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Population Control’s numbers are booming

Musical group has more than 2,500,000 streams collectively
Lana Francisco
Firehazard and Clavé! are the two founding members of the slung rap group Population Control.

“I used to record with the free mic that came with a Playstation and my school Chromebook”, said senior Diego Siri, when asked about his early attempts at making music. Since then Siri, known professionally as Clavé!, has upgraded not only his recording equipment, but also his musical creativity.

Siri and fellow senior Rishabh Deglurker, known artistically as Firehazard, are the two founding members of the slung rap group Population Control. Individually and as a group they have amassed a collective two and half million streams across all streaming platforms.

The members of Population Control both began their music careers in freshman year. Firehazard was originally interested in making music because of the creativity that it unlocked for him.

“Music doesn’t restrict you or put you in a box, you can just be whatever you want”, he said.

During the Covid-19 lockdown Clavé! had been playing instruments and recording them in his voice memos on his phone. He decided to start releasing some of the things he had recorded and soon enough it turned into a music career.

The two are talented multi-instrumentalists. Firehazard can play trombone, piano, classical guitar, and tabla, an Indian hand drum. Clavé! mainly plays guitar, bass, drums, but also dabbles in piano, cello, and violin. They frequently apply these instrumental skills to the production of their music.

“Every time I come out with a new song I feel like it’s the one I’m the most proud of,” said Clavé!.

Firehazard is most proud of his two recent songs, “Redwoods” and “Open Source”.

“That’s when I started producing beats on my own songs instead of using someone else’s,” he said, going on to explain the two songs felt like his own since he had crafted each part of it himself.

Despite often making songs together the two have very different methods to their songwriting process.

“Usually, I’ll record my verse in five minutes, and he’ll record his in two hours,” Clavé!, whose lyrics and beats are whatever he comes up with off the top of his head, said. Conversely, Firehazard prefers taking his time to carefully and precisely compose each part of his songs.

Collaboration is a common practice in the music industry and Population Control is no stranger to working with other artists. Most of the time Population Control will work with their friends and other artists they know in the music community.

“When you collaborate with artists that inspire you or you’ve been listening to for a while it’s a pretty dope experience,” Clave said.

Occasionally, interacting with other artists can go south and create ill feelings.

“I’ve had beef in the past, but not anytime recently because it’s really never that serious,” said Clavé!. The duo prefer to focus on making good memories creating projects than to make a big deal out of any conflicts that may come up when different artists butt heads.

When you collaborate with artists that inspire you or you’ve been listening to for a while it’s a pretty dope experience

— Clavé!

Early in their careers, someone downloaded the file information for three of Population Control’s songs and sold them as NFTs. Within a week, the perpetrators shut down their site and ran off with several hundred dollars in profit from the pirated songs. Firehazard and Clavé! never received any compensation from the scheme and the culprits were never identified.

In 2023, Clavé! started a new musical persona called Section17.

“I already had my established scene on Clavé!, which was deep in the ambient trap scene,” he explained. He uses Section17 as a way to make songs of varying genres without switching it up too much on his main page.

In college, neither Firehazard or Clavé! plan on studying music or pursuing it as a career, but they are sure that music will always be a part of their lives.

A new Population Control album is in the works, but both artists stress the process can’t be rushed. Population Control, Firehazard and Clavé! can all be found on all music streaming platforms.

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About the Contributor
Isaac Kilmer
Isaac Kilmer, Reporter
Isaac is a senior. This is his first year as a member of the Lightridge News staff.

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