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Red Velvet Slide
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http://redvelvetslide.com

 

It's All About Arts

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Give us a brief bio of yourself.
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R. V. S.: As the expression goes, the sum of the total is greater than its parts,  is what Red Velvet Slide is. The parts that make up this Whole are some Parts to boot. Parul, the vixen vocalist sings like an angel that made a deal with the devil and so can growl a baby  as well as lift the spirits of the forlorn wanderer with heavenly soars. She was born in India, but belongs to the culture of Exit 60 off the New Jersey Turnpike. She is a classically trained pianist (whether she wants to be or not) and slid through college with a vocal scholarship and you can hear why. The other part, the not so vixen, Chris, is better known as The Guitar Player, but is a solid vocalist to boot and will pipe up from time to time when that male timbre is called for in a song. This is however overshadowed by his guitar stylings. Incredibly agile and versatile, his ability seems to make hearts beat a little faster. Chris is Swedish, and though he's been in America for a long time now, that wont change. (You can take Chris out of Europe but ... well you know the rest). Chris attended Berklee College of Music in Boston on scholarship where he randomly picked different degrees and programs until they got tired of him and had him graduate. With a degree in Film Scoring, he found that this was the only place where he could write, arrange, record, play, conduct his own music and watch movies at the same time. Red Velvet Slide - At face value the music seems to be folk-pop music  and it is. However it's not the simpleminded, dilettante music that is now plastered all over the media, but a miasma of British tradition, blues, Indian music, rock, of course , and certainly Swedish folk influences abound. There is even a trail of afro pop, Brazilian and jazz. Having said all that, you would find Red Velvet Slide in the Pop/Rock section of your local record store as naturally as you would The Beatles and The Stones.

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What is your medium?
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R. V. S.: We are singer/songwriters. Our medium begins with the wake of day, a piece of jammed toast and tea. The rest develops around lunchtime and is gathered from the wares of our deepest, darkest resources, and sometimes from TV. They are transformed through guitar, keyboard, voice and percussion into our art.

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How long have you been doing your art?
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R. V. S.Together, we lit the torch around Christmas 1999, and it was as if blessed by Thor (being of Scandinavian divinity), that we should do well as a duo. We decided on the name Red Velvet Slide your imagination will do just fine working it out - and we went on to perform at colleges/universities, cultural arts centers, coffee houses, book stores and corporate events and anything in between, the usual story.

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Do you make a living at your art and what advice would you give someone else who would like to do the same?
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R. V. S.: Chris has been a working musician for all of his life, even before he went to Berklee he began to teach guitar at a local school in Sweden.The trick for Chris was to diversify, to develop a few different areas of expertise which would leverage his talent and knowledge. From recording and producing (other artists) to performing to teaching, they all fall into making a living at his art. One feeds off of the other and so on. It gets a bit tricky sometimes but he still ends up working at what he loves to do, making music. I think the best thing for me is to not limit the kinds of jobs that I could do that fall within the idea of making a living at your art. It offered me a safety net for the ebbs and flows of the business. When one business thinned out I could pick up the other to tie me over. I think each individual has to find her/his way. My way was to diversify, someone else might find it better to focus on one thing. An interesting question for an artist that wasn't always involved in pursuing her art.A newcomer to the world of artistic expressionas a career, Parul's background is in finance. She left a high-powered finance job to follow her dreams. One payed extremely well, the other, well, it pays better and better as the days go on. People often ask, how could you do it, how could you make the leap? My best answer is that I honestly don't know. One reaches a borderline where the choices are fairly clear, make the leap or stay put. I chose to jump. But in order to make a living at what we do, I realize that my business skills and a business plan are invaluable. I don't think that I am exactly qualified to offer advice on how to get from point A to point B, but as this past year has flown by I am realizing that giving our art time to develop is possibly the most important factor that may lead us down the road to truly making a living at performing. Everything takes time and more time than just spare time. I think I will be quite happy saying, it was well worth the wait.

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What do you think is the biggest challenge facing artists today?
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R. V. S.: (Chris) Same as ever was, the challenge to come up with something new and interesting while staying relevant. Sounds to me they mostly fail. There is so much art out there that doesn't seem to live up to its potential, and in music especially, meanwhile I think some really good stuff might get buried by the sheer number of recordings, events and so on. That's not the artists fault I think, but then again there are some that cut through, and fifty years from now we'll look back and find the really valuable bits from the current times as we may be looking back at Straviskij and Charlie Parker today. On the other hand there are some new aspects unique to this era, the way technology has changed the way things are done so far is probably just the beginning of a long and winding road of choices regarding what medium to use in order to reach people. The web is a fine example of something that promises a lot of trouble and a lot of opportunity at the same time, and in embracing the possibilities that the web present one will most likely find oneself a step ahead of the game, at least on that score. The problem is that it is so vast one may also just disappear, and the worry is that if you focus on one thing only, it may fail you in some way.

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What art-related organizations do you belong to?
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R. V. S.: None, except a Swedish version of ASCAP called STIM that I (Chris) joined in 1985.