From the start of his career, Eyeglasses pushed himself. “When I moved to LA, it was [a] difficult thing,” he recalls. “I was living all alone. I didn’t have my family anymore, but that was a good thing because I got to see for myself what kind of person I really am. This discovery of myself has really shaped me today.
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Part of his inspiration comes from his son, who loves everything skateboarding, 3D animation and ICT Tac. “He made me want to do more animated videos because he’s literally watching TikTok with me, cheek to cheek,” he says.
No matter what it does, Eyedress goes all out for everything it touches. Behind all of his work is the drive to stand up for the things he believes in, especially mental health. “If you’re not going to riot in the streets and protest,” he says, “at least talk about the good stuff just so you know there’s actually knowledge in what you’re doing.”
You said that Mulholland Drive is “to love yourself and your life”. How did you learn to do these things?
It sounds pretty corny, but growing up I had a hard time not liking myself and going to school made me feel stupid. The more I loved myself, the more good things there were in my life. At the time, I was really unhealthy and toxic, but now that things have improved, it has humbled me. I feel good about myself now. Growing up, I would be really anxious, and [there were] so many things that I didn’t know how to handle.
Now that I’m older, I can assess everything in life, and I feel like my mind is healthy and not depreciating. [I’m not] don’t put me down anymore. It came with time. Music wasn’t really going for me at the start of my life so the more it got bigger and the better things got for me the more I could really appreciate myself because I felt like I was doing something good.
Do you have any tips for those who might be struggling to do the same?
Facing the hard truths. I was putting off a lot of things in my life, and I think that built up over time and made things worse. [Go] in pain rather than pushing it away and putting a blanket over it – that’s not going to heal the wounds. The most transformative thing is when you face it and put yourself in that awkward position.
You collaborated with YUNGMORPHEE produce Sharp-toothed affable. What did you learn from this experience as a producer, and did you take anything away that you will incorporate into future releases?
It’s always been a hobby for me, producing for other artists. With hip-hop, this kind of thing came naturally because when I was a teenager, that’s when I discovered the sample. I was more of a band guy. I played instruments and everything. When I discovered the sample, I had this new thing to do in addition to writing songs on the guitar. [Affable With Pointed Teeth] did i show what i could do other than do oscillate music. I like many things. I could venture into electronic music world, or I can get into this little sampling thing and go to indie-rock Things. I like to show this diversity. I feel like that’s what makes me, me. Some artists stick to one thing, but I’ve always said, “I’m an artist, no matter what I do, whether I’m making videos or taking photos.
You have spoken openly about self-image and mental health in the past in interviews and on social media. Why do you think it is important to be transparent about these topics?
When I was younger, I drank a lot and got into mischief. Mental health is important because some people need self-control. If they can fix things before it gets too crazy, they should. People should be aware that your mind is a powerful thing. I have a friend who committed suicide, so I feel like your sanity should be shown off in your face. I think people of my generation are very aware of being in tune with everything because we live in a crazy world.
I’m really sorry to hear about your friend.
Yeah, it definitely made me want to watch my friends all the time – make sure they don’t go to a dark place and help them believe in themselves and know they’re worthy love. It seems corny to be the friend who says, “Oh, let’s just be positive.” But sometimes it also takes a lot of strength to be that person. I think people should always know it’s good to talk about it because you might save someone.
What do you think is your greatest responsibility as a musician?
Speaking out about mental health is certainly one of them. I have a child and I also represent other parents. So you must do what is right. Be sure to create a safe environment [is another responsibility]. [I want to] push it a bit. I like to see kids going crazy at the mosh pit, but we don’t want them dying or anything, especially after the Astromonde [Festival] Things. I want to have fun shows that everyone can watch [to]. I think now, especially after Astroworld, you really want to have a safe [space], especially if you are going to have younger children [there]. Their mother shouldn’t have to worry.
What was your greatest achievement last year?
Pass through [the day]. This is my greatest achievement today. The biggest achievement is to keep doing it consistently because you could fall at any moment. My accomplishment is to be healthy, and that’s it, really. Take care of everything, be present. It’s the best thing you can thank yourself for. I’m still alive today, and I hope, [I could] save a life or two by saying something nice to someone.
This interview appeared in issue 401 (the AP Yearbook), available here.