We have the great pleasure of interviewing the duo of djs and producers Kali Marz & Velvet Code, in full creative effervescence. He recently released: "S.O.S", an album that is difficult to describe in words, except perhaps for how the compositions make you feel. It is an album that will give a lot to talk about. And if not, come in, read and dance.
Hi guys, how are you? How is this pandemic situation living with your work?
I'm doing well. Taking life each moment. Living and working during this pandemic has made me see the value of creatives and artists a lot more. The last time I performed for a live crowd was February 2020, right before we shut down. How has your creative process been on your last album? How was it born? What are your concerns?
My creative process pretty much stayed the same, I sort of create in a vacuum anyway, then I like to get others thoughts and grant access inside my creative space to people who can offer positive feedback and add to whatever I'm working on. Working with Velvet Code helped bring me out of that bubble. They're a great producer and singer themselves, and working with them helped me see that my voice, my music could take on another sound or vibe in what I've considered soulful house music. No concerns really, other than hoping we open back up safely and that we mitigate loss of lives and remove this cloud of fear and pointing blame and just be a worldwide community of human beings working and creating our best lives collectively What do you feel when you come back with this new job?
I feel a great sense of accomplishment being where I am now. Releasing music with Velvet Codes new label, So Fierce, working, having my own place and just a will to stay consistent and creative. My relationship with my family has mended, is mending, and I'm just happy to have them in my life. They were always available and concerned, it was me who pushed away. The past two years for me were sort of tumultuous, I was homeless, dealing with substance abuse, emotional manipulation, living out of my car, hotels, being distant from my family, but I pulled myself out of all of that with the help and support of family and dear friends that I consider my tribe, my spirit tribe. What have you learned during its creation?
That I am as good as others see me and that it's not always about me. Music is medicine and it truly helps people. Getting messages from people telling you how they haven't danced in a long time or felt good until they heard your music, really puts it all into perspective. I had one friend who's mum had been in an accident and said she hadn't wanted to listen to music again until she heard my singing on a song. You make music because you love it, abs want nothing more than to perform it and uplift people. You create this song, this lovely piece of art and you want people to hear it and when you create something and it seemingly goes unnoticed, that can take it's toll and often makes one doubt themselves. You have to stay consistent and find the beauty and or let it find you. How much has your way of working changed since you started until now?
Not much really. Although I'd be more inclined to perform virtually than in person audiences, especially if they aren't masked. Lol
How do you expect the public or listener to accept your work?
I have no expectations other than of myself to get the work out to the people! To stay consistently creative. What other projects are you involved in?
A DJ friend of mine, DJ NightNurse and I have been working on a group/duo project we call ourselves Mystica, Velvet Code and I also have begun working on our next collaboration for So Fierce. I think Velvet and I are a dream team. I work with one of my favorite creatives out of Arlington, Texas, Ladi and his SYLA collective of musicians and poets and rappers. Look out for a lot of collaborations from myself and all of the aforementioned. What makes you happy?
Love., good food, good sex, knowing that I'm understood and valued. My spirit tribe All forms of pure love. No hidden agendas, no malicious intent. Just seeing people happy, knowing that I can contribute to and be a part of that happiness and love, makes me happy. I love seeing people accomplish their goals and finding their sense of purpose and knowing that they are worthy of love and respect. I love seeing humanity work together to make this existence better and equitable for all people. What bothers you?
Hate, willful ignorance, intolerance. People who have no desire to understand another individual perspective and reality and only seek to divide. That little tag on the ends of pillows and avocado toast. LOL Could you recommend a book, movie, etc that you have been watching lately?
There's a series of books by a writer named Devin Wright published by Evolutionary Books that are so relevant to the current social and political climate of the past 10 years, and to the lives of people of color and the working class. Also, I love all things Issa Rae, her show Insecure. Lovecraft Country, Succession. I've been enjoying The TS Madison experience lately. Bojack Horseman, and The Midnight Gospel are two of my favorites as well. Do you have a final phrase of wisdom?
Live unapologetically in your truth. Honor your gifts and your creativity by honoring yourself. Love others like you want to be loved. Some people love to be evil, love to hate, but I choose to love giving the love that helps others love themselves and others.