How I choose to wear my hair has sometimes automatically branded me in the minds of others as a “Rasta” or a reggae singer. When in reality, I just think it is easier than having to go sit under the hairdryer every week and having my scalp burned every two weeks. This only touches on the idea of.
How I choose to wear my hair has sometimes automatically branded me in the minds of others as a “Rasta” or a reggae singer. When in reality, I just think it is easier than having to go sit under the hairdryer every week and having my scalp burned every two weeks. This only touches on the idea of how i choose to wear my hair has sometimes automatically branded me in the minds of others as a “Rasta” or a reggae singer. When in reality, I just think it is easier than having to go sit under the hairdryer every week and having my scalp burned every two weeks.
Hello Valerie, Thank you so much for doing this interview. I tremendously enjoyed your concert and the more I learn about you the more I love your music and you. So let’s start at the beginning. You grew up in Humboldt, Tennessee in a family of 5 kids.
When, at what age did you start singing?
I like to think I started singing at birth. For as long as I can remember, I have been singing.
Were singing and music also part of your upbringing?
I would say that singing was definitely a part of my upbringing, but playing music was not.You are a self taught guitar player.
The first time I heard an acoustic guitar I fell in love with the warm sound of the strings. I really have a passion for string instruments. They are soothing and grounding for me.
Do you believe that an instrument chooses the artist or that an artist chooses the instrument?
I believe it can work both ways. As an artist experiments with his or her evolving sound, the instruments the artist is drawn to change. I find it fascinating how many different guitars a guitarist can have stored around in the corners and closets of a house. They all have different sounds that are attractive for certain projects.
Correct me if I am wrong but I believe you said that the spirituals is where it all started. That is the root of your music. Do you use that as a base to compose? Composing music like everything else in life is a truly spiritual experience to me. I definitely use my foundation of gospel hymns when writing tunes. I spent the yesterday evening just sitting around singing my favorite hymns.
What inspired your first 2 cd’s?
The Way of the Weeping Willow was recorded in an old farmhouse in Tennessee. It was inspired by some spirituals and traditional songs. It was the first collection of songs I was able to play on guitar.
Mountain of Rose Quartz was inspired by my desire to experiment with my voice.
Just how much can I use my voice as an instrument?
In your MTV interview you said that you had been told that because you are a woman you had to be a certain way. What was expected from you as a woman? As a woman, I feel there are always expectations dealing with appearance. For example, how I choose to wear my hair has sometimes automatically branded me in the minds of others as a “Rasta” or a reggae singer. When in reality, I just think it is easier than having to go sit under the hairdryer every week and having my scalp burned every two weeks. This only touches on the idea of women being expected to be a certain way in the world. It is partially to our benefit because we have the power. We just have to trust ourselves.
Was it hard for you to make up your mind and choose what you want?
I usually spend a good deal of time thinking about what I want and trying to see it from every angle before I make up my mind. So, yes, it was hard to make up my mind.
Was locing your hair part of breaking free?
I suppose it was a breaking free. It was about gaining back hours of time that I would spend on my hair.
When and why did you start locing your hair?
I really have always had very thick hair. It has been difficult to manage since I was born with a head full. I was just seeking to simplify my life a little bit by going natural. I began nine years ago.
You come from a fairly traditional family. How did they respond to your hair?
At first, my family did not much like my hair. It was when all the girls went on a trip to New Orleans and as we walked down the street folks were complimenting my hair that my mother said, “You know, I like your hair too!”
How do you care for your locs?
I have to have man hands to help me really care of my hair. My hands aren’t strong enough to squeeze out all of the shampoo. Besides that, I usually make my own herbal hair care products from things in my garden to keep it healthy. It is not so easy to do that now without a backyard.
Your hair is absolutely gorgeous. Sometimes I see straight locs and sometimes I see them kind of like swirls. How do you do that?
I just wash it and braid it.
Does your hair have spiritual meaning?
It is funny to me because I sometimes entertain myself with the thought that musicians pick up radio stations in the ether by using their hair as an antenna. There are so many musicians of all races with the coolest hair! I just like to think of my hair as a plant. It is a philodendron.
Why did you move to New York and how do you like it?
I moved to New York for the only reason I every move myself in and out of bed morning and night…for LOVE.
What other reason is there to do anything? Do you still make soaps?
I do make soap. I will probably sell some in New York soon as I find a place I like. I noticed that you often wear boots? Is there a connection to your roots or you just like to wear boots? My father always wore boots when I was growing up, and whenever he gets dressed up, he wears boots. It reminds me of him. I was in Nine West not too long ago trying on high heels. Maybe I’ll change. Girls must be girls!
What is your goal as an artist?
My goal is to get RICH BITCH…Just joking!!!!!!! My goal is to really learn to be a master of my craft. Master my songs and my instruments. Learn to read music and have fun exploring where my bliss leads me!!!
What can we expect next? Are you recording?
You can expect only the best from me in the future. I am going to begin my Kickstarter campaign this week to raise funds to finally capture my sound that you see at my live shows with a producer and musicians. It will be nice to be able to take the time needed to really focus on getting 12 songs recorded and move them from bouncing around my head. I have recorded some amazing work over the last five years since I have been playing guitar. Three of what I call “bedroom recordings”, and I’m very proud. I have had the honor of working with artist and producers I admire, but I have never had the funds and resources to take the time to capture my sound at it highest potential. I really hope that a community of folks will come together to help me finally get my music recorded and a tour to follow! I definitely need help to make this happen. I’ve tried it alone. It’s difficult and not as much fun as being surrounded by a community of supporters!
Where can readers get your music?
My music is for sale at www.valeriejune.com. I would love to see the readers at an upcoming performance. I have the shows listed on my site too!
Valerie just started her Kickstarter project. Check it out here: Valerie June
pictures by Going-Natural.com