Most people familiar with rapper Mars Valencia probably know him for his emotive, 808-driven tracks like ‘Nomads’ and ‘Space Invader’. Based in South London, the hip-hop producer has released a few well-received singles since 2019. He is now out with his first single of the year, a heartfelt and slightly dark track called ‘Heartless’. With a melancholic beat to support his confident vocals, the artist delivers a solid performance with his latest single.
The track begins in a slightly spooky atmosphere with shadowy textures and a hypnotic 808 that carries it from the chorus.
“Fuck love, oh well/I do what you want so well/I’m all in the back with someone else/And I’mma make them feel this/You should know I’m heartless”
Valencia’s smooth vocals seem very The Weeknd-inspired, owing to the melodic nuances in his verses. His signature tone still stands out though, making his performance sound all too similar and new at the same time.
Q – ‘Heartless’ has a somewhat dark, yet emotional vibe to it. What is the story behind its lyrics?
– You’ve hit the nail on the head with your analysis of the song, ‘Heartless’ is a continuation from my previous single ‘Nomads’. I’ve now returned home from my travels with a new outlook on life and begin to enjoy what London has to offer. Thinking less with my heart and more with my head, ‘Heartless’ is my way of trying to distance myself from someone I cared a lot about and instead embrace the person I’ve now become.
In my opinion, the title does the song justice. He describes the feeling in such an honest and expressive way that it’s impossible not to be captivated by the man’s words. Moreover, the instrumentation plays well with the beat, further enhancing the impact of the song’s relatable lyrics.
It was a pleasure having an interview with Valencia about his latest release and his career so far. Here’s what he had to share with us
Q – Which artists/rappers are you inspired by? How have they influenced your song production and writing technique?
–I would say production-wise, I’m influenced by the way Metro & Travis Scott make their music, especially when they work together. Metro’s beats usually have a dark vibe to them it while the production on Travis Scott’s vocals is flawless, I aspire to reach that level of production one day.
As for my writing, when I first started I would listen to a lot of The Weeknd’s older music, I liked how honest and transparent his lyrics were. I’ve taken that on board and tried to convey my message with such clarity in mind. Future as well, when he wants to, his lyrics can have such depth and expression, you can tell he lives his raps and that’s something I’m very conscious about, everything I talk about is true and real.
Q – What would you like listeners to take away from ‘Heartless’?
–As a song on its own you’ll only relate if you’re happily single, I’m aware, but that’s only half the story. The EP coming will tie ‘Nomads’ and ‘Heartless’ together and show you a bigger picture of the music. As a single, however, ‘Heartless’ is owning the single life with no apology in sight.
Q – You usually produce and write your own tracks, and that showcases your signature sound to its fullest. How do you usually start writing a song?
–Before I begin creating the beat I’ll think about the type of song I want to make. Do I want to create a 3 minute radio friendly song, or do I want to create a beat I can freestyle on etc. once I know what I’m creating I’ll make the beat and melody at the same time. The lyrics are the easiest part, I’ll be mumbling words throughout the entire process so I’ll have a vague idea of what I’ll be saying. I’ll write the entire song in about an hour or two, the hardest part is creating the beat I’m happy with.
Q– If you had the chance to feature any artists verse on ‘Heartless’, who would you choose and why?
–I would say Don Toliver, his melodies and flows are a breath of fresh air at the moment, I would be very curious to hear how he’d sound on ‘Heartless’.
Q– What is the rap scene in South London like? Do you collaborate with other artists in the area or prefer to work alone?
–From what I’ve seen everyone’s out here doing their own thing. You have guys who do melodic rap, the drill scene is thriving at the moment and we even have a prominent Latin scene. London is just a hub of creativity at the moment. I’m definitely open to working with other artists but the connection outside of music has to be there first. My music is very personal to me, if I’m letting someone else in we have to vibe as people first then the music comes after. I have a few features lined up with some incredibly talented people, when the time is right we’ll link up and share with you what we’ve created.