By Nicholas Jason Lopez
Never eager to settle for less than what she feels she deserves, Violette took a chance and bet on herself after a successful stint as a rock-pop frontwoman.
The decision has paid off in spades, as the Baltimore-based indie-pop songstress garnered universal praise as of late with the release of her sophomore EP ‘In her beauty lies my death and my life,’ highlighted by hearty efforts like the synth-happy lead single “Fall Apart,” the dreamy “Stop,” “Mine” and “Let Me Down.”
The Music Bugle had the chance to speak with Violette about ‘In her beauty lies my death and my life’ and more.
Music Bugle – How was the name “Violette” decided?
Violette – When I was making the decision about whether to pursue a solo career or to start another band, I was on the phone with my manager and my partner discussing my options. I was sitting across from my record collection and The National’s ‘High Violet’ kept glaring at me. I kept thinking about using a play on the word “violet” and joined it with my love for anything French and Violette is the name that I felt fit what I was doing!
Music Bugle – What was your goal for “In her beauty lies my death and my life”?
Violette – ‘In her beauty lies my death and my life’ is really special to me, because I didn’t really go into it with any goal or expectation. It was just making music for the sake of making music. When I started getting into the writing process, the idea of using the EP as a form of escapism became my focus. I wanted to tell stories in each song, but didn’t want them to be too dark.
Music Bugle – What excites you the most about your style of music?
Violette – I feel completely free and encouraged to make anything that I want. I’m into a lot of different styles and genres, but in my past endeavors, I’ve always felt like the overall vision had to be one thing. As Violette, I feel free to experiment more and not let a genre or style dictate what I create.
Music Bugle – How would you describe Baltimore to someone who has never been there before?
Violette – Baltimore is called the “Charm City” and that’s exactly how I’d describe it. It definitely seems like it has a hard shell around it, but there’s such a wonderful community here and I feel like anything we overcome, we do it as a city. I’m really proud to be a member of our local music scene. Almost every show I’ve played here has been a multi-genre show and it’s really inspired me to not stick to a genre myself.
Music Bugle – What made you want to release “Fall Apart” as the lead single?
Violette – I have been trying to write a song like “Fall Apart” for a really long time now. For me, it’s a song that definitely exemplifies what I’m trying to do as an artist, both sonically and as a songwriter. When it comes to singles, my thought process is that if I love the song and back it, then let’s push it!
Music Bugle – Which of your songs were the hardest to write?
Violette – “Fall Apart” was hands down the hardest song to put together. Every song on ‘In her beauty lies my death and my life’ was a dream to write, because they all came together organically and quickly. “Fall Apart” was one of the first ones I wrote, but the demo version definitely needed some work. When it came to actually recording it, we had reworked the music and sounds three times before getting it right. It was definitely the most challenging, but ended up being one of my favorite songs I’ve ever put out.
Music Bugle – Does social media help or hurt musicians?
Violette – I think social media both helps and hurts musicians. There is so much content and so many brilliant artists out there, that sometimes, it feels like it’s really hard to be seen, but to flip the coin, we’re able to be exposed to so much different music that we wouldn’t hear if social media wasn’t around and we were dependent on labels and radio. Personally, I try to focus on my priorities and goals first and then use social media to reach who I can, without the expectation that my Instagram is going to get me signed, without doing the work locally and regionally first.
Music Bugle – Where do you go when you need a break?
Violette – I’ve been living in Baltimore City properly for about a year and a half now and recently got a dog, so when I need a break, right now, it’s going out for a walk around the neighborhood with him. I also really enjoy boxing and if I’m going through it, there’s nothing like putting the gloves on and beating up a bag! I’m really lucky to have a home that feels like a fortress and a few hobbies that help distract me when I’m struggling, so I don’t have to go far to find peace.
Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?
Violette – Right now, I’ve had Phoebe Bridgers, Charli Adams and Holly Humberstone on repeat. Those women are putting out really great music and I’ve really enjoyed diving into their songwriting.
Music Bugle – What do you hope for as we begin 2022?
Violette – I was absolutely itching to get back onstage to finally perform these songs. I started releasing music right as we went into lockdown in 2020, so I haven’t been able to play most of these songs live. I’m also slowly, but surely starting work on new music. I just want to see live music back and Baltimore music thriving!