We're all about supporting up and coming talent here at Sole Finess, and when it comes to Honeys in Hip Hop the love is truly real, so the opportunity to introduce to you Melbourne based artist, Fresh Violet is just right on our level.
With musical influences from Eminem, Outkast and Miss Lauryn Hill, Violet produces her own beats and likewise her rhymes, but don't expect to hear the views of your typical female MC as Violet's music is an artistic expression created to help influence and rebalance a culture, executed in an undeniably 'Fresh' unique flavour.
We're proud to premier Fresh Violet's brand new clip titled 'Breakfast' from her up and coming album '50 Shades Of Violet' to be released later this year, but if you'd prefer to catch the cutie on stage in real life, make sure you head to Grumpy's in Melbourne on March 24 for a not to be missed launch party, additional tour details will be added here soon for all you interstate kids.
So how did you get into making music, was it something you’ve always been passionate about?
Yeah, it’s always been my thing. I remember begging on hands and knees to learn piano when I was a little kid. I was always making up songs and stories. I loved looking through my parents’ vinyl collection and was always trying to cram my brain full of as much music as I could. My life has revolved around practising and exploring as many different styles and skills as possible.
Who would you say are some your biggest musical influences?
There’s so many, the first hip hop artists I fell in love with were Eminem, Kanye and Outkast. I try and listen to absolutely everything I can so I have really diverse influences. I never try to sound like anyone else but I take the best parts from my favourite artists and let that set the bar for me. I was motivated to start rapping by what I wasn’t hearing as well.
In my rotation at the moment are Big L, WuTang Clan, Lauryn Hill, A.B. Original, Anderson Paak, Sean Price, Big Daddy Kane, Bliss N Eso… But I’ve spent a lot of time listening to other genres too. I studied classical music at Uni, I’ve play a lot of jazz and music theatre, have spent a lot of time listening to metal, punk, grunge, folk, indie, soul, pop… you name it, it’s all played a part in shaping my taste.
We love your animated on stage presence, how do you think your style sets you apart from other artists?
Thank you! I’m not sure if it’s left over school drama club vibes or just me expressing my lyrics. Maybe both? I definitely have fun on stage and it seems to show and the audience responds to it!
I definitely have my own style, but it’s not something I do anything to regulate, I just know what I like. I’ve always been creative and a bit quirky and I’ve always tried to nurture that in myself. There’s a lot of pressure for everyone to fit in but I always saw the value in standing out from the crowd. A lot of my idols were oddballs, like David Bowie for example.. I always felt that different is good. Because my music is self expression it just happens naturally that it comes out with a unique flavour.
As a female in a genre mainly dominated by males, do you find that the misogynistic views towards females through Hip Hop have an effect on the content you produce?
Definitely, that was part of what attracted me to the genre. On one hand I loved the rhyming and playfulness of hip hop but on the other hand I was disturbed by how misogynistic and male dominated it was. One of my motivations to start rapping was to help balance the scales but adding my voice to the genre. I also love having a way to express myself. I think life imitates art, so if I can create art I can help influence culture and have a voice. I want to make a difference. I think to even just exist as a female in this scene sends a message in itself.
I like to vary my topics a lot and just play with words and flows, but I will rap whatever I’m feeling and I have been certainly having some feelings on that topic. There really are some pockets of the scene here that have terrible misogyny problems. Is that surprising in a community dominated by middle class white pseudo feminist men? There’s some apologies I’m looking forward to when certain people realise pressing the emergency bro-code button isn’t going to make me or the issue disappear.
How do you feel about the females representing the Hip Hop game currently?
There’s some amazing women doing it out there! There’s heaps of American and English women killing it right now, I love Lady Leshurr and Little Simz, Rapsody, No Name… I think we all have to keep pushing ourselves though. I believe in being so good they can’t ignore you, that’s always my goal.
Can you tell us more about your latest video, what was behind the inspiration?
Well this video is the first release from my upcoming album 50 Shades of Violet. The project explores a wide range of moods, topics and styles while still being a cohesive Hip Hop release. Breakfast is definitely the lightest shade of Violet on it! It’s for anyone who’s been sleeping on me and letting them know I’ve got something for them when they wake up. Other than being about Breakfast it’s ultimately about working hard… I also love that the clip is distinctively Melbourne.
Lets say there were no limitations, who would the ultimate collaboration/production be with?
With absolutely no limitations and access to a time machine there’d be a long list of dead people, but I’ll refrain from being morbid and say Childish Gambino, Rihanna, Run the Jewels, SIA, Kendrick, more locally, Mantra and Thelma Plum, and I’m really excited to be collaborating with Mr. Ruckman on a track for the album! We’re recording it at the moment, it’s definitely a darker, more psychotic shade of Violet.
What’s the weirdest fan mail/comments you’ve ever received/experience?
Hmm nothing too strange online. The weirdest thing was once at a freestyle open mic night I was next in line, game face on, clearly about to take the mic when a guy butted right in front of me and had the nerve to ask me if I was going up. He seemed to think it was more likely I was an audience member standing there reaching for the mic by mistake. It was pretty insulting. Glad to say I stood my ground, took my turn and did a neat freestyle. The guy look suitably embarrassed afterwards. Haha. Lesson learnt I think.
Any big projects for 2017, what can we expect to see from Fresh Violet?
Yes, my album! I’m working on having it ready for release this year. I’m also booking lots of shows at the moment, including some interstate ones!
Tell us your favourite spots in Melbourne to...
Eat: Half Moon Café best falafels in Melbourne, Gelato Messina, Horse Bazaar for amazing Japanese food.
Shop: Plug 7 for Vinyl, Heart on Her Sleeve for pre-loved clothes and Get Fluffed for Jewellery, Adidas and Dolls Kill for clothes and shoes.
Chill: The studio, the basketball court, friends houses, the dog park, anywhere there’s Hip Hop playing!