Valencia Valencia Valencia!! That’s a name you don’t want to forget. She’s a St. Louis based artist doing the thang and making a name for herself. She working hard these days; she dropped her EP F**k Girl earlier this year. Valencia released a single titled “Another Round” just a month ago and now she’s working on the release of her new song “Vibe” that is dropping on Friday August 2. She’s opened for nation wide artists and even has the same vocal coach as Grammy nominated artists. Check out her interview below!
Danii Gold: How did you get your start in music? Do you come from a musically-inclined family?
Valencia: I got started in music at an early age. When I was very young (like 6 or so) I would sing songs involving a lot of harmony with three of my older siblings. However, I didn’t realize my love for music until I was much older. Although I took guitar lessons, dance classes, and singing lessons I didn’t grow up directly under nor with someone who had the same passion as I have now. I have a lot of family members outside of my siblings who sing, dance, rap, produce, and more but I didn’t get this from my parents directly.
Danii Gold: If you had to introduce yourself to a person by letting people know who you are, what would you say? For instance, finish the sentence, “I’m Valencia, a singer, …”
Valencia: It’s ya girrrrl Valencia, aka DAMN, bka, Damnn Valencia.. Okay just kidding! I’d only say that on stage. I would say I’m a singer/songwriter, performer or entertainer, and creative music video director.
Danii Gold: Those are some good titles. When you started writing music at age 15, what would you write about at the time?
Valencia: Back then I used to write a lot of (if not only), inspirational songs. I grew up in church so I never ventured out to write about different aspects of life until I got older and more comfortable with better expressing myself.
Danii Gold: Being that you’ve been into music for such a long time from writing to singing it, Would you consider writing for other artists ?
Valencia: Most definitely! It’s one of my goals and actually something I’ve already started to do.
Danii Gold: That’s what’s up! Your music and voice is dope AF. You are open with your sexuality in a classy and sensual way. Not a lot of female artists are like that, but with the few that are like that, did you have any music inspirations growing up when it came to singing about your sexuality?
Valencia: Ah, thank you so much! Growing up I was super conservative. Since I grew up in the church, my family and I were missionaries and my dad was a pastor. Now, I’m not trying to pump up the cliche that “pastors kids are the worst ones” or anything, but I do have to say I didn’t become comfortable with expressing myself or even being myself until I got older. I grew into my own person and realized that I’m a free spirit. There wasn’t anybody in particular who I got inspired by at the time, but I guess I just finally figured out what type of being I was and wanted to be. This time in my life was so liberating!
Danii Gold: In the past, you were blessed with the opportunity to work in vocal coach Ametria Dock who’s worked with Jidenna, Janelle Monae and even India Irie. How did you two link up?
Valencia: I went to a singers workshop in Atlanta, just to grow as a singer/musician when I learned of her. I was obsessed with India Arie growing up already so to find out her background singer, Ametria Dock was going to be there and teaching was beyond exciting. After attending the event I reached out to her about singing lessons and I was under her teaching for years after that.
Danii Gold: That’s so cool! Did her large clientele help you connect with other artists?
Valencia: It began to, however, I will say from when I was younger I realize now that I could have done much more to network with those she knew– you definitely live and you learn. She was willing to help me too. But thankfully I actually plan to start my lessons back up. Her talent and ability to help others grow is unmatched and I really miss learning from her.
Danii Gold: Speaking of other artists, you opened up for Flo Rida and AJR back in 2017. How did you get that opportunity and what did you learn?
Valencia: It’s important to have genuine people and friends in your corner! My amazing friend Allen Gates invited me on stage with him for this opportunity. We always try to look out for our loved ones but man, he’s just the type of person that goes above and beyond. So major shout out to Allen “You know how G do it!” Gates!
From that experience, I learned that this music thing is definitely for me! I learned to own the stage and every opportunity you’re given. And finally to handle it all with care, grace and humility. That same day a St. Louis, singing legend and someone who I adored personally, Rollyn ‘Klassy’ Moore passed away. I never told anyone this but hours before the performance I spent crying and mourning my friend who was always encouraging me to keep going. I had a growth spurt the day I performed this concert. I learned my strengths and my drive and reasoning for doing what I do, was way greater than I realized.
Danii Gold: Wow, that’s a great way to look at it. So switching focuses here–you have a new single dropping on Friday August 2 at 7pm title “Vibe”. What was the story and inspiration behind it?
Valencia: Wow, “Vibe” was created on the complete random! I was bouncing ideas off my partner in music for a totally different song (shout out to 4012!) and I had already been working on building up my catalog of music when I just came up with this catchy ass hook… “it’s the summertime just vibe, vibe…” And when I say I’ve never written something in such a short amount of time that I actually LOVED– I shocked myself! I finished it in literally 30 min. Writing songs usually comes very easily and naturally to me, but this one was so special for some reason. There wasn’t any inspiration behind it per say, it just felt good and the song itself made me happy. I could only imagine and hope that it does the same for those who hear it!
Danii Gold: I love how you express in your music that women can do and feel the same way as men, no double standard. The term being used now is “having a hot girl summer.” Lol. What reactions have you gotten from men regarding the lyrics in your music?
Valencia: Haha! Yesss, to the “hot girl summer!” I’ve received mixed feelings from men. However, surprisingly, most of those feelings were just them appreciating the art and loving the sound! I was surprised, I can’t even lie. But with others you could definitely tell they were uncomfortable and felt some type of way about it and ended up asking for clarification for some of the lyrics and their meanings. Which, I took no offense to because that’s part of the reason why I created F*ck Girl. I wanted the conversations, I wanted to be expressive and a bit problematic, and I definitely wanted the buzz.
Danii Gold: What is the ultimate goal you want to reach with your music?
Valencia: Whew, my ultimate goal? This is a tough one! I feel like there is no limit in this one little life that we all get to live individually. So I want my music to have endless opportunity and countless stories tied to it and survive to live through future generations (sky’s the limit right?). Music is healing, it’s freeing, it’s everywhere and nowhere. I want it to be heard around the world, and I want it to help in anyway it can.
Danii Gold: What message do you want to send through your music?
Valencia: Be yourself, be happy, be carefree, be wild, be kind and loving, and enjoy your freaking life!
Valencia is a beautiful soul and a dope artist making her way in this music industry. Make sure you listen to her new single “Vibe” dropping on Friday August 2 at 7:01pm. If you want to keep up with her, follow her on Facebook and Instagram @DamnValencia. Her music is on all streaming sites. Also, check out her website for more information on her –> https://www.damnvalencia.com