Performing today at LOVE FROM HOME FEST, music artist Transviolet, is set to make her debut on NAKID! As part of our ongoing coverage all weekend, we sat down to interview each of our guests beginning with Recent Wife!
Image by Taylor Lewis Photo
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your story. How did your background and culture shape you and what creative expression means to you and why?
I moved around a lot as a kid/adolescent. Music was the only thing that was constant; it felt like a home for me. I’d obsess over songs, learning every lyric and holding on to them for dear life when things were hard. I was always the new girl, the weird girl, writing poetry and drawing, in my own world. Whenever I felt alone in my feelings, there was always a song to prove me wrong. Inspired by how connected music made me feel, I started writing songs of my own. Writing has this way of taking abstract, tangled feelings/experiences and turning them into something meaningful, something outside of you that you can examine from far away. I think without it, the feelings I had would have swallowed me whole. Music was a lifeline that gave me a reason to stick around.
Artistic expression is beauty in humanity, a way of releasing one’s self from within – was music something that called to you over time more than other artistic avenues or did you just know at some point?
I was in art school, and it became apparent music was calling to me more than any of the mediums I was studying, so I dropped out. I still love painting, drawing, directing, dancing, and I’m sure I’ll fall in love with many other mediums while I’m here, but my songwriting is what makes me feel most grounded and fulfilled.
What was it like growing up in and around LA for you? How has that shaped your found talent musically?
I didn’t grow up in LA. I was born in Scottsdale, AZ, moved to the central coast of California, lived in several cities there, then The Cayman Islands, Orlando, back to central California, then San Diego, The Cayman Islands again, Toronto, San Diego again, then finally LA in my early 20s. Moving around as much as I did forced me to focus on music, because it was the only home I had. Being in LA made it a career, and that was a big transition. It’s a dangerous thing to try and monetize the thing that’s keeping you sane. I definitely resented LA for commoditizing my soul for a little while, but I realized that’s kind of what I signed up for by coming here, and I’ve been able to find balance. LA is full of people chasing crazy dreams, and that’s intoxicating to be around. It’s inspiring to me, and that’s why I’ve stayed.
How has your music process and writing changed from when you started, and what things do you focus on most with respect to your brand or image and music that make up you as a music artist?
I think it’s much less cerebral now. I’m less precious with what I write. I would really wrestle with lyrics before, trying to force my original idea into place- where as now, I’m much more fluid, and I give in to the ether when creating. Tom Waits said “When you’re writing, you’re conjuring. It’s a ritual, and you need to be brave and respectful and sometimes get out of the way of whatever it is that you’re inviting into the room.” I truly believe that. Songs are living things, and sometimes they go places you didn’t intend them to.
As far as Transviolet as a brand, I try and focus on being honest, authentic, and empowered. Being empowered doesn’t always mean being the victor either, sometimes being vulnerable is the most powerful thing you can be.
How has COVID-19 affected you & your family personally and your community during this period of lockdown?
We had to end our tour early due the outbreak, which was disappointing. My parents are older, in their 60s, so it’s been very scary. I haven’t been able to see them since this whole thing. Also, one of my closest friends is a nurse with asthma, so I’m scared for her too.
What have you been doing during the lockdown to stay sane?
Lots of writing, making acoustic arrangements, and doing live streams. Cooking with my significant other, and just trying to slow down and appreciate what we have.
If you had to take one person alive or dead into quarantine lockdown with you for 30 days and you only got one object to take with you what would it be and who would you pick?
I’m happy I have my significant other here with me, I’m not sure I’d change anything. I don’t really like hanging out with anyone but them, more than a few days at a time. 30 days is a long time lol. Although if I had to narrow it down to one object, it would be my phone, so I could keep writing and recording.
What’s the first thing you wanna do or go to when the lockdown ends, what do you miss most?
I miss having my friends over for dinner. I really enjoy cooking for my friends.
What new music do you have on the horizon?
Who knows! We have some new songs I’ve written in quarantine. I’d imagine we’ll put those out soon.
What’s your favorite thing about making music and playing music live?
Being in a city I’ve never been in and having a room of people singing my lyrics. It’s like, we don’t know each other, but we’ve all felt this. In that moment we all feel a little less alone. It’s powerful.
What’s one thing that was a challenge you had to overcome choosing this music path and how did it affect you and your writing?
The financial struggle is real, and the industry can be a nightmare. A lot of people are operating in fear and that’s really sad to be around. It can be contagious. I’ve had to work very hard to keep the fears and insecurities of others from affecting me and my art.
What’s the hardest thing about being a musician?
Finding balance. I work for myself, so I can get consumed by my projects. I forget to take care of myself. It’s something I’m trying to work on- taking days off, and not feeling guilty about it.
How do you think the DYI movement through social media and internet in general has changed the industry and changed the way musical artists like yourself get discovered and reach new fans? What’s that kind of personal ability to directly connect to your fans meant to you as an artist and during this time? How do you think this event in history will change the internet and how we interact socially whether it be music or art or just in general?
I think it’s made it a lot more accessible. You don’t need a label to reach a lot of people if you are creative. Being able to connect with fans whenever I want keeps me sane. I’m not really sure what all this means for the future- but I do know this situation is forcing us to look at what we truly value- and for a lot of people, it’s the arts.
What advice do you have for aspiring artists and those out there having a hard time during this lockdown?
My friend Nate Flaks from Sleeping Lion gave me some very good advice. He said- we are all mourning the loss of normalcy- and there is no wrong way to grieve. I think we need to be kind and attentive to ourselves and our changing needs during this unprecedented time period.
Thank you for joining us and check out LOVE FROM HOME FEST today starting at 5:00 PM PST / 8:00 PM EST!!