JAI GURU DEV

3 Questions with Violet

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For Violet, art and activism are two sides of the same coin.

Her Naive imprint has been releasing some of the most exciting music of the last year, culminating with today’s release of the Devotion EP, a love-drenched split-EP from Eris Drew and Octo Octa

Violet lends her voice to a new generation of music lovers with an ardent vision of inclusivity and equity for all. Her contributions to mina, a techno queer feminist sex-positive party, and Radio Quântica, an independent online radio station, have played a huge role in the revitalization of Lisbon’s nightlife. Violet’s work in Lisbon is helping shape the city’s social discourse at large.

We are tremendously excited to host such an inspiring artist’s Chicago debut. We hope you’ll join us in welcoming her next Thursday, 11/1 at Smartbar.

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is there a moment in time (art project, a certain teacher, etc.) when you knew that creating was going to be your life’s work? if so, can you describe that (memory, feeling, thought) for us?

Ironically I think it was as soon as I finished university. My course - economy - didn’t really work for me at all and I knew I couldn’t work in the business area by any means, so I moved from Lisbon to Brighton to take arts courses and fully immerse myself in what had been my true love all along - creating. It felt liberating but also extremely new and, at times, daunting, as it involved being in a new city and putting all my faith in the idea of living in the margins of so-called ‘normal’ adulthood.

two. how does where you are (personally, geographically, historically, etc.) impact the work you create? how does Chicago, Lisbon, etc., factor into that equation, if at all?

I feel like everything can shape my output, but especially where I am mentally and emotionally. The UK rave, bass and hardcore sound resonated with me long before I lived in England, although living there brought me a new human and communal insight into it. Lisbon, and its luminaries also deeply influenced my sound - my generation learned a lot from pioneers like Underground Sound Of Lisbon, OLN or Luís Leite. Later on I was certainly influenced by my local music family, Photonz, Roundhouse Kick, Pal + and more recently the whole Quântica and mina community. Chicago house and acid house are building blocks of my sound and my understanding of dance music - dreamy, naive, but twisted and hard at times. So, although I've never been, Chicago is one of my sonic spiritual homelands.

what is the role of the artist in today’s world, for you?

To create and share art (I believe that can single-handedly save lives) but always in the context of community and action for the betterment of society and ultimately the dismantlement of toxic superstructures of patriarchy, colonialism and capitalism. I deeply believe that as people, especially as artists, we have a duty to use our platform as service - working towards awareness and political action are not something we can ignore, as they have always been a key part of dance music - without them it wouldn't exist. Collectives like Underground Resistance, Room 4 Resistance or Discwoman are a huge inspiration - total role models for the artist in today's world.

Manifest Chicago