An Interview with Violet Greens

  • 3 min read

German singer, songwriter and visual artist Violet Greens recently shared her intriguing single ‘M.H.P’, and the acclaimed follow up single ‘Sad Song’, both of which are available now. Inspired by Billie Holiday’s heartfelt and genuine singing, the lyrical and provocative eloquence of sophisticated rap and Camus’ absurdism, Violet created a symbiosis between Jazz, contemporary pop music and lyricism, completely owning her own distinctive sound. 

The result, is something truly incredbile, and after giving them a few eager listens, we couldn't wait to get to know more about the singles and the talent behind them.

Let's get the obvious praise out the way first, your new singls are absolutely amazing. Can you tell us a little more about them?

'MHP' was mostly inspired by the novel 'Steppenwolf' by Hesse, where he depicts the duality of human nature, the inner turmoil and the contradictions of human existence that come along with it and are pretty hard to abide, yet most of us face at one point in life. 'Sad Song' on the other hand was intended to be a sequel to 'MHP', depicting the fragility and absurdity of human life and experience.The idea was to translate the multi-layered and deeply philosophical narratives of Hesse’s 'Steppenwolf' and 'Sad Song' into metaphorical visuals. Being a low-budget project, this was a very ambitious plan, considering the fact that we were filming both videos in one day, but I’m really happy my team spared no effort to realize this project.

You have such a unique and original style to both songs, how would you describe it?

"I would describe my sound as a conglomerate or rather a symbiosis between jazzy chord progressions, soulful and somewhat melancholic melodic lines and Hip Hop inspired drum patterns/ beats - juxtaposing mostly sombre, absurdism-inclined lyrics with an upbeat groove. "

How does something like that come together?

"I like to carry my thoughts about me for a long time before I set them down. I generally start the composing process by playing some chords on the piano I either hear in my head, or I just improvise. Whenever I come up with a chord progression I like, I start adding or developing melodies/ motives that pop up in my head while playing the piano. But sometimes a good melody or lyric line comes to mind first, so the process is reversed. That - to borrow the cliché - usually happens while taking a shower."

What’s the most important thing for you when you’re writing a song?

"Making sure that all the doors are closed. I get distracted quite easily, so peace and quiet are essential to me. Other than that I’m very fastidious about building a well-structured melody and theme of a song. Also, I really dig metaphors."

Let's take things right back for a moment, how did you first get into music?

"Luckily, I was born into a musical and artistic family and consequently was regularly exposed to jazz, soul, classical music, ballet and fine arts. I started playing the piano when I was 5, but stopped playing for a very long time for various reasons. Although music has always played a very important role in my life in some form or another, I decided to pursue a career as a musician professionally when I was about 19. It wasn’t always easy and I made a lot of detours, but ultimately I made the right choice."

Have their been any big influences you've carried with you so far?

"My dad and the composers and artists/musicians he introduced me to like Rachmaninoff, Beethoven, Oscar Peterson, Bill Evans, Roberta Flack, Stevie Wonder, George Benson, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan and many more."

Now the big question, what's next for you as an artist?

"I’m currently working on two EPs that will presumably be released in (the first half of) 2023."

What advice would you give to band’s who are looking to make it big?

"Oh, admittedly, I’m still looking for that magic recipe myself. Yet, I think the most important thing is to be persistent and patient, although it sometimes feels like a Sisyphean task."

With both music videos filmed at the ‘Stadtbad’, a historical municipal baths in Leipzig, Violet’s most recent single ‘Sad Song’ acts as an antithesis to previous single ‘M.H.P’, with the common underlying theme of the dangers of media and social media. With its up-beat groove juxtaposed with sombre lyrics, ‘M.H.P’ is inspired by the novel “Steppenwolf’ by German writer Hesse which depicts the duality of human nature, the inner turmoil and the contradictions of human existence.

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