From Seattle to Signal Hill
Story by Ryan Leuteritz
Space Dolphin, 23, also known by Splashy, has been rapping and producing music in Seattle for over a decade. Since then, Space Dolphin’s catchy and impressive tracks have caught the eyes of multiple creatives in Los Angeles and ultimately brought him to Southern California. Similar to many talented artists, Space Dolphin expressed an interest in music at a very young age.
“I started making music and experimenting with music when I was eight years old at my dad’s office using a program called Magix Music Maker,” he said.
At just 10 years old, he rapped one of his own beats at a school talent show, marking his first performance.
From then on, he went by a number of aliases, releasing multiple projects throughout his middle and high school years before deciding on his current moniker, Space Dolphin. With such an interesting stage name, fans have constructed a number of theories on its origins, but Splashy put those speculations to rest as he explained the history of his unique identity.
“In one of my bars on [the song] ‘For The Ocean,’ I said ‘Polo coffin, space Polo dolphin,’” he explained.
Space Dolphin’s long-time friend and collaborator, Player 2, took notice of that line, especially his innovative use of the word “space,” and brought it to his attention.
“I thought about it for a couple weeks and was like, ‘That’s it, Space Dolphin. I think that’s it, I think that’s the wave,’” he said.
Inspired by classic video games and tropical vibes, Space Dolphin’s electronically melodic yet bass heavy beats often evoke a feeling of nostalgia and relaxation. When paired with his witty and descriptive wordplay, he produces music that can be appreciated in any setting, whether in a club, in the solace of your own car or even a romantic evening.
“I loved using video game samples early on,” he said, when asked about his production influences. “I loved using ‘Zelda,’ ‘Mario Brothers’ and ‘Super Smash Brothers’ samples for my beats. I drew a lot of influence from a lot of that. I love video games, so you might even catch me with a ‘Fortnite’ beat.”
While he draws much of his inspiration from classic games, his style is not restricted to video games samples in the slightest.
“I also used a lot of Bossa Nova samples,” he said. “The whole ambiance I wanted was chill, aquatic and wavy, so what do you get when you get samples? Bossa Nova samples. Like you’re on an island taking a vacation.”
Space Dolphin is on the rise, with his newest and most popular single, “Commando,” receiving club plays across the nation. The song caught the eyes of prominent promoters and artists in Los Angeles, which led Splashy to his first trip to Southern California.
Splashy’s visit to Southern California is a mixture of business and pleasure. He has been in the studio with artists and producers like Finatik and Zac, and also found time to shoot a video in Beverly Hills for his brand new song “I Know,” which is expected to be released in the coming weeks. Space Dolphin has spent much of his time in Southern California working on music, but he still sees his trip just as much a vacation as a business trip.
“I’m in Long Beach, exploring California like I should have been a long time ago,”he said. “I love Long Beach. It’s the vibe ─ I love the environment and there’s palm trees everywhere. I love palm trees. It’s very subtropical, I’m feeling the whole vibe.”
He even went on to hint the possibility of spending more time in Long Beach in the future.
“I could really see myself setting up a spot down here in the future because it’s close to LA, too,” he said. “The beaches are nice [and] all the cafes and restaurants are really nice.”
For the immediate future, Space Dolphin revealed information about his next project, his first since 2015.
“I’m currently working on a ten song project, I’d call it more than a tape but less than an album,” he said. Although the project is yet to be named, he is confident that it will be released soon. “It’s definitely coming out in early 2019 hopefully around my birthday, Feb. 21. I also just finished up a video called “I Know,” which I’ll be releasing very soon.”