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Interview with VIOLET VOPNI
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I’ve always had a passion for music, but I haven’t always been a musician. I was a singer/songwriter in my adolescent years, but come young adulthood I shifted gears and became an intuitive therapist. I returned to music in my 30s after a divorce, and now I’m the kind of artist that is involved in many different types of businesses, music being one of them.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I like karaoke, bowling, playing games like cards against humanity, and binge watching shows like The Good Doctor, Stranger Things and Star Trek.
How long have you been making music?
I started writing songs in 1995, but I didn’t have the means, courage or connections to make it happen so I didn’t release any of my songs until 2020.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
I’m based out of Winnipeg and I’m grateful that Winnipeg has such a vibrant music scene with a lot of talented people!
Tell me about your most memorable shows, if you haven’t played live what is your vision for a live show?
I recently played the Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival. I did a nighttime set with my full band which was energetic, emotional and loud! My memory from that was loving the freedom I had, feeling that I had made it as an artist, and really jiving with my bandmates. Fringe also had me do a solo set at noon on a different day of the festival and the biggest take away was the difference in being able to see the audience, as opposed to them being shroud in darkness. During the solo set I also had my cat, Freddie Mercurkitty join me onstage, and I had a lot of fans coming up to take our picture, he loved it, I loved it, we had a great time that afternoon.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
I’ve liked playing at The Cube in Winnipeg, but I’m also partial to The Park Theatre and the West End Cultural Centre, they have great stages. A stage I haven’t played yet in Winnipeg is the Lyric Theatre at Assiniboine Park and I’d love to bring Freddie with me to that stage as well.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
I’d love to play more shows with Allanah Jeffreys, Courtney Fox of Another Lover Band and Sophie Stevens, and Lana Winterhalt. If I had a dream artist I’d love to open for it would be Dua Lipa.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into making music and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
I’d tell my younger self to stop holding back and to get over the imposter syndrome sooner. It doesn’t matter how much theory you know, or how you write your songs, or if you play an instrument or not, what matters is that you’ve created something and that’s always valid. For people who are just getting into it, music is about collaboration, and you have to quickly get over yourself in that regard and just find people that you vibe with. You’re never alone when it comes to music, so just go out and find your people!
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
This answer changes over time. I’m the kind of person who writes a great song, gets obsessed with it, but eventually that wears off and I’ll write a new song that becomes the new obsession. Currently the song that comes to mind is one I haven’t finished working on with my band, it’s called Separate Ways and I’m obsessed with it because I included some whistle tone in that song and I’m excited to show people that I have that skill!
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
My song Friendzone is requested a lot because I got a karaoke backing track for the song and my friend who owns a local karaoke company would always get me to perform that song for the karaoke crowd. Now I show up to karaoke and people ask me to sing my originals!
What is your creative process, and what inspires you to write your music?
I’m just a liver of life and a collector of stories. Any experience can become a song, so that’s where a lot of my inspiration comes from. On the technical side of things I often start by having one or two lines of lyrics and melody come to me like an earworm in my brain and then I workshop it, sing it, record it, and then build on it later. Recently I’ve gotten a lot better at writing hooks, and then building a song around them.
Do you have messages that you like to get across in your music, if so please tell me about them?
Being a collector of stories allows me to address a number of topics in my songs, the typical topic being relationships, but I’ve also told stories about domestic abuse, addictions, mental health and my ancestry as an indigenous canadian.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
My album Imaginations is out on September 23rd and our release party for that show is sold out!
How can your fans best keep up to date with you, any socials you want people to check out?
It’s best to follow me on Spotify, Instagram and Facebook.