Artists all define “success” differently. The members of hip-hop duo BluVarity, for now, have experienced success by simply honing their craft.

Juan “Kudaa” Rodriguez and Sebastian “Sebas” Flores have for several years been working on concocting a unique brand of experimental hip hop.

“I met Juan in middle school, the sixth-grade,” Flores said. “When we met, I wasn’t super into hip hop or music in general. That started around high school, and even then, I wasn’t really into creating music. The summer going into junior year was when Juan messaged me and was like, ‘Yo, you want to make some music?’”

Rodriguez said he, too, got into music relatively late.

“When we first met in middle school, I listened to the radio, and then my brother got me into hip hop my eighth-grade year,” Rodriguez said. “… Then I started having the idea to want to write around sophomore year. Stuff got serious my junior year, and I wanted to make it come to life. I wanted to have a group, because I was always fond of Run the Jewels; they’re what got me into hip hop. That was the first-ever hip-hop collective I was shown, so I felt like it’d be better to have a partner or a group.”

Flores and Rodriguez dove head-first into crafting music—and let the skill and knowledge come later.

“I really had no idea how to make music,” said Flores. “When he had first hit me up, I said yes right away, but I had no idea how to do anything. I started learning a lot, and many of our early days were us just experimenting and messing around with trying to find some cool sounds, and trying to get a real understanding of what to do.”

Flores quickly became the duo’s main producer.

“Everything you hear is all Sebas,” Rodriguez said. “I want to get into mixing and mastering; that’s what I’m majoring in, so that’s what I want to focus on. Hopefully soon, that will be my main thing for the group, and we both can write and try to divide the sound.”

BluVarity’s music can elicit conflicting emotions.

“There are a couple of songs that are more happy-sounding or more upbeat, like ‘Time,’ but even then, the lyrics are dark and emotional,” Flores said. “… The production and sound currently are less dark and moody, and are more energetic and experimental, which is something I’ve been trying to get a good handle on. That’s sort of evolved, coming from when we released our EP, Ruby. In those songs, you can kind of hear where it’s going to go—and with these next releases, you’re going to hear where it’s leading to.”

Rodriguez explained that the darker lyrical tone comes from a personal place.

“Every time I write, I always want to put part of myself in my lyrics,” said Rodriguez. “… I want to shoot that message across that you’re not alone. Whenever I freestyle, there are always these dark things that come out of me, because I just want to be super-loose with it. I feel like I got that from listening to people like Kid Cudi. Sometimes I walk in with no intention of what I want to write, and then it turns out to be something super-emotional. I want to be like an open book, and let the listeners interpret that.”

Rodriguez and Flores said they’re developing confidence after a few years of making music.

“I think it was after ‘Time,’ our last single that was released almost a year ago, that we really started to be confident about it—and confident about the idea of that song being one we could randomly perform, and we wouldn’t cringe,” Rodriguez said. “I’m still proud of our older stuff, but we’ve definitely grown past that sound.”

Added Flores: “I started to feel happy and stop cringing around when ‘Run Love Fun’ came out, which was about two years ago. Around that time was when I started getting a good understanding of what to do. I could put up with listening to that song—but a lot of the older stuff, I just can’t listen to. It’ll just drive me insane.”

Flores and Rodriguez hope to consistently release music this year—and get in front of live audiences, too.

“Instead of a single, a couple-month break, then a single, we want to strive for a more-consistent type of flow, so we’re trying to drop five or six tracks coming up,” Rodriguez said. “It’s going to be pretty consistent, with maybe a tiny break, but that’s just to produce even more stuff to drop.

“Hopefully, after this pandemic, we can book some shows. There is this one line that I really want to scream, and all of my friends hype me up when I show them that song.”

Rodriguez said he and Flores also want to work with other musicians.

“I love the music scene in the valley, and I love learning about everyone who has a creative mindset,” Rodriguez said. “We’re trying to collaborate with a couple of people on their next couple of drops, and we have two features lined up so far. … I don’t want to say that I don’t want to be stuck in the valley, but I feel like it’s really hard to get out of somewhere like here. I learned about Queens of the Stone Age singer Josh Homme, and I learned about his life in the valley, and how he started a really big thing in the music scene here. I want to do the same thing, and I just want to shout out whoever I can and bring whoever I can with me.”

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Matt King

Matt King is a freelance writer for the Coachella Valley Independent. A creative at heart, his love for music thrust him into the world of journalism at 17 years old, and he hasn't looked back. Before...