Weyes Blood is absolutely on fire. What with Front Row Seat To Earth being released last fall, all of the tour dates she has set out on, and the crazy tour schedule she has ahead of her, this girl isn’t slowing down anytime soon. Shortly following playing her biggest show ever at Music Hall of Williamsburg at the end of March, we got to speak with her about life, the incredible artists who influence her every day, and work ethic.
What was the first song or album you ever remember listening to?
My first cassette tape was a Duran Duran cassingle for “Ordinary World” – its moodiness had a big impact on me for sure, got a lot of mileage out of that tape.
Do you think that original music has any bearing on who you are as an artist now?
I feel like I always related to more melancholic music – emotional ballads. Ordinary World has that, I think he even sings about rain in it. Definitely a rainy tune.
What does music mean to you? Is it a place to get away? Is it therapy? Is it self-expression? How would you define it for yourself?
Music is all of those things to me – it’s a way to channel the existential fear of meaninglessness into something that’s emotive and purposeful, it gives feelings hope because you’re translating something so confined to yourself into a universal language.
Myths 002 was released in January, and it’s been incredibly well-received. What has the response been like for you?
I’m glad people like it ! It was a lot of fun to make. I feel like Ariel and I have a mutual medieval resonance, he had a big impact on me when I was young and just starting to write songs. The collab is a dream come true in a lot of ways.
Our photographers always want to nab your shows. You’re a big deal live! What’s your favorite part about performing?
Singing in a big space, challenging myself to go deeper into the emotions of the music even I feel depleted from doing it over and over again – it makes me feel very much of use to the world and I think that’s all we as humans can really ask for, to be of use in some capacity.
Do you have any mantras or things you do to keep you grounded for your performances?
I try to relax – I let myself space out , become a vehicle for something. If you think too hard you can strangle something very natural.
What do you think is the most important thing to remember when pursuing a career in the arts?
The world doesn’t owe you a damn thing ! Only hard work will take you anywhere , natural talent doesn’t mean that much. People who come from money will always have it easier but their money can’t save their work ethic. It’s also probably twice as hard as you think it’s gonna be, it’ll take sacrifices – usually more philosophical than physical. You’re gonna look around you and see a lot of people it seems easier for. Comparison is poison. The harder you have to work the better you’ll be in the end because you put in the 10,000 hours. People who get lucky right off the bat can have a future fall from grace. Also I think you know deep down if you’re really cut out for it, don’t be afraid to be a casual artist with a real life if that gives you satisfaction.. I knew I was supposed to be a performer since I first comprehended what that was – that’s how much conviction it’s taken for me to keep at it for as long as I have.
That said though, there’s more to life than validation for what you create and no one should feel shame for choosing to lead a normal life instead of a borderline psychopathic one trying to be a famous artist.
Branching off the arts, with the budget decreasing to educational programs across the country, what is your advice to future generations of artists?
Just start off by asking yourself : What kind of artist do I want to be ? Do I honestly believe the world needs more artists like that ? Why ? This will give you a real foundation of meaning for what you do.
What artist would you like to collaborate with, and how?
I’d love to collaborate with John Cale ! Musical collaboration. It’d also be incredible to sing in a David Lynch movie, he touches my soul.
What can we look forward to down the pipeline from you in 2017?
I’ll be doing a big world tour supporting Father John Misty in Fall, should be a riot.
Anything else you’d like to add?
“You’ve got to learn to be lonely to find what you’re living for ” – Barry Gibb of The Bee Gees, hell yeah.