who are in the loop. Once Kats Kill Records starts going, I’ll probably do a monthly mini-festival. Don’t quote me on that, but I might do it. Depends if I can fit it in the schedule.
Those online shows turned out way more fun that we expected them to be. I remember when we first went into COVID and we came off the high of a lot of live shows and COVID came through and just crushed all of that. Like shit, now we’re going to have to do things online in a weird way and I never thought that it was gonna work but it weirdly works! It’s awesome to see the community band together against all obstacles.
Montaime: When can we expect some material from Kats Kill Records?
Pad: The plan is to drop the first release on Black Friday. I wanna give myself lots of time to prepare for this. I’ve never done a label before so these past couple of weeks I’ve been reaching out to fellow label-owners and friends and artists and saying “Hey, give me your feedback on this.” and that’s the whole point of the community anyways to ask other people for advice and make friends.
I’d say to just expect something around November, if not early 2021, but I’m putting the works into this thing and I’m not going to release anything that’s short of the best label out there. I’m ready.
Montaime: We wanted to talk to you about The Phantom’s Revenge, as you had a feature with him on your album, you interviewed him on your channel and we released a single with him. How did you come across his music?
Pad: The Phantom’s Revenge is definitely one of my favorite artists of all time. There’s a certain vibe that he hits and its the way he uses his stutter chops and changes the pitch and dips things – nobody hits it better than The Phantom’s Revenge.
Out of all that French House stuff, in the late 2000s, early 2010s, he was the one that stood out the most to me during the days of listening to alexdaftpunk91 on YouTube.
Montaime: Damn that’s a throwback.
Pad: Yeah those were the good days, right? So the track on Dewdropper – I’ll tell you guys a story about that track actually:
That track is literally 98% The Phantom’s Revenge and 2% me. What happened was that I reached out to him, I thought I could take a shot with this and I was like “Hey! I’m a big fan of your music.” and this was after we did that interview on YouTube which is a whole other story on how that came to be and I said “I would love to do a collaboration track with you on my album” and I didn’t think he was gonna answer or respond and he said sure.
I was like, holy shit.
Myself 10 years ago knowing that I would be working alongside The Phantom’s Revenge would be going insane. I did some research and I gave him three different samples to choose from and I was like “Aight, this is what I’m thinking of doing, if you wanna chop this up a little bit and send it back to me and I’ll chop it up and I’ll send it back to you, whatever you wanna do?”
I ended up not hearing from him for a while and I don’t remember how long, a couple of weeks passed by I think and he sends me back literally like a fully complete track. I get this track and I’m like fuck, I have to do something with it, like I have to contribute something with this track. I reach back to him and I’m like “Hey, is this just empty enough to where I could throw in some empty chops?” and he was like “This is the best way to have the track, I kinda filled in all of the gaps, I don’t think there’s any room.”
So I added some tiny extra touches and I spoke to FIBRE – he did the mastering for Dewdropper, he mastered the track a little differently. But that Phantom track, I’m just honored to be able to hold it, like it’s mind-blowing to me. Shout out to The Phantom’s Revenge too, not just for being an inspiration, but as a producer I’m always trying to get better like I don’t really play keyboards or anything like that.
I love DJ’ing live and I love performing live, its one of my favorite things to do and I like to think of my DJ equipment as an instrument itself. I like to treat my DJ stuff as a sort of drum set, if you get me? Also big shout out to Montaime, for the single you put out just recently.
It’s funny, one more real quick thing too, I know The Phantom’s Revenge is a big fan of Twin Peaks and my girlfriend and I have been watching it, we’ve been binging it in the past couple of weeks and there’s so many different vocal clips from that show that he uses in his songs that I didn’t know were from Twin Peaks, so when they pop up I’m like “Holy shit, that’s from that song!”. There’s that one episode where they say “Do your palms ever itch?” and I’m like “that motherfucker!” that’s where the song title for that last track he did with you came from.
His music is like an audio salad, that’s what I could pin it down to, basically.
Montaime: Do you have a favorite song from him?
Commercial Breaks is probably one of my favorite albums that I’ve ever listened to in my entire life. I think it’s so simple, yet it’s so TASTY.
Montaime: You’re performing at WAVEPOOL, what can people expect from your set?
Pad: I’m going to take this opportunity at WAVEPOOL to give a way more French House/Electro style set that I’ve ever done before. I love having a track that has a hard-hitting Electro drop, as simple as they are. It’s a great contrast than having a heavy Future Funk set, which is what I’m known for. This is to FIBRE, shout out to him, we’ve seen SebastiAn live together, he’s a big French House head, so I wanted to bring that sound to WAVEPOOL. Expect a lot of early 2010s stuff from those days and mixed from stuff from my album. These past months I’ve also been putting out some unreleased stuff that I’ve been chopping up and stuff and been putting in my sets, so for those going to Vapor Memory’s 5th Anniversary show, I’ll be doing stuff with my unreleased material there. So yeah, bring your party.
This interview was conducted and written by Louis Chant. You can follow him here.