● A distinguished rock vibes indeed. Tell me more about the beginning of your musical journey and what’s the story behind your stage name? 

My journey started quite a while ago, as it is with most musicians. My formal music training began in elementary school when I started playing the flute. I went to experimental Arts Impact school in Columbus, Ohio, where Drama, Music Video, and Dance replaced Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic. For me, it was an outstanding experience. I went on to graduate from a Performing Arts High School, majoring in dance.

 

CrushedVelvet is actually the name of my band that I hope to reform. The original lineup was a classic bunch of “Art school dropouts” – (I went to Berklee) that fell somewhere musically between punk, country (believe it or not), metal, & straight-ahead rock. The name is attributed to the process of what it takes to make the fabric. The material is twisted, wrung out & distressed to achieve its unique look, yet it is stunning. This is my life. A crushed life that dares to sing.

 

● I can tell that you have an original rock sound, still, I feel there is some vintage inspiration behind your songwriting, am I right? 
There is always inspiration in rock, but I’ve been doing this for a bit, so some of those influences you heard may, in fact, be peers, lol. But I tip my hat musically to 3 main influences that you probably can’t hear.

  • Nina Simone: Good lord, that woman wrote the book on authenticity. Her voice is a pure conduit of her soul. Whenever I have writer’s block, I do a Nina day, and then everything is all better.
  • Tom Petty: This man is why I play guitar, actually. And why I started my company Coalition Of Modern Artists, due to his standing up to the industry. Also, his economy of words is impressive. He can say do much with so little.
  • Patsy Cline: Yep. Listen to my vocalizations, and you will hear Patsy all over it with a bit of Roy Orbison to boot.
  • Then, of course, there’s my parent’s love of Motown & Broadway.

● Your EP ‘Better Late, Than Never’ is pretty amazing! I loved how each track has different influences. Tell your fans more about the preparation process for it. 
This EP has been sitting in my cue for a while. Initially, I wanted to release it with Always a couple of years ago, but it just didn’t work out. Then Covid hit, and the tour I was supposed to join fell through. I couldn’t figure out how to release something without performing it, so I took a minute to figure it out. But since I’m now performing live 3 times a week online, I finally feel ready to put it out there.

 

● In general, what lyrical topics do you mainly discuss within your music? 
I tend to be pretty political, so you will hear this in my music, although not overtly. But mainly, I discuss life, my life, other people’s lives, and the trauma & hope that we all endure. No matter what, though, I try to put a positive spin in it – somewhere. Even heartbreak has an upside.

 

● Frankly, I’m a bit confused with your social accounts, for example, your website has more music than your Spotify account or you are still working on it?

Lol, you can thank Covid for that too. When I got Covid in December 2019, everything came to a halt music business-wise. I was in the middle of changing distributors, and then I went down like a led zeppelin – pun intended. For the last 18 months, it has been an uphill battle to recover my health, and many things, like my Spotify, have suffered. Also, don’t forget that Indie means you’re basically self-funded. 

● You’ve got a nice activity on your YouTube channel, still, I cannot find an official music video, are you aiming to release one soon? 

Yes. But these things are not cheap. I’m hoping to start a fundraiser as well.

 

● I’m curious to know more about music production. Do you record all instruments or are there any other guests? 

It was really just me, my guitarist, my Korg, and my drum Machine back in the day. My preferred process is to write the songs, demo the basics, then give it to my band (or producer these days), play it out for a bit then record it. Those days are gone. On Always, I didn’t play at all because I was intimidated. But usually, as with Anthem & If you Break Her Heart, I’ll program the drum track then lay down the keyboard & rhythm guitar parts. I mostly hire session players these days, although I like to call them mercenaries.

 

● I’m wondering, really, someone has a great talent, still prefers to release an EP instead of a full-length, or are you aiming to release one soon? 

Thank you so much; I really appreciate the compliment. My one & only issue is funding. I have more than enough material for about 5 albums, but as I’ve said before, the offers of assistance I receive aren’t worth my self-esteem. I do what I can with what I can and am grateful to be able to do so.

 

● Finally, thank you for the chat, and tell your fans more about your 2021 plans. 

My plan is to finish 2021 with a bang, with the release of Better Late Than Never leading the way. I’m looking forward to moving back to NYC and hopefully reuniting with bandmates and/or find some new ones and start playing out again. I have a couple solo gigs lined up for November but what I really want is a band. I’m really hopeful and excited to rock.

Follow CrushedVelvet on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, SoundCloud, Spotify, and Reverb Nation.

 

Mena Ezzat

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