ericdoa doesn’t want to make music for one specific genre or one kind of person. To him, music should be all-inclusive in every sense of the word, whether it refers to the people who listen to his songs or the way they feel when doing so. To be so young and so sure that music is what he was destined to do only further drives his passion for the medium. So whatever arbitrary definitions you want to give him and his music, the one word you shouldn’t call him is lazy because ericdoa is going to make 2022 his biggest year yet.

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You have been called a next-gen emo artist, combining genres such as glitchcore, hyperpop, emo and more. There are so many different words that people have used to describe you. How would you describe your sound?

If I could put it into words, I feel like the sounds that I make are just me. It’s me and my brothers making music together. That’s pretty much it. Every single time I’m making music, I’m making it with the same three people. It’s our personality put into the music. It’s the way we talk, the way we are, the way we act put into music, into one little MP3 file.

How did growing up in a Puerto Rican household influence the music you make?

My father, my mother [and] my sister love music. So when I was growing up, everyone constantly had an instrument in their hand, constantly was playing some type of music. [I] got to absorb my culture and see different parts of music. Being Puerto Rican and growing up in a Puerto Rican house and being around two parents that enjoyed music really pushed me.

When people look at you and everything you have done at such a young age, what do you want to tell them about who you are?

What I want people to see is that this music shit is not cliquey. It’s not something that you always have to be a certain type of person to enjoy. Everything we do is super all-inclusive because it’s not the manufactured stuff that a lot of people see. It’s not a big-ass production in a studio. It’s really just us making music. I just want everybody to know that this is all-inclusive music. It’s the only universal language that I feel like we have.

Do you think you have found your signature sound yet, or do you want to keep experimenting?

100%, I want to keep experimenting. I think that I have the base idea of what I sound like. The hardest thing to do when it comes to making music is to figure out who you are. It’s not even just making music — it’s just existing to figure out who you are and to figure out what you are going to portray yourself as. That’s very difficult for music because not everything is original. 

Everything has pretty much been done before, so when it comes to people making music, it’s extremely important to just sit down with yourself and the people you create with, or if it’s just you, and really ask yourself those existential dreading questions, like what you should do when it comes to sound. I think I know who I am in music, and I know who I am through making something because I feel like everybody who works in music is just ripping a piece of themselves out and pasting it onto this open canvas of what we do. It feels like a beautiful thing to me. It’s something that I can’t describe, but hopefully, it does translate to the music.

Looking at everything you’ve done last year, what do you want to do differently in 2022?

I feel like not a lot of people take time to stop and really feel what is tangibly in front of them. I have been blessed with so much [in 2021] that continues to amaze me every time I wake up. I just want to take it in more. I feel like whatever happens with whatever we do and however we accomplish it, I just want to take it in a lot more than I did [in 2021].

What can you tell us about the new album that you are currently working on? What should fans expect from the project?

I think [while making the album], I have had the best moments of my life, and that is absolutely zero exaggeration. I have been able to see the United States and some [places] not even in the United States. It’s been a beautiful experience to be able to travel with people that I love dearly and put them in places that they thought they would not be in before. [We put] all of that inspiration and happiness for being able to see things that we’ve never seen before into music. 

It’s a year-and-a-half of me and the people I work with musing on our feelings throughout experiences that we’ve had. Every single time we sat down and made music and it turned into a song on the project, it was a piece of what we were doing [in 2021]. It was a piece of the journey, a piece of the experience. Everybody’s going to be able to hear and feel what we were feeling at that moment.

What are some dream collabs you would love to make happen in 2022?

I know this is impossible, but I wanna sit down with André 3000 and speak with him. I don’t even wanna do anything. I just want to talk to him. He is [one person] I feel like would be filled with knowledge about everything that has happened in his life.

What are you most excited about this year?

I would say definitely the album because I can’t wait to share it with everybody, [to] be able to put something in front of [fans] that I gave to them. I can’t wait to do shows and meet everybody that listens to the music. We have so much stuff planned to help out fans that want to make music. So it’s going to be a good year. 

This interview first appeared in issue #402 (22 for ’22), available here.