SoundsByWarren Talks Music, Stigma, Cannabis and Beyond
We were so excited to chat with SoundsbyWarren aka Warren Ferguson about all things cannabis and music. We were fans of his inspirational lyricism and dynamic genre play and overall vibe. Warren had a love for music from a young age. He was immediately drawn to the piano which he still incorporates into his music. “I had a friend who had a digital piano, and he was learning from YouTube. YouTube had just come out at that time and he was really big on YouTube. He was always on YouTube, I would go to his hours and I was so intrigued. I had a piano, a big, like, a grand piano, that my parents were gifted and no one ever played it. …I just started playing it, learning like literally random stuff.”
Warren’s parents tried to get him enrolled in music programs but he was much more interested in self-teaching and forging his path as an independent self-trained artist. Warren’s dad works in tech at Universal. This was a pathway to an intersection of music and technology for Warren. “I had some cheap equipment, my first song - my number one song on SoundCloud to this day, it’s called Lazy Dayz. It’s only on SoundCloud, and I had me and my friends. We just had a RockBand mic from one of my friends. We had a sock over it, and we were making cool little freestyles and we would just post them on SoundCloud, they are all still there. One of them got a few thousand views, and then I dropped my own stuff, which was Lazy Dayz. Literally, it is such a stoner song.”
“Waking up, smoking, that's a wake and bake.
Feeling great, going MIA for the day.
Trying to appreciate the better things
As we celebrate, yeah have another lazy day”
Having that song take off, along with tapping into musical inspiration via artists like Russ whose messaging is rooted in self-belief was exactly what Warren needed at that time. The combination of self-education, passion for business, and music and inspiration is what continues to drive Warren to keep crushing it in the music scene.
Russ is one of those artists that Warren always includes in his top three hashtags, in company with Drake and JCole, but his musical inspiration and appreciation spans genres from Adelle to Justin Bieber, Nipsey, Mac, Logic, Kendrick, to his all-time favorite Bob Marley.
“One of my biggest inspirations outside of rap is Bob Marley. I know every Bob Marley song, every word, every song.”
Seeing Anderson. Paak’s climb from a small town musician in Oxnard (a town 15 min away from Warren in Ventura Country) to the world-known chart-topping superstar he is to this day. “When Dr. Dre signed Anderson. Paak I was like Dr. Dre don’t be signing people. Look at Anderson.Paak now with Bruno Mars and the whole Silk Sonic.” Inspiration is all around, and Anderson. Paak being so close made it hit home for Warren.
Part of what we love about Warren’s sound is that it is full of positive messages. When it comes to what inspires him in the way he writes, Warren is inspired by the message of some of his favorite artists, “Do it yourself”.
A commonality in the musicians that inspire Warren is the messaging. On an even deeper personal connection, Crooked Smile by JCole also made a huge impact on Warrinsen's viewpoint on life and self-worth. “I definitely don’t care now because of that song, and seeing J.Cole say ‘love yourself.’” Warren continues to drift further away from self-doubt as he taps into his creative work and exploration.
Warren also draws inspiration for his music from real life. “The realest songs that I ever wrote were usually when I was in a fight with a girl. Or when I was going through some shit. Anytime I was with a girl and everything was going great it was the stalest songs, and usually, if there was some drama going on it was the best songs.”
We can’t wait to hear the next two songs Warren has lined up that he is working on. Phases, which is about the different phases of life and the phases Warren is on even though he is still on the path keeping true to himself, and Commitment which we know is going to keep deep.
Since getting into the music scene it has become more important to keep his title as an independent artist with his brand 8-0-Fly Records. Warren is also constantly working on testing how he is delivering his music. He did a song a week drop inspired by Russ which resulted in great engagement and numbers, starting about 2 years ago. Since then Warren has started building up a vault of music that is too hot to drop before his album release in January of this upcoming year.
Warren is huge on self-promotion and using older releases as content you can resurface. He is deep diving into his social memories from the last two years and the consistency is paying off. Warren saw one of his craziest streaks, “My YouTube really started going crazy!’
“The main goal is to get people wanting new music right now, and it will just be the best music I have."
When it comes to cannabis Warren’s first experiences were when he was 15ish. “I would smoke with my friends every once in a while. We would get so high.” We nostalgically chatted through water bongs and all of the ways he and his friend would consume as teens. Something that Warren struggles with as a consumer is a high tolerance level, “You get a different high when you first smoke. It goes away quickly. I don’t think that ever comes back. Even if you stop smoking and start again I think it’s only something you get when you first do it the first handful of times.”
He spoke a bit about how having a bad first experience can put people off and reinforce stigma, which is why it is so important to provide education and access pathways to safe and informed usage. Since his first experiences, Warren has had a lot less fear when it comes to consumption because of the progress in legality and stigma change.
“Back then it was so illegal, it was so frowned upon. I was more scared. I remember working for a dispensary when I was like 18, and it was still illegal that I drove. You could have cards and stuff. I have gotten tickets for weed, I have definitely always had that feeling but it’s gone away.”
For Warren, his consumption feels way more normalized and casual at this point, which we are so happy to hear. Cannabis can resolve creative blocks for Warren, “I mean I’m smoking before the song, during, after. There is probably not even a song I have where I don’t mention it. It is very rare that I don’t mention it in a song. It keeps me in a positive space and it helps when I’m writing. Sometimes if I am stuck, I just take a second and hit a bowl and that will fix it, but not always. I mean sometimes I am still stuck, but there are a lot of times.”
When it comes to how he consumes, Warren doesn’t have a fave. He likes bong hits and joints. He is also an expert roller who is constantly improving his skills. His go-to tutorial on how to roll a perfect joint is Wiz’s Joint Rolling Tutorial For Beginners.
When it comes to what Warren is manifesting for the next year, it is building out the record label. “That’s like over 10 years. I want to pursue my journey in music, but I want to have an 8-0-Fly Beats thing where people know what 8-0-Fly is. I would almost rather have that, something I can pass on, something more personal.”
Warren has not faced cannabis stigma himself but feels there is a lot of misconception that exists about the cannabis community itself. He thinks a lot of the responsibility falls into the hands of the consumers and is all about finding a personal balance. Warren is personally able to do a lot of high energy high focus on work when he consumes but there is a time and a place for all people. From doing live shows to producing, he has found that people are often surprised that he is a cannabis consumer. He thinks it is artists who can find that balance, like Snoop and Wiz who do a lot for stigma change and normalization. He is not just supported by his fans but a family who also has a passion for cannabis.
Warren spoke about the “lazy” cannabis stereotype which he explained is not completely incorrect. “It does [make you lazy], you can abuse anything in this world- donuts, fucking toothpaste, just like alcohol. There are so many responsible drinkers. If you show it in a good way just like alcohol, you can be lazy with alcohol, you can be productive with alcohol, it’s like a lot of stuff.”
With that said, lazy stoney days are a-ok. It is all about what is right for you at that moment. Weed also helps Warren pause and relax each day, which is super important since he’s a huge coffee buff. #nonaplife lol.
When it comes to the future of cannabis, Warren is so excited for legalization and hopes that expands to all drugs as a next step. He is also looking forward to more people doing home-grows which can make it an overall more affordable experience in the dispensaries.
Just like his life motto “Go Big Or Go Home”, which comes from his skate background and his constant strive to push and grow out his music empire. Warren is pumped to start touring and leaving his hometown. “I get people always hitting me up, when are you coming here… So I can’t wait to start going around.” He is also looking forward to showcasing other artists and collaborating shortly.
He is inspired by the non-judgemental culture of the cannabis community, which has been echoed for him in the music scene. We can’t wait to see what’s next for SoundsbyWarren, check him out on our High Vibrations - September Drop, and follow him on IG @soundsbywarren. Check out his music on YouTube, SoundCloud, Spotify, or Apple Music.