30 Seconds interview: Volente

VolentéThe sounds of South Wales singer songwriter Volente’s musical career so far appear to touch all bases. 

While starting out in school choirs, her first musical experiments with contemporary music saw her perform as part of a nine piece avant-garde metal rock band called Stalin.

From these beginnings back in her native South Africa, music has been a habit she seemingly cannot stop chasing – first to London, then on to Cardiff in South Wales. On the way, Volente worked as a session singer in the capital’s Berwick Street Studio and recorded with hotly tipped trip hop band The Sentiment.

The songwriter is now two albums into a solo career and continuing to grow as an artist with every record. The latest – Butterflies Fall Away – sees her write, produce, arrange and perform every song on the album.

The launch of the album saw her perform live at the Wales Millennium Centre while it was also chosen as one of the top ten albums of the year by BBC Radio Wales’ Jason Camillieri.

Her latest Broken Promises single sees her pushing her sounds into fresh corners she hasn’t visited before. M spoke to her below to find out how she first got into music and who her dream collaborator would be…

I first started writing music because…

It was something that came to me naturally, as most of my family have always been involved in music in some way. I also found it to be a great way to express my thoughts and feelings about various issues that have affected me in my life.

I have been making music since…

I was very young, singing in school choirs, drama performances and in later years, in several bands.

My music is…

A mixture of many different genres, as I grew up with an immense variation of sounds from Elvis to Rage Against The Machine. When I’m in the recording process, I start out with just a basic guitar track and tend to lay down the rest of the sounds on the track as they come to me in the moment.  When recording I tend to write everything there and then in the studio. I just don’t get time to work everything out in advance.

You’ll like my music if…

You listen to a variety of different artists and if you like something that is more experimental and not trying to be anything in particular.  Artists like Thurston Moore from the band Sonic Youth (whom I also really like) really appeals to me, as I really like guitar bands.

My favourite venue is…

Colston Hall in Bristol as this venue has played host to some of the world’s biggest artists including the great Ray Charles and Bob Dylan. I actually saw Nick Cave perform there several years ago, which was a fantastic gig!

Music is important because…

It is a universal language that can communicate with anyone, regardless of race, creed or culture and either brings back memories, brings people together or can be very theraputic or invigorating to some.

My biggest inspiration is…

My children. They make everything worthwhile.

My dream collaboration would be…

With Linkin Park, Massive Attack and Neil Young.

To try me out, listen to my song…

Broken Promises. I wrote it because I had been wondering about whether the word ‘promises’ should be removed from the dictionary. In the society we now live in, people don’t seem to honour the true meaning of the word whether it is in personal relationships, politics, working environments or within communities.

If I wasn’t making music I’d be…

Expressing my creativity through other forms of art, photography and media.

In 10 years time I want to be…

In a place where I am able to help less fortunate people get ahead in their lives, whether it’s through music or personal development.

www.volente.co.uk

 

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