Interview: Velvet Winter
The brainstorm of Velvet Winter, Talon Majors, has released her new sonically sexy, electro-pop single, entitled, “Diamond Daydreams”, a song although very personal to her, is for those who had to fight to accomplish their life’s goals.
The song is about a girl taking the lessons she’s learned along the way of her rough journey and she transforms them into ‘metaphoric diamonds to propel herself forward’, She uses a chant in the middle of the song, “I picked up the pieces…The shards from the storm…..And turned them into diamonds to carry me forward…Slowly they silenced this violence inside my soul’.
Louder Then War spoke with Talon about her musical background, her hard times, and her recent success.
Louder Than War: your new release “Diamond Daydreams” has a message and a theme, so let’s talk about that for a minute.
I actually wrote that 2 1/2 years ago. I was going through a really rough time, kind of getting to know LA, and the Hollywood scene. I was dating someone and it was not going very well, just the whole struggle out here that artists go through when they’re coming up. I was driving actually up Sunset, how cliché, and I just started humming this melody. The words just came out and I was crying, and gripping my steering wheel, it was this total, classic, artist moment. Somewhat of an artistic breakthrough. It was really meaningful for me at the time. I wrote it is kind of a loungey blues vibe and originally it was written with piano. It was a lot different than this. Then I shelved it for a bit, because it just didn’t fit with the project. But it was really special to me, so when I revisited it, I changed it to something cool, and electronic, and more current.
It’s very relevant for today both musically and message wise.
Especially the chant in the middle. For me personally, I live with anxiety, and I battle depression, I’ve had a crazy family life, I’ve moved all over, and had this very colorful life. I think that’s what really inspires me. Having not gone through those things I’m not sure I would be me.
You’ve had a musical background as a child?
My first instrument was saxophone. I played alto sax, and then tenor, and I tried to play baritone, but I didn’t have a long capacity for it. Then when I was 13, I came home, and my uncle lived with us, and I saw this rockstar drum kit in the living room. I walked in and my eyes got all big, and I started crying and I was so excited. I wanted to play drums so bad. I just thought it was the coolest thing ever, so I started playing drums. I had a little garage band, and did the battle of the bands in high school. Then later I went to Colorado Musical Institute and started playing in the metal bands. When I moved here, I had a project with my ex for a bit, and I started singing. Then I got really sick and I started writing poetry. And then when I started singing I just got to this magical place that I couldn’t get to with any other instrument. When I started singing I really felt like this is what I want to do. It’s just such a raw experience.
Do you play live a lot?
I have, I played all over in the past as a drummer. It’s actually crazy, I’m starting to get show offers all over the place. I’m really excited to see where I end up later this year. I’m putting together a stage show. I’m really excited to get out and play shows as a vocalist.
What thrills you most when playing live?
It’s different depending on what instrument. As a drummer I just loved it, especially when I had to play a solo. People get so ants up about drums. They just love it, it’s such a primal instrument. People vibe off of that. You’re in the back running the show. The drummer can’t mess up, and I like the pressure of that. As a vocalist it’s a totally different thing. I am able to connect with people on such a more personal level. If I’m saying something that they vibe with, then we share that moment.
Who did you listen to on the radio growing up?
I love this question… So I’ve always been so varied in what I’ve listened to. I actually grew up listening to country. I really love Johnny Cash, all the way from Johnny Cash to Frank Sinatra. I even like Britney Spears really. I’m serious though, to be completely transparent, I’ve always been the kind of person that loved everything. If people are creating art I appreciate it. I’m not one of those people that are biased to one genre or another. I had everything in my CD case, like Slayer, I had Britney in there, I had Jimi Hendrix in there…. I am mentally going to my CD case now. Even reggae, I loved all of it. It just depended on what instrument I was playing at the time.
Sax is a really cool instrument for a girl to play, especially young girl. I would never have thought about picking up saxophone when I was younger.
I didn’t either. My mom made me play it. She made me play it and I was so disgruntled over it for so long, and then one day I just loved it. I am so glad she made me play it. It was more or less we had one in the house. It was cool because most saxophones are brass, they are kind of gold colored. This one was silver. It was a really old antique saxophone and I really stood out. I played that thing until the pads fell off of it.
Is there anything that you’d like to promote for yourself to your fans and followers?
Yeah, definitely. I’m just so touched and so excited that people are responding to the message the way that they are. People are really getting it, so I’m so incredibly blessed and grateful and humbled. I’m really excited to get out there and connect with people, so I just want to say thank you. In all caps, THANK YOU!
Do you plan to tour?
Yeah, definitely. Like I said I’m starting to get show offers, and I’m going to put it together as quickly as possible. I can’t wait.
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All words by Eileen Shapiro. More of Eileen’s writing can be found in her author’s archive.