It gives us great pleasure to introduce to you a lady who’s bursting with talent and creativity. Volenté has been busy working in the music industry for years, and with a vast amount of experience behind her and a fantastic attitude on top, it seems as if nothing is impossible for the South African who’s settled to build her family and career in the sleepy valleys of South Wales. the girls are got the chance to chat to Volenté about her new single ‘Hollow’, her record label Dockrad Records. which she runs with her husband, as well as her thoughts on the ever changing music industry.
Hey, how are you today?
Really good thanks!
What have you got planned over the next few weeks?
I will be busy rehearsing over the next couple of weeks and getting ready for the launch. Also, working on the record label, planning my album, getting the children to and from activities and we have some friends coming to visit from Canada! Never a dull moment in our house!
Wow, busy busy. I know your brand new single ‘Hollow’ is out on 30 April – what’s the story behind the track?
The track is about situations where life in general may get quite heavy and one finds oneself at a crossroad, about finding the light even when the odds are stacked against one, in order to move forward by incorporating positive behavioural change in one’s life for the better. Sometimes one has to recognise that we have to change certain things that we may not like about ourselves as it may be detrimental to ourselves if we choose not to make changes.
So you’ve been making music for a vast amount of time – what made you start?
I suppose it’s in my blood. From very early on there was always music in the home. I was very drawn to the radio and regularly found myself singing along to everything and anything on the radio regardless of the genre. Singing in bands and then making my own music was a natural progression, as I wrote my first song when I was six years old.
How have you seen the music industry change since you started writing music?
The industry has evolved so much. In the past it may have been difficult for musicians to be heard but with the digital age and social networking, the situation has changed tremendously in terms of instant exposure. The artist is not as reliant or dependant on getting a signed deal from a major record label, as more people now have the means to create and share their work.
That is one of the biggest benefits, for sure. What inspires you to make the experimental pop/electronic music you specialise in?
I would not necessarily say that I specialize in any particular genre; I have just always loved singing and will probably be doing so for the rest of my life. I would like to think that my tracks have soul, regardless of what they sound like!
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
I have had some great gigs, touring around the UK, playing to a lot of people but sometimes the most intimate gigs give me the most pleasure, especially the interaction with the audience. Opening the Swansea Fringe Festival at the Grand Theatre for my first album launch was a fantastic opportunity. I have also worked with some great musicians and plan to move on to singing with electronic dance producers – watch this space!
You’ve also branched in to running your own record label too – why did you decide to do this when there is a lot of pressure on record labels due to bands DIY approach to music?
The main reason for starting Dockrad Records (www.dockrad.com) was to create a means of being able to release myself and my husband, David’s work. The label grew from there and we have since released around 26 records to date. It has not been easy but helping to get artists to where they deserve to be, is very rewarding.
What do you think of Roadrunner UK/Europe being discontinued as a branch of Warner Bros Records?
Well, I think that the major labels are taking less and less risks on artists and tend to go for the ‘safe’ option these days and anything like this undermines the opportunity for new and original artists to be heard, which is a real shame.
You’re also a mum of two – how do you find time to manage it all?
Life is very busy with the children! I just appreciate them as much as I can. My husband and I were originally told that it was impossible for us to have children, so we surround them with as much love as possible. As soon as they are off to school, we are straight back into business mode, whether it is working on the label, rehearsing or sourcing new talent.
You’ve also got a few single launches in Cardiff over the next few weeks – what’s the music scene in Cardiff like?
Cardiff is a very culturally diverse city and has a vibrant music scene. As I have only just returned from Canada I am catching up with it. My husband used to manage the famous ‘Clwb Ifor Bach’/Welsh club – often voted The Best Venue in Wales and the ‘Aperture’ Drum ‘n Bass nights there are still some of my favourite nights.
Clwb Ifor Bach is a beacon for Welsh music! What else have you got planned for the summer?
Well, there is six weeks to keep the children occupied! Otherwise, I will be starting to record my album later in August, so I will mostly be writing new material. I was spoiled last summer, as I spent some of my time in the Californian sunshine.
Are you going to any festivals this year?
Yes, I will be performing at the Swansea Uplands Music Festival and will probably be heading to the Hop Festival in Kent with friends at the end of June – I am not even sure who is playing. Unless I am performing live, I am not really a fan of mud and tents I am afraid.
Do you have any final words?
It may seem unrealistic but in an ideal world, I would love to see every individual, regardless of circumstance to be able to have access to free music recording and tuition facilities in every community, especially young people who so often lack the means to express themselves and lack entertainment facilities – that would be ideal!
Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions for us.
Thank you for making the time for me!