Presley Regier, a 20-year-old producer and artist, has recently unveiled his latest EP, RUN. This project, born from his introspective musings and self-reflection, not only showcases his musical prowess but also establishes a tone for what he brings to the world of music. We had the opportunity to delve into Regier's artistic origins and learn about the inspiration behind his latest release, RUN.
Let's get into your roots. Where are you originally from, and how does your hometown inspire your creativity?
I'm from a city called Thousand Oaks! I was born here, lived my entire life here, and still live here today. It’s about an hour/hour and a half North of Downtown Los Angeles, so while I was growing up, I always knew LA wasn’t horribly out of reach. I think part of what inspires me about being home is that it’s so quiet. I love having creative space, mentally and physically. So, after being in LA for meetings or sessions multiple times a week, I find it to be very peaceful to come home to Thousand Oaks. The other thing that I find inspiring is the amount of time I spend in the car. Because I’m so far north of LA, I spend a lot of time in the car listening to music podcasts or interviews, etc. I'm the biggest fan of driving, and people always act so shocked when they find out I have to drive an hour both ways to get to a session or hang out in LA, but I find the alone time in the car to be so peaceful and inspiring to me. It's something I definitely do not take for granted.
I know you are well-known for being a producer. When did you start producing music?
When I was around eight years old, I started playing guitar and drums before starting a band with my best friend, Nathan. When we turned 9, the band was called “9 and Above”. The band didn't really turn out how we had hoped, but it gave me a deeper love for music and music production in general. In my freshman year of high school, I started figuring out how to use GarageBand, but I originally wanted to make EDM music. The problem was that none of the ideas in my head could be translated into the program, so I gave up on EDM and started making rap beats for my friends to make diss tracks. I thought it was the coolest thing, so I started uploading these beats to YouTube and selling them for like $10. It took me probably six months to sell my first $10 beat, but after that, things took off a little. I also was learning more about the industry at the same time and making more connections, and eventually, I started to actually make beats for rappers.
Do you feel like being a producer has given you a good edge when it comes to transitioning into being an artist?
Yes, without a doubt. With my background as a producer, it has given me so much ability to make music completely on my own. Even with “RUN,” I produced and recorded five of the seven songs by myself prior to bringing them to Jasper and Aaron for their input. I just think I know my sonics so well, and I know how to produce them, so why have someone else who I don’t know try and make a beat for me when I can make it myself? Producing is really my biggest secret weapon. Since I spent four years producing before I started recording, I was also able to get a really good insight on how cut-throat this industry is. So when I started shopping my music around, I could already tell who was giving me the classic music industry speech and who was being genuine. I think music production also trained my ear so well.
Getting into your new EP RUN, how would you describe the project's sound?
Forward-thinking and poppy, mixed with a bit of an alternative edge. During the beginning stages of making this project, I really was just trying to make the best music possible. Then, I became obsessed with trying my best to make it as cohesive as possible. It was interesting because since this was my first solo recording project, I went through so many different sonic stages in such a short amount of time. So it was definitely a difficult task to try and juggle all the sonics, but I think I feel very comfortable describing all the music as forward-thinking and pop/alt-pop.
What's the inspiration behind the project?
I'm a very deep thinker, so it’s hard for me to not be mentally hung up on something specific every day. So, because I’m in my thoughts all the time, I started describing how I felt (to my family and friends) as constantly running mental laps like I was on the run mentally. While at home recording this entire project, I spent a lot of time dissecting why I felt so mentally drained all the time. I tried to be very introspective on the feelings, rather than disregard them. That was tiring, but it produced the songs on my project.
What would you say are the biggest themes consistent throughout the project?
I definitely feel like self-analysis is a big theme of this project. If you listen to the music, you’ll notice a lot of lyrics where I’m asking a question (most of the time, I'm asking myself). This feels very true to who I am outside of music, which is why I find it so special. Vulnerability is another big theme in this project. I'm always trying to be as transparent as possible with my music because 99% of the time, there's someone else in the world who feels the same way I do, and I think it's so beautiful to imagine that person connecting to my music and lyrical content in an emotional way.
What are your favorite lyrics on the EP, and why?
One section I wrote in early March that has just never escaped my head was the outro part of “CANT FOCUS.” This song is so special to me, and I specifically remember recording this very late at night while I was home alone. For some reason, the music made me feel so emotional, so I knew I had to write about something emotional as well. I turned off all the lights in the house, and my room was completely lit up by my computer screen. When I got to the outro part, I basically just freestyled a couple of different parts to see what would come out naturally. By the second take, I had it. I layered the words a couple of times, and that was that. The lyrics read: “Why you want me here but didn't want me in my bad parts? Told me that you loved me, turned around, and stabbed my back. Dealt with all your lows just so I could think I had some. Guess I never gave you everything you wish you had.” These four lines are probably my favorite lyrics from the project because of how transparent they are. I think everyone’s probably been in a situation like this where they feel betrayed or suddenly left behind by someone they deeply care about. It sucks, and it hurts. I also like how the song just ends with the feeling of being defeated. “Guess I never gave you everything you wish you had.”
Is there anything else that you would like to share?
I'm in the process of figuring out my tour plan for the top of 2024, which I'm crazy excited for! Every time I finished one of the songs from this project, I would immediately start thinking about how it would look and sound live. So, getting one step closer to that is very exciting to me. On top of that, I'm also already working on my next project. Stay tuned for new music soon, follow my socials for updates all the time, and I hope you all enjoy the project as much as I enjoyed making it.