Through the ringer is an understatement for the life Velvet Winter has had. A near death experience and a drug addiction, each as harrowing as the last both pushing her towards a new start. Her latest single, “Diamond Daydreams,” explores a journey from the bottom back to the surface. She calls it “an anthem for anyone who’s had to fight their way to their life goals.” We talked about that, living in LA and what’s to come from her.
Kendra: You lived out my childhood musical dreams playing the sax and drums. Playing instruments for years before becoming a vocalist, do you ever pick up your old friends and play?
Velvet Winter: Yes! I do sometimes, especially if a friend plays and has a kit or a sax. I want to pick up a tenor sax at some point just to have around.
Kendra: Living in LA since 2013, have you ever thought of leaving and heading elsewhere for your career? Just because the rent here is not letting up.
Velvet Winter: LA has finally grown on me. But you aren’t kidding about rent! Sure I’d go if he opportunity was right but things seem to be going well here for now.
Kendra: While in LA a couple of years ago you had a near-fatal health scare, did that give you a whole new outlook on how you wanted to approach not only life but music as well?
Velvet Winter: Totally. I went from being a rock and metal drummer to being an indie pop rock vocalist! I’d say that’s a change up. I feel like I can access a much deeper place vocally than I was ever able to reach playing drums. I feel very connected to what I’m doing now and excited to see how it evolves. I can’t wait to share that with people.
Kendra: You also battled addiction during that time. How did you manage to overcome that and move onward?
Velvet Winter: Music saved me in so many ways. Listening to my favorite bands, writing new material and letting go of so much through poetry and singing has been very therapeutic. I’ve also gone on a soul journey, getting to know myself better and digging deep to the core issues of why I was numbing out my pain for so long; where it came from etc. I had to dig DEEP. My final battle with substances was with anxiety meds that ended up making me very sick. That was both life changing and liberating; I feel like my eyes are wide open now!
Kendra: Lyrically it seems like you’re all about overcoming the odds. Penning this as a sort of anthem for those who’ve struggled on their paths. What is your best advice for getting through the worst of days?
Velvet Winter: KEEP GOING. The only way out is through. I know what it’s like to be on the edge, to want to give up and to be in the darkest of spaces in your mind. Feeling trapped in your head is a torment people can’t see on the surface and my heart goes out to everyone loving the warrior’s journey. Find a soiled outlet. Music is mine. I also meditate and spend a lot of time in nature.
Kendra: You have this single, out now but what else can we expect from you this year?
Velvet Winter: I have a few singles out now and expecting to release my album soon. Finally, booking shows so that’s very exciting!
Kendra: Lastly, here at ZO we’re really into all aspects of creativity. With that, if you had to compare your sound to a work of art, which would it be and why?
Velvet Winter: Like well-known artwork? How about M.C Escher’s Relativity…because there are so many pieces merging together to form something interesting that’s going a million directions! I love Escher. And Dali. And anything strange.