Interview with @VelvetKMusic
What city are you from/ Where are you based now?
I am from the Windy City of Chicago, Illinois. But I also have to clear something up when people ask I say I’m not from the hood never have been. 🤣 I’m currently based in Little Rock, Arkansas and I travel between these two cities and my second home Atlanta, Georgia.
What is your artist name? What is your real name? How did you get your artist name? I go by Velvet K. My real name is Ashley Hood and before you ask..... like I said before....I am not from the hood. I got my name from one of my professors at The Univeristy of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. He was one of the very few teachers who would be very reall and honest with me about any project i had working on. I went through so many names and I finally gave up on naming myself until I made this amazing song that I completely put my all into. I walked into his office and played him my song and he looked at me with the same stern look he’d always give his students then said “man...your voice is so smooth and easy to listen to like that one fabric.....velvet”. Since that day I realized that the fabric represented everything that I wanted to be as an artist. I know it sounds weird. Who wants to be a piece of fabric right?? But when you think about it, whenever you see velvet it’s a higher quality that comes at a higher cost, and when it’s cold it’ll keep you warmer than anything. That’s how I want people to feel when they meet me, when they listen to my music, or if I’m even helping others on a normal day I try to make them feel better than when they came to me.
At what point in your life did you decide to pursue a career in music? I decided to pursue music as a career in 2014. I enrolled at my HBCU under the Music Education program and I planned my life as a collegiate band director. I decided to expand on my musical dream when I started performing. I always knew I was a great writer and someone who could put amazing events together but when I performed as VelvetK for the first time it was very hard to go back, so I didn’t 🥰
Has your upbringing played a role in shaping who you are and defining your sound today? If so, how? Absolutely!! My mother was a known dancer/“step” ballroom dancer in our city. She’s been a heavy influence that focused around my image. She helped me understand that it’s easy to find the balance in your world. You can be ratchet and have fun with your girls but you could also do it with class. My father is thee music influence. He’s a Dj in Atlanta and he always played music from every generation. I genuinely have a love for ALL genres of music. I believe I was blessed to be born to the parents I was given to, so much so that I think I picked them before I came into their lives.
Would you describe your sound to readers who may not be familiar with you? If you were to combine the soul of the 90s, add the feeling of Jazz, the flow of today’s R&B and HipHop you would have a Velvet cake made to perfection.
What ultimately inspired you to dedicate yourself to a music career? I ultimately decided to make music as a career when I realized my calling. I’m often “called” to help others heal. It’s my sacred work, so why not incorporate my love and my god given calling to enjoy a life that’s fulfilling.
What’s one reason you are passionate about music and what inspires you? Imagine waking up, your clothes are picked out, your breakfast was made, work came to you this morning, and the love of your life rocked your world before you logged in for work. Or you have a terrible day where nothing but BS was thrown at you and you come home and your partner is mad at you. There’s really no similarity to these days but the fact that it happened and you lived through it. My message is simple every emotion we go through as imperfect people given in its purest forms; love, and truth.
Do you have any hobbies outside of music? What do you do to stay creative? I been blessed to be talented with every tool that God but in my belt. I’m a very creative person and keep myself probably too busy. On my school campus I am in pageants, music events, I created my own Merchandise line and make every piece with love. When I’m down and don’t feel like writing I paint and just try my hand in anything actually.
Who are some of your main musical influences? My influences are Jhene Aiko, Victoria Monet, Doja Cat, and Lauryn Hill.
What are some of your music career goals for the future? I aspire to grow my VK Gang and connect with those who love my music. I want to heal others and myself as I grow with my “Fam-base”. Of course I want to be able to make a living from being an artist, I mean what artist doesn’t, but ultimately I just want to inspire growth and healing and have fun doing what I love.
Tell us about the project that you are promoting. What is it about? Is it a single or EP? Also, what is the name of the last project you released? I’m currently promoting my single “Is It - feat. Reverend” it is out on all platforms. This song is about one question we all who have been in any type of relationship whether it be with your mother, brother, sister, or lover in two different perspectives. So in this song I first question why someone is still laying by my side even though I’ve been through so many heart breaks then I question am I physically too much for you.
“Is It/Am I too much?”. We often have insecurities where we feel as if we are doing too much, asking for too much, or think we are not enough for those who we cross paths with. We don’t realize who is meant to be here for the better until we understand who has treated us wrong. As an imperfect person I can atte st to dealing with all the wrong types of love then when the right one comes I push him away because of how broken I could be.
What has the response been like to that project? I dropped the song on November 13th, 2020 and in the first month I received my first 1,000 streams. It’s currently doing great in the United States and has crossed over to South Africa, The UK, and some other countries. I’m so excited about that!!! I haven’t done any major promoting other than from my page so it feels really good. What are some projects you’ve done in the past that you are most proud of and why? The project that I am MOST proud about is my “tinyEvent”. I created a space for artist of all kinds to flourish at UAPB. It’s a mock tinyDesk that includes the art majors, business majors, and other creatives at our school to push our individuality. I’m most proud about this event because it was not easy at all, there was soooo many sleepless nights that made it all worth it.
What’s next for you? Are you working on any upcoming projects we should be on the lookout for? Include some dates if you have them. Yes, I am currently working on three projects. My single “Need” is dropping March 1st, my EP “ITIS” is dropping March 22nd, and my “UAPBtinyDesk” event is recording Season 2 live on April 2, 2021.
What message do you hope fans take away from your music? I pray that they know it is ok to emote and live through your emotions. It’s soo much easier to heal now than to heal later. Also I want them to remember how funky the beat was and have it on repeat.
Where can we follow you on social media? I am @VelvetKMusic on all social media platforms.
Anything else you want people to know?
I love to collab with all artist and I’m very reachable. Let’s work on healing and music together.