The Wild Violets

By: Dream Chimney

The following interview was conducted on June 4, 2024

The Wild Violets London label, The Disco Express sign local disco outfit The Wild Violets. Their sound blends 70s disco with live instrumentation, and heartfelt vocals. Influenced by Nile Rodgers, Jamiroquai and Franc Moody, there are soon to drop the ‘Til The Sunrise EP’ with Dr Packer providing a sensational remix to boot.

Here we get the chance to talk to this exciting band about where they come from, how they met, and whats coming up next.

Thanks for talking to us. Where are you this moment and how are you spending the day?

We're very well thanks, currently at our HQ in London, producing some new tunes!

Tell us who all the parts are of The Wild Violets and what are the parts you all play in the band?

The Wild Violets are made up of Felipe Franco (guitarist, producer), Brooke Davies (vocals) and Hannah Richardson (keys and backing vocals). Although our live setup consists of drums, bass, and percussion too!

How did you all meet?

We met online! Through Facebook groups and Gumtree, believe it or not. Felipe cast a wide net with ads for a vocalist and a keyboard player across several sites. Meeting online is the modern twist of fate, as quirky as it sounds!

What were you all up to musically before you got together as the Wild Violets?

Felipe was leading the band, transitioning it from an indie rock outfit to the disco/funk group we are now. Brooke was a freelance vocalist working in a pub in central London. Hannah was making a transition into being a freelance musician after giving up her 9-5.

Where are you all based?

All over London.

What do you love most about where you are living?

We all live in quite spacious and green areas of London. Having the space and calmness at home, in our own space, allows for the buzzing contrast of central London to be welcomed when we're there.

Are you DJs too?

Yes, Felipe DJs under the name 'Felipe Da Tree'.

Who are the artists that inspire your sound?

To name a few - Chic & Nile Rodgers. Jamiroquai. Vulfpeck. Jessie Ware. Franc Moody. L'imperatrice. Nubiyan Twist.

You sound a little like Chic to me!

Chic are heroes to us. Their records have inspired us greatly in our music and beyond that, in our personal lives too. So whenever anyone says that it truly does mean a lot.

What other bands do you think are making great music right now?

Love the new Nubiyan Twist album, incredible. Needless to say, especially the track featuring Nile Rodgers! The last two Jessie Ware records have been on replay since their release and we're always excited for new music by Franc Moody and Anderson Paak.

If you could choose a few words to describe the vibe of The Wild Violets what would they be?

Soulful, Funky, Spacey.

Tell us a little about the band and live performance.

We absolutely thrive on playing live — it's the best bit of releasing music. We've built our music around being able to perform the songs live. We pour a lot of our energy into crafting tight, exhilarating shows, hopefully making every show a special one. Our live set up consists of drums, bass, vocals, guitar, keys, synths, percussion and sometimes horns.

When and where was your first live?

Our first gig as the band we are now was at the Camden Assembly in London.

How much do you feel you guys have developed since then?

Over the last couple of years we’ve developed a more consistent and signature sound, we’ve reached a place where we’re super confident in and proud of the music we’re putting out. Every song we release has been getting stronger and stronger. And our live shows have been getting bigger and better too.

Where was your most recent performance? What’s coming up for you next?

Our last performance was our own event called ‘Disco Please’, which we set up to curate a specifically disco and funk only live event, which was lacking in the London scene. We’re now looking forward to gigging in London over the summer - we currently have four dates booked in so keep an eye out and come see us if you’re about!

Tell us a little about any of your previous releases?

Our previous three releases, (Satellite, Miracle and Let Down My Love), were our first explorations into the disco world. We were moving into a direction that was new for us and we weren’t sure how people would react but the songs did really well, and we’re super proud of them. We grew in confidence in our disco writing and performing abilities with every release, paving the way for the new EP!

What are some of the challenges you have faced putting out music along the way?

A challenge we all face as musicians is the cost of producing, promoting, and putting out good music. It’s expensive, especially in London. It can get tough and it’s been frustrating, but we’ve tried to be as creative as possible in ways we can save on costs without compromising the music we want to make.

Tell us how you connected with The Disco Express?

The Disco Express slid into our instagram DMs! They discovered us while we were promoting our Disco Please event at the end of 2023. We were chuffed!

Have you been fans of the label’s output?

Of course! They’ve been waving the flag high for disco in the UK for a while, working with some incredible artists and putting on disco nights around the world! We had been fans of the Disco Express for a while, so you can imagine our excitement when they reached out.

Talk to us about the new EP and the initial idea.

We decided on writing an EP when The Disco Express approached us. We felt it was the right time for us. We had some ideas in the works and we were also looking for inspiration to drive us to a new release. We ended up writing a handful of tracks for the EP and settling on the best 3.

What was most important for you to convey through these tracks?

For us it was two things. To stay true and consistent to the type of music we want to put out, which is soulful, funky disco, while also sounding fresh and exciting. We also need the music to elevate what the lyrics are saying. We aim to create a cohesive sound that lets all those elements sit together and each shine through.

Do you feel that you were able to accomplish what you set out to do?

Yes, we think we did, we’ve never spent this much time and energy on anything, but it has all been so worth it.

What are you most proud of with this release?

We think the reception it has received and that it has traveled further than any previous releases is enough to give ourselves a pat on the back. We’ve had some incredible feedback from some top DJs and producers as well - it feels pretty surreal for Crazy P and Jamiroquai’s drummer to say good things about the tracks!

What was the most challenging part of bringing the release together?

The toughest part of releasing music is getting it heard by as many people as possible. So we had to get creative in the way we promoted it, in the way we portrayed ourselves on social media, aiming to stay true to ourselves while crafting engaging content. We learned that content creation has to be fun! By enjoying it, a genuine excitement shines through to our audience.

Who are the other artists on this EP that you would like to shout out?

Shoutout to the wonderfully talented Georges who mixed the EP, Valerio our good friend, who played drums and percussion on the EP and of course to Tom from Disco Express for his vital help through this process.

What drives you all to create music?

We love music. We’re musicians, it’s something we’d do with or without the band. We all bring different experiences and inspirations but at the heart of it is that we love disco, funk and dance music. It’s amazing the resurgence it’s had in the mainstream, long may it continue.

What has been one of your favorite moments from the past year for The Wild Violets?

Dr Packer hopping on the remix of ‘Sunrise’ was quite the treat.

Is there anything that you would like to tell us about you?

Just that if you’re a disco/funk fan, check us out, hopefully you’ll dig us. Also we’re playing at the Disco Express Live show at Hootananny in Brixton on July 6th! Wicked lineup, hope to see you there.

What can we hope to see next from the Wild Violets?

Hopefully just more of the same, but bigger! More music, live shows, festivals and connecting with new fans.


Check out the latest release from The Wild Violets.


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