Photo via IG: @chingaelundo
Pink Cig, a first generation citizen from Arizona whose Mexican influence and heritage run deep in his upbringing, is carving his way through the underground wit out too much help from anyone. His drug-laced lyrics and mellow trap-inspired beat selection creates a vibe in which listeners can stay and live. With his biggest song Xanny Bars 222 at just under 2 million streams on Spotify alone, his music is far reaching and his core fans can surely connect with his words.
David: I wanted to start with the stories behind Xanny Bars 222. Can you speak on some of the inspiration behind the track? When you were recording, did you realize that you would have such a huge song in your hands?
Pink Cig: “Well, there was this girl I was fucking with & we were cool and all but we only ever saw each other when we where fucked up and after a while i got to really think and I realized that that’s literally all we would do. If not xans it was always something & I saw that we weren’t in love at all, we where simply each-other’s coping mechanism. She made me forget about my problems and I made her forget about her’s. I remember the exact moment I wrote it in my room, it just came so easy to me. Probably took me like 20 mins at most. I actually uploaded it once before & I didn’t like it after like a week and I deleted it but once I decided I was ready to drop it again it kind of became my very first like real song. It was the first song I listened to and was like “oh shit ye that’s how it sounded in my head”. I didn’t think it was gonna be huge & I still don’t even see it as huge fr, I hold all my songs to the same standards and none of my requirements really involve how many plays it gets. The numbers are just a little bonus.”
David: Okay understand, that’s a good transition into the next question. How do you personally define the success of a song? Since it’s not necessarily all about the plays for you.
Pink Cig: “Honestly if I like it then its good enough for me. I tend to not really like my songs because of the things that might’ve led up to me having to write that song in order for those thoughts & emotions to leave my mind. Lately though I’ve been trying to appreciate my music for what it is regardless of the memories attached to them & if I fuck with it, I fuck with it, if I don’t, I trash it & make more music.”
David: I hate to go back to the numbers, but they don’t lie. 125,000 monthly listeners, several hundred thousand plays on your singles, your fan base is large, and growing all the time. Do you feel any sort of pressure from that?
Pink Cig: “Nah bro it’s all good I know numbers is what most people see when they look at me anyway, its internet culture. But nah. 125,000 is a lot & that’s like every month so that shit blows my mind actually now that you told me the number but, I don’t know. It doesn’t really mean shit. As long as I’m getting paid for my art, all I can really do is be thankful because I never even really asked for this, but its still something I appreciate regardless. Besides, I seen numbers fuck with people’s head, a couple thousand plays make a goofy feel like an A-list. If I ever start acting like my shit don’t stink too, then the numbers took me & they running my life”
David: Yeah absolutely, I know what you mean. So when did all this begin? When did you record for the first time? You said that Xanny Bars was your first “real song,” how long had you been recording before you started to drop content?
Pink Cig: I had gone through my first break up around February at 15 & it was around this time when I had just said fuck it & took the mic to my crib & my parents would be out a lot so I would make a shit ton of shitty songs on Audacity just trying to teach myself how to mix and i dropped one song in September 2017 & I had filmed a dumbass little music video with my homie around school because we would ditch 4th & 5th hour like every day just to kick it. I uploaded the music video & it got 500 views over night because people from my city kept sharing it & that shit was weird so from that point I just released songs as soon as I finished them & I probably dropped like 20-30 songs that I deleted over time because I didn’t like them any more. Then a year later….I don’t know, dawg, shit moved so quick it felt like I went from a nobody with a couple ‘aight’ songs, to having kids that ain’t give a fuck about me before yelling out ‘Pink Cig!’ on my way to lunch. I didn’t know how to really deal with the attention so I feel like my mind kind of ignored this thing that was growing & I didn’t really understand why”
David: I’m glad you gave me the long answer first! That’s a awesome back story! There were no releases between Bleach and Xanny Bars?
Pink Cig: “Oh yeah there was a shit ton, but they’re all gone forever. I would upload them for about a week or maybe more but I’d get bored & delete them whenever I wanted. I’d still have them in my computer but I deleted them all because my mind was in a fucked up place & for the most part they where painful songs to make. There’s a part of me that misses it though, making a song, releasing right away, & having it get 20 likes after a couple weeks. There’s something so pure about it that I long for. I’m probably gonna end up restarting with a new name because of it if I ever get bored of this.”
David: You have made a good amount of music with emo fruits – when did you link?
Pink Cig: “January 2018. It’s crazy that I feel like I owe this mans my career in a way because I didn’t even hit him up on some music shit. I was fuck w him before he was goin by emo fruits & before I even started making music. I remember between the period where I was just started/about to start making music I felt like I was gonna be the only dude in Arizona making music because I was mad naive. I found him & the rest of ActAFool on Sound Cloud & I followed them as a fan just because they where from Arizona. One day I peeped that bro was tweeting some heavy shit so I was like “fuck bro goin through it.” I remember that day I was coming down off acid so the LSD had me feeling a lil compassionate. I slide in his DM’s & let him know that none of the shit he tweeted wasn’t shit I hadn’t already been feeling. Basically i just let him know he wasn’t alone & one thing led to another & we ended up making Girls, Drugs, & Dying and AngelDust was the first song we ever dropped together. Angeldust was the song that got people to really watch I feel like. I remember in the moment telling him ‘Aight, we did this, people are watching now. Let’s show them what’s up while we have them”
Photo via IG: @chingaelundo
David: Can you speak on any other artists/producers that you work with often? Also who are some artists that you want to work with going forward?
Pink Cig: “Honestly, I have been on my own for a minute now just focusing on what I have to say about thing so I don’t really have the right to speak on many right now but Vanete, Biv, Sinister, Safesin, Jaseeeen, & John Solo are a few of the people I know of and fuck with. I’m barely starting to take a look at other artist rn & from what I heard I’m trying to work with like Two:22, Fats’e, Sadeyes, Kill Stacy, Jalopy Bungus, Dali, the list is barely under development but I fuck with these artists so far, their sound is dope to me. As far as producers go, Skami go hard & is underrated, also Conan Clay I fuck with but feel like Conan the only dope producer I talk to here and there. Producers hit me up lol”
David: What type music did you grow up on? Also who are some of your biggest influences?
Pink Cig: “I didn’t even really grow up on music fr. I always loved music but I was never really a direct consumer. whenever my dad was around though, he would play shit from the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, U2, RadioHead, & then other than that it was just Mexican shit I would hear at parties or just Mexican oldies my grandma would bump on Saturday mornings when it was time to clean the crib like Juan Gabriel, Joan Sebastian, Antonio Solis, Vicente Fernandez, Pedro Infante, Jose Jose & shit like that. I ain’t ever really listened to music on my own until I was like 13 fr when I learned how to use the Internet. Even then I didn’t know how to use it that well, so I was bumping old mid-2000 shit that I used to hear my uncle bump like Lil’ Wayne, Drake, T-Pain and shit. But all-in-all I’d say my biggest inspirations are XXXtentacion Lil Peep, Kurt Cobain, Lil Tracy, & Young Thug.”
David: What’s your hometown? Is there a larger Mexican population? Or was it just in your family that you were surrounded by Mexican music?
Pink Cig: “I’m a first generation citizen, I stay in Arizona so it’s mad Mexican folk out here so like the homies too even be bumping a little more modern mexican shit like Ulices Chaidez & Ariel Camacho, rip. I’m actually finna make some corridos too cuz my homie has a groupo & they be makin they mexican shit, I’m just trying to create as many sounds as I can, that’s gonna be fye, fosho.”
David: Can you describe a typical recording session?
Pink Cig: “I listen to a beat & within the first couple seconds I decide if I’ll hop on it or not. Then I freestyle some shit, write it down, or just sit & write & just go take for take, depends on the song & beat. Then I hop on my little brother’s school laptop & record a couple tracks & then mix them all in one sitting afterward. Nothin special, type bummy shit”
Already with several powerful songs under his belt and no lack of creativity, Pink Cig is certainly here to stay. Creating a unique sound to each of his tracks, we hear improvement with each new release. Expect big things from this Arizona-native going forward!