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Interview: Villette Talks About Upcoming Mixtape + Madcap Madness

Interview: Villette Talks About Upcoming Mixtape + Madcap Madness

Thursday 29th June, 2017 11:40AM

Villette is an Auckland-based vocalist, producer and songwriter steadily on the rise with her sound that blends elements of R 'n' B, hip hop and soul. Last year she produced the wonderfully endearing tune ‘Strong Woman’ for Young Gifted and Broke MC Raiza Biza and has since been stateside for a handful of live dates and recording sessions. In anticipation for her appearance at the jam-packed Madcap Madness this weekend, we caught up with the chanteuse to get her some insight into her forthcoming mixtape, her American adventures and her hot picks for performances among the weekend’s Madness…

UTR: Tell us about your recent adventures in the US of A. What’d you get up to there? Did you score any cool souvenirs?

USA was a whole other world for me. I guess as a tourist it’d be a completely different experience but going there for work as one of the thousands of creatives that go there was intense. Biggest thing was the work ethic and how fast paced everything was. I loved it. I worked in a couple studios in LA with a few writers and we worked on a few songs with Red Bull for 30 Days in LA. I managed to get a couple gigs booked in San Fran and Oakland as well so that was sick too! Oakland was amazing, the scene there is so strong and kind of reminded me of the scene here.

You’re pretty involved with Red Bull Sound Select. How did that affiliation come to be?

Well that happened all because of my friend Haydn, who called me up one day to ask if I wanted to join his roster under Madcap. I’m really thankful for that because I was at a point where I was seriously reconsidering pursuing music but that phone call really gave me that extra push to keep going. It’s been amazing, the whole experience with Red Bull.

What details can you share about your forthcoming mixtape? Do you have a title, ballpark release date, perhaps an over-arching theme?

Sure can. There are a couple of names I have in mind but I’m waiting to listen to the whole thing when it’s all mastered and ordered to decide on one. It’s so hard choosing a name! Lol. My first EP was called Crimson Girl so I’ll be tying it into that title a little bit. This mixtape is all about feeling. Intense emotional release and it follows the narrative of one girls reactions to life events. Release is due near the end of the year!

You recently rocked bFM’s Fancy New Band showcase with two back up dancers. Is this a tradition you plan to keep as a part of your live performances?

Yes! It was my first time performing with the girls, Cass and Manda. They’re both great dancers, and I’m blessed to have them as part of the team. When I started performing live I knew I wanted to create something more for the audience, I wanted them to engage and see the music through movement. I’m very lucky to have found dancers that do that. I’ll definitely be keeping them around, and it’s only up from here!

How was your Splore experience? I was very keen to catch the likes of Lady Leshur...

Spore was probably my favourite summer festival I performed at! I played at the DJ tent and it was packed, mostly probably because it was a covered tent and it was pouring down but HEY I’LL TAKE IT, haha. Everyone there was open to hearing something a bit slower and different. The energy at Splore has always been something you won’t find anywhere else, at any other festival. I would have loved to catch Lady Leshur too but i have to admit I ran straight to my car after the performance and went to sleep because I couldn’t take the rain! Lol.

As well as being an accomplished vocalist, you’re also a skilled beatmaker. Have you got any favorite plugins or techniques that inspire you with producing?

Thank you. I love making beats! I don’t have any “fav” plugins but I’m definitely a sample based producer. In Crimson Girl each song was heavily sampled. 'In The Sheets' sampled an Alicia Keys guitar riff and 'Sedate' sampled a piano riff from a Lil Wayne song. Taking something and flipping it, cutting it up until it sounds like my mood is what I pretty much live for when making a beat. I use Ableton and I’ve found that the DAW is perfect for sampling. I’m still learning every time I make something so my technique changes a lot, but it only becomes more enjoyable.

In a recent interview, you mentioned being competitive with yourself and with male contemporaries. What’s your take on the current state of the hip hop scene and music industry in New Zealand for ladies? Is becoming more inclusive?

It’s definitely becoming more inclusive. I think it’s an exciting time for everyone coming up in NZ. There are so many ladies coming through as producers and vocalists, and that is something to be celebrated. The hip hop scene is flourishing, and with people like Kama & Raka on the come up it’s exciting as fuck. Producers are being recognised a lot more for their achievements too. I recently stumbled across a girl called Tei who produces and writes her own music too, she’s super sick and I recommend checking her out.

You’re playing at the Madcap Madness festival this Saturday. Who are your hot picks for the show?

Yes! I’m so excited for this one. Madcap always puts on the best parties! My hot picks are Eastern Bloc, Peach Milk, Raiza Biza (of course) and IllBaz. Gotta catch them throw down, and come say hi to me as well!

Catch Villette at Madcap Madness on Saturday at Wine Cellar and Whammy Bar, along with Blaze The Emperor, Soccerpractise, Waterfalls, Shiraz & LSJPeach Milk, Raiza Biza, Illbaz and a heap of other acts. For full details and to buy tickets head HERE.

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