EXCLUSIVE! INTERVIEW WITH VIOLINIST SPAGS
Reviving the lost art of musical translation with an instrument. Spags delivers with a Mark Wood 5 string Viper violin. Spags music transcends classical music into various genres, with the influence of iconic artists of past decades and current trendsetters. Longer gigs would lead Spags into djing and she hasn’t stopped since. Spags took the time out to answer some questions about what has cultivated her today.
How long have you been playing the violin? Are you classically trained?
My first instrument was actually the piano. I started officially taking lessons at the age of 8, but I had been unofficially learning from my grandfather prior to that. He was a jazz musician. I was 9 years old when I started the violin and I haven’t put it down since! Yes, I am classically trained on both piano and violin and graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a degree in music education.
Since you cross musical genres? Who are your influences?
I really feel as though my playing today is a reflection of many different genres and time periods. Although I rarely play classical anymore, it has clearly shaped the technical side of my playing and has contributed to the development of a more sophisticated sound. I wouldn’t be able to play anything without having had that training. When I was young I can remember my parents listening to Elton John, the Beatles, BeeGees, Chicago and Hall & Oats. I LOVED Guns n Roses, Beastie Boys, Madonna, Prince… to name a few. I got into the RnB boy bands like New Edition and Boys II Men, and later went through my grunge faze with Pearl Jam and Nirvana. I’ve toured with a couple of country bands in the past, so I can definitely throw in little twang when I want! I’m big into the electronic music scene now and some of the dubstep sounds amazing on the violin. However, at the end of the day, I’m a sucker for anything soulful. Donny Hathaway to Dr. Dre. Even Skrillex has managed to bring the soul. The music has got to make me pick up my violin. It’s that magic combo of the beat and the chord progression that strikes me and I just have to play.
Do you collaborate with other musicians? If so can you tell me the artists that you collaborated with?
Up until a few years ago, I only played with other musicians. I never considered being a solo artist. Ultimately, being my own artist has proved to be the best fit for me. I can still be heard playing around Southern California with various DJs, which is always cool. The musician that I work with the most is my good friend, Jesse Molloy. We’ve been playing music together for probably 10 years now. He’s a sax player, DJ and producer. We’ve been working on my original material here in Los Angeles, some of which can be found on iTunes if you search Spags.
Who designs your costumes? What are a few of your fashion influences?
My costumes are often pieces offered to me from fashion designers for their shows, or pieces that I work on co-creating with a designer. My latest piece worn at FWSD was created by Nadia Castillo. She really understands my vision as an artist and pushes me to become that artist through my wardrobe. Living in West Hollywood, I have easy access to interesting and unique clothing. I have a few secret spots on Melrose that I frequent.
What is next for Spags? What would you like to accomplish in the future?
Next stop for me is the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, or so I hope, then off to a world tour! I want to keep building my show. Adding the dance element was the newest edition and I have another big surprise that I’m working on! You’ll have to stay tuned. For booking email email@example.com
For the latest on Spags Music and where to catch her live, go to her official site at www.spagsmusic.com, and additional social and music links:
Interview conducted by Fashionmixtape