INTERVIEW: EMPRESS®

1. Hi EMPRESS®, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Thanks for having me! I’m doing well thanks. Currently in LA working with my favorite producer Bart Schoudel – we’re working on some new music and I am super excited to be back in a studio doing what I love to do. This year was a weird one for us all. I used 2020 and the long quarantine to create new music, videos, did fun side projects, like orchestrate a symphony and work on a book that I’ve wanted to write for years but never had time to do it… well, we all had a lot of free time at home last year so I used that time to bring them to life. Most of the projects and videos that I was working on pre-covid had to be adjusted with COVID restrictions. For instance a music video with five characters became me playing all five characters! Those videos will come out soon along with my EP.

2. Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Vixen”?

 I am always inspired by the continuing movement of women wanting equality, acceptance and respect, I wrote “Vixen” to remind women of their inner strength and confidence. I wrote four additional renditions of “Vixen” to reflect how that confidence comes through in different ways. 

3. Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

I wanted a song that made marriage and the many stages of it sexy. My husband and I both grew up in a loving home and are grateful for the fact that our par are all still married. We adore and respect each other and he is the most supportive man and partner in life that I could ever ask for. I know that throughout my many stages of life from girlfriend, to wife and someday mother, grandmother and great grandmother, our love will deepen and evolve, and that we will still have that attraction to each other that we did when I first set eyes on each other.

4. How was the filming process and experience behind the video?

The filming was super hard work because I decided to share my 5-minute workout that I created over the course of my 11-year career at San Francisco Ballet. We shot this several times and I just kept trying to smile through my burning muscles but it was so difficult HAHAH! I really love this workout and you can do this ANYTIME, ANYWHERE! So I’m glad I got through that day of shooting so that I could share it with my fans.

5. The single comes off your new album The Vixen Collection – what’s the story behind the title?

To me, a “Vixen” is an empowered woman who remains beautiful and attractive throughout the many stages of womanhood. 

6. How was the recording and writing process?

This song came to me pretty quickly; I think I wrote it in an afternoon. When I played a super rough version for my producer Bart Schoudel, and he loved it. (He’s pretty honest guy and doesn’t always love my music LOL.) So we ended up recording in NYC at SPIN Studios that was so much fun. They had a beautiful grand piano that Bob Dylan used to play, and I even did some of the percussion on the track. (I am a very basic drummer, so it was really fun to play a bit). I recorded the vocals in 45 minutes – which is a personal record! And we had a blast working it. 

7. What role does San Francisco play in your music?

San Francisco has been my home for the past twenty years and we have such an incredible art scene. I grew up around some of the most incredible artists in the world when I was working with the San Francisco Ballet. I got to work alongside some of the greatest choreographers, and dance to some of the most gorgeous live music, so I feel spoiled in the best way. San Francisco has always been really supportive of everything I do and I am so grateful to be a part of such a elite group of talent.

8. What aspect of empowerment did you get to explore on this record?

I think that women are more in the driver’s seat than we think. Empowerment doesn’t come from the opposite sex, it comes from within. When we realize that by supporting each other as women and raising our children (especially sons) to love and respect women, then I think women would balance out the male dominated world we currently live in. 

9. Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

I grew up listening to the Spice Girls who were all about Girl Power. I personally don’t think that it’s a coincidence that my generation grew up to be the leaders of the Me Too and the Times Up movements. The Spice Girls made an enormous impact on my generation and me and they strongly influence my songwriting.

10. What else is happening next in EMPRESS’ world?

Lots of fun projects in the works. I have a couple more singles, remixes and videos coming out before my EP release at the end of May! 

LISTEN HERE

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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