While there have been many respectable female hip hop artists over the years, critically acclaimed (or otherwise) they have had a crucially influential impact on how we perceive female artists, and of course the current paradigm for woman in this world to struggle through. It has been a while since a crown placed on top a queens head (unless you just watched Nicki Minaj grab the award for best Hip Hop Artist at the AMA's), but when you come across someone with such erotically infused lullabies eluding to role reversal (in doing so is known for being the dominating factor in the matter), inter-dimensional travel, and the incompetence of incompetent men - it's hard to see it going any other way. Although it being her first, makes this album her fieriest one yet - debuted on September 7th, 2015 VIALS presents us with Chrysalis, A VERY ILL & DEEP 6 - track album featuring a few of her own kin. Definitely worth a listen, we hope too hear much more in the coming up weeks.
:: NVRQUESTION // NVRANSWER ::
Our Writer Jesse James Alexander (aka Foxxy newport) Had The Privilege To Take A Second Of VIALS Time For A Few Questions About The Artist's Life, Likes & Preferences
JJA: Who is Vials, how are "they" any different from your normal persona?
VIALS: Vials is an extension of me. Everything I do or say when I present myself as her is genuine, it's just a stronger presence of certain characteristics people, especially women, are taught to put away. Confidence, a strong sense of sexuality, dominance, power, intelligence; traits we all possess but have probably been told at one point to shy away from so we appear softer. I don't find it's difficult to manage the two, but I've found after making that part of me public, I have grown more confident and unapologetic in my everyday life, which is something I hope could happen with other people who listen to my music.
JJA: What got you started in music? Has this been a long time coming or were the odds in your favor?
VIALS: I've always been super interested in music, and always been a shy person with a desire to perform. I grew up writing a lot of poetry, and eventually got involved in a poetry night in Montreal where I would read it out to an audience. From there I realized I could combine two of my passions, and as soon as I started writing with the intent of rapping it, i was flooded with new ideas and possibilities where I could take it. I am relatively new and have only been rapping seriously just over a year, so I'm lucky that I've been well received and have had opportunities to network/work with/perform with other inspiring artists.
JJA: In terms of aesthetics and lyrical content what do you find to inspire you and your art?
VIALS: Oh my, I am inspired by so many things! Other artists from all genres, films, visual albums, fashion, pop culture, friends, even porn. I'm a super fan of all the rad, interesting, beautiful girls on Instagram right now. I love my explore page because it's just so many badass babes doing their own thing, completely unique from one another, except for the confidence they exude. I think a lot of those girls get a bunch of creepy, horny guys asking them to sit on their faces, but more so it’s this cool network of accepting people that are like, wow I am a beautiful girl who fucks with this other cool girl and in no way does this threaten who I am as a person. It's tight.
JJA: The music industry itself is in a great change. We no longer need labels, thanks to torrents and DAW programs theoretically anyone can have a studio in their home. How do you feel about this?
Also let me ask if you know of the old mantra that states "When you can do everything the hardest part is doing anything." Does that have any relevance to you?
VIALS: It definitely does. There is more competition than ever, but also more opportunity due to social media and the networking that comes with it. I think it's cool that you don't need to sign a soul-sucking record deal with a huge company to have people interested in your music. Although that may limit my chances of getting a Bugatti and pouring Dom Perignon over my body for fun, I would rather be making shit I genuinely believe in, with artists I fuck with, than having a bunch of people tell me what and how to be a "better" version of myself. A friend of mine who has actually had a lot of success with his music reminded me after I released my EP that you can't focus and obsess over the likes and shares and retweet shit. As cliché as it is, I'm doing this because I truly love it. If you're doing stuff just because it's cool and trendy then whatever. That's not for me and I don't want to be associated with that.
JJA: Do you have any colleagues where you live? How is the scene in Vancouver? Is it competitive? Often times places were in can only sustain momentum for so long before we plateau or taper off. How does this make you feel?
VIALS: There's a lot of talented artists in this city that I am happy and proud to know and work with. Gorgeous Geordie, who you know, has been a dear pal of mine and introduced me to Wettworker who produced the whole Chrysalis EP. There's some other tight artists and producers in this city (I want to name them all but there is a real solid handful) that are really doing their own thing, different to what Vancouver's used to, and I'm loving it. It's competitive in the sense that people know opportunity can be limited, and sometimes people are afraid to branch out or work together or whatever because they fear it could take away from their gain. If anything, that motivates me though. Vancouver is one city in one province, one country, and it's so small. It's cool to have your city support you, but if you limit yourself to that, you will reach a plateau and fizzle out. I want to work with everyone, we all want the same thing, and so why have your back up?
JJA: Do you have a long term plan for Vials such as any upcoming shows, tours you would possibly want to announce, releases down the road - Do you desire the limelight or would you rather be in the shadows and let people find you?
VIALS: I'm currently writing my first full length album which I hope to release late spring/early summer 2016, and am also in the midst of wrapping up a hush hush project. Last month I did the most shows I've ever played, which was amazing, but now I really want to focus on writing new material. After that's released. I would love to do a cross Canada tour, and I definitely want to do an ol fashioned road trip/tour in the US, that would be siiiick. I am still small and creating my presence in music, so I think at this point I would definitely be happy with either. I really love the underground rap scene and think its cool when artists have this weird little cult following in their genre, like Lil Ugly Mane or Salem, or being big on the Internet but somehow remaining relatively unknown to the surface level scrapers. A benefit of being $$$ famous $$$ is being able to do things exactly how you envision them, like videos, production and shows. I recently saw Grimes again (whom I love and think is such a talented angel) on her own tour with a bigger budget, and it was such a change, visually, since I last saw her. She had dancers, crazy lights, smoke, and costumes. I felt so inspired to amp up my game for live visuals and then I remembered I am broke.
JJA: From my own personal experiences in the industry I have learned to view no artist as competition. As a matter of fact when other artists would deem me as any form of a "threat" I would just laugh it off. Jokes on them. There's room for everyone...isn't there? What are your thoughts on this?
VIALS: Definitely agree. Every so often I compare myself to other rappers (male and female) and find myself doubting what I'm doing for a split second, and then I remember what I am doing is way different than them, but that's fucking awesome. We are all making our own shit and that's incredible. I want to support artists who are my friends, in my city and outside of my circle. You quickly realize it's stupid to think you need to mark your territory or have some ego, when realistically supporting others and being open will get you way farther, and is way more fun!
JJA: Everyone has a certain X-factor to them. This thing they have that nobody else can do. What do you think yours is?
VIALS: Woah what a question. I dunno, man. I think my greatest talent is writing, though there are so many wonderful writers of all sorts out there. It is just a thing that comes to me with ease, and stimulates and satisfies me emotionally and mentally. I also have been told by a few different guys that they aren't sure if they should be scared or aroused by me. That's cool. That's my talent. Sorry mom & Simon Cowell.
JJA: Do you feel that there are misconceptions about your persona that you would like to address?
VIALS: Yes, and it extends beyond me. If a person is confident with themselves and their sexuality, dresses in a way that is less covered than you're used to, and in my case has a strong sexual presence in my lyrics, it is not an opportunity to say insulting and inappropriate things. Once at a party a dude I've never met complimented my music, and then suggested to get ahead I should consider porn (which is totally cool btw, ICU) because it seems like it would be up my alley. The part I truly took offence to is insinuating I couldn't succeed without being sexualized in a way that would put the control out of my hands. Not cool.
JJA: Lastly, who would win in a fight: Seapunk, Witch House, or Vaporwave?
VIALS: Don't make me choose. Blank Banshee is my pal and I want him to win, but I must mention, Salem, I will never forget about you xoxo.
† NVRMNDUS †