Firstworld, born as Kris Alvarez, is a Miami-based producer. Firstworld has released his latest single titled “On The Line”, a wonderful track that has a wistful, forlorn ballad that go alongside muted reverb guitars and melancholic synthesizers. “On The Line” also has a music video that showed clips of Firstworld’s life from childhood to his current life.
Kris Alvarez created Firstworld in 2016 as a way to create darker music than his former project, Sigh Kicks. Firstworld’s first EP I’m Right Here charted on NACC’s Top 200 and saw FMQB praising it as a “Top 30” album. Here is One EDM’s exclusive interview with Firstworld, whose music video for “On The Line” can be viewed down below.
Kenny Ngo: Hi Firstworld. You just released “On The Line” and the music video for it. What were your feelings like when you produced the track?
Firstworld (Kris Alvarez): All over the place. It’s a very emotional song for me, and what’s more is that I was in isolation when I finally finished it earlier this year in April. Being alone with my thoughts in my room, no distractions from my life and daily routine before quarantine to get in the way really gave me the space I needed to just reflect on what I was trying to do with this one.
The video seems very personal, Please describe the inspiration behind it?
As dark as it might sound to say this, the quarantine and isolation has had a positive effect on me as an artist and a person. I managed to write and record my entire album in a little over a month’s time, which is an absolutely insane accomplishment for me personally. In fact, I think this moment in our lives and in history is the perfect moment to create and share our creations with the world. I have a firm belief that, over everything else, we make connections with people with music.
With “On The Line”, I was aiming to make a song that was universally relatable, since I touch on emotions and feelings we’ve all felt at one point or another, regardless of the circumstances surrounding them. Given the response I’ve gotten, I feel like I’ve struck a note with people that way, and I find myself talking to some of them about what it made them feel and how we relate. If we stop releasing music because of a pandemic or whatever catastrophic global event, you stop connecting with people, and it’s even more important in a time like now where we’re all so physically distant from each other, to continue releasing music and continue connecting with others to pull through these moments together.
What is the creative process around the song and video?
For the song, I basically banged this one out in a week. It came very naturally to me, despite there not being many synths on it. I grew up playing in indie rock bands my whole life, so to be able to put down the synths for a bit and pick up a guitar and bass was cathartic.
With the video, it basically involved me going through hours and hours of embarrassing home movies, that I’d never really watched before, in one weekend. I was crying almost the entire time I was working on the video! It was a very emotional experience watching who I was as a child, then the indifferent/angsty teenager that I became, and finally footage of the last five years. I got to see my family in a way I didn’t remember and how I interacted and treated my friends. Making myself this vulnerable just for my art and to get my point across really put my entire thirty years on this rock in total perspective. I’m extremely proud of how it came out and I hope others connect with it too, despite it being a little more specific in its topic.
What did your friends, family, and other peers think about the “On The Line” music video?
Almost everyone had some kind of emotional reaction to it where they either cried or choked up, which was my intention all along. I really wanted to convey a feeling more than a message and I think I managed to do that.
You will release an LP in 2021. In a short summary, can you describe what this LP might hold for anyone who wants to stream it?
The most I can say for now is that it will definitely be considerably than anything I’ve done before and that it will not disappoint!
For anyone who doesn’t know you yet, how do you describe your musical style?
I used to consider myself a chillwave artist, but that’s not me anymore. My style is judgment-free music. I make what I feel and I will convey that to the listener in what I make. Confining myself to a genre/label proved to be extremely limiting and stressful for me. I feel much more free now to make the music that I feel is good. I’d rather leave the labels to the listener, so that I can later prove them wrong!
You are based in Miami. Since Florida does not have a lot of gathering restrictions in comparison to some states at the moment, which nightclubs/entertainment venues do you recommend everyone to check out when they are visiting Miami?
Honestly, none! That’s not a knock on any of the clubs and venues down here. I just think there’s more to the leniency in the restrictions than meets the eye. Just because we don’t have restrictions doesn’t mean it’s safe to go out and party like we used to. People put too much faith in our local officials here when they’ve proven themselves to be unworthy of our trust. Florida has had some of the worst numbers for COVID-19 infections and death rates, and I think those should speak for themselves.
When music festivals return again, where do you want to perform at the most?
Any! I haven’t gotten to perform at any large fest as Firstworld yet. So I really just want to perform to a large crowd (if safe) that’s excited for a good show and a good time.
What do you hope 2021 will turn out to be?
My year. 2021 will belong to Firstworld.