By: Eliza Goldstein
Kris Alvarez who plays under the name Firstworld is a South Florida based Indie/Chillwave artist and producer. While the project initially began as an outlet to write darker more lo-fi songs, it has transformed into a full-fledged project, featuring a three-piece live band. Firstworld will be playing a house show in Gainesville this Friday, November 17, at Dexter’s Laboratory with Analogue Ghost, Dandelion Doldrums and Pobrecita as local support. Entry to the show is a $2-5 donation and more information about the show can be found here.
Can you introduce yourself and talk about how Firstworld started?
Firstworld is just me, Kris Alvarez. I’m an Electronic Music artist/Producer. Firstworld began as an outlet for me while I was in my old band Sigh Kicks. I used it to write darker, more electronic songs than what was acceptable for Sigh Kicks at the time. Once Sigh Kicks bit the bullet, I decided to continue on my own as Firstworld. It took a while to take off, though. When SK broke up in January, I was pretty broke and bandless, after being in bands continuously since I was 15 (I’m 27 now). I did nothing for about 3 months other than save money, write new songs, develop an aesthetic for the project, and buy the gear I needed to bring Firstworld to the stage. It wasn’t until late May that everything really started moving in a positive direction. I had finally gotten a 3-piece band together with my best friend Joey Prats and my partner Daniella Chamorro, released my first single, and finally played some shows. After that, it became a beast of its own and the internet has really been what’s fueled that growth.
You released your second single, Easy Access, back in August. What has been the response to the song so far?
The music video is very 80s and Vaporwave inspired, what was the production process like?
The video for Easy Access was equal parts fun and stressful to make! I conceptualized, directed, and edited the video all myself. It took me a while to come up with a cool idea that was gonna mix in with the aesthetic I was going for, which was drenched in a VHS looking mess of nostalgia, mixed in with a mockery of capitalism and our generation’s obsession with selfies and one’s appearance to others. Eventually, I figured it’d be awesome to make the most pretentious, shitty music video the 80s forgot to make. Once the idea was fleshed out, we shot it in like two days at one of my best friend’s studio downtown, and then got along to editing, which took the most amount of time. What was the most fun was molding this video that was shot on a Nikon DSLR camera and make it look like it was shot on a garbage VHS cam. I love tinkering with aesthetics and experimenting with visuals, so it gave me a ton of joy to work on it, despite the stress it put on me to even get it off the ground.
Do you record/write all the tracks yourself? If so, how does playing live with a full band change/influence the nature of your songs?
I do indeed write and record all the songs myself, and I have my best friend and former bandmate Sebs Hidalgo mix and master them for me. In terms of what effect it has on the live performance, it’s really very little. Right now the band is a three piece with two synth players (one doubling as a bassist and percussionist) and a drummer. All the other essential layers are backtracked through our drummer’s pad. If I were to add more performers, they just play whatever layers I’d normally have backtracked! From time to time, I do write some bass parts with Joey in mind, so that he can have some fun shredding on stage, but outside of that I just write what comes to me and what I feel will make people move!
What are you most excited for on this first run of shows?