AN INTERVIEW WITH GIRL K

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    Chicago band Girl K gifted their listeners with a beautiful debut album, Sunflower Court, last fall and have now followed up with the release of their thought provoking single “Division Club.” The seamless blend of ambient rock and dream pop that can be heard on their songs comes as a result of the hard work of frontwoman and founder Kathy Patino.

 

WHO ARE OTHER ARTISTS IN THE CHICAGO MUSIC SCENE THAT YOU FEEL HAVE INFLUENCED YOU AS A MUSICIAN AND A PERSON?

     Before becoming a part of the music scene in Chicago, I was only familiar with a few local bands. Varsity was one of them that made me feel like the type of music I was making could be magical, fun, and heartbreaking all in one. They’re a great Chicago band and amazing people too! When I got more involved, I discovered Beach Bunny, and met Lili and she was just radiant! In a scene where it is very difficult for anyone but handsome males to really standout and accumulate a following, she was dominating it! Her vocals and melodies and lyrics break my heart and motivate me to really put all my soul and being into my music and to never let anyone make me feel small or inferior.

 

WHAT WAS IT LIKE FILMING A MUSIC VIDEO FOR “DIVISION CLUB?” FROM ALL THE SHIMMERY FABRIC IT LOOKED LIKE A GOOD TIME.

      Filming the music video for “Division Club” was really a grand time. We had originally sat down and planned a whole storyline for the video, but while I was at work the boys all decorated my guitarist Mike’s apartment and when I saw it I was just like “We should just film it all right now!” Along the way we realized we needed more footage, so Andrew (directed and produced the video), added in some footage of our friend Evan in an alien costume wandering around their neighborhood! I love that video and can’t wait to film the next!

 

WITH THE LYRICS OF “DIVISION CLUB” FOCUSING ON MATERIALISM, WHAT DO YOU THINK THE PROS/CONS ARE OF LIVING IN A WORLD WHERE QUICK ACCESSIBILITY TO BOTH THINGS + INFORMATION IS AN EXPECTATION?

     I feel like there isn’t an issue in having accessibility to things or information, the issue is that we place barriers that prevent everyone from being able to access it in the same manner/time frame. Being able to own things and be educated are privileges. When it comes to things, they’re are nothing more than just things, but our error is that we project so much value onto them and allow them to determine our own self-worth. I think living a life where you expect things rather than want things and are willing to work hard for them is dangerous. Expecting information is also dangerous if you’re not willing to listen or if you’re only accepting of information that aligns with your own values and ideas and not to any others.

 

HAVE YOU EVER HAD A DESIRE TO FIND OTHER MUSICIANS THAT YOU SEE A PART OF YOURSELF IN? DO YOU EVER THINK ABOUT THE POTENTIAL OF AUDIENCE MEMBERS SEEING THEMSELVES IN YOU AND GETTING INSPIRED TO SHARE THEIR OWN STORIES?

     I feel absolutely blessed to be a woman of color, and to have grown up with strong women of color. Being in a scene really makes you step back and question why there is such a lack of representation, and what you can do to minimize that gap. Mia Joy and NEV are about the only two I can think of off the top of my head, which is really sad, but they are killing it and are very much so two individuals I look up to.

      I could only hope that I’m inspiring my fellow people of color, women, and Latinos, to pursue their passions because none of the things I listed above are disadvantages or reasons for you to shy away from stepping into your light. I know sometimes putting your art/work into the world can feel like you’re putting yourself on a pedestal, but instead of stepping on that pedestal and waiting for acceptance, step on that pedestal having accepted and embracing who you are. I may not always follow that advice, but I sure do practice it every time I go on stage.

 

IN ANOTHER INTERVIEW YOU MENTIONED YOU STRUGGLE WITH BECOMING MORE CONFIDENT IN YOURSELF AND STAGE PRECISION. DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE TO THOSE WHO ARE HESITANT TOWARDS CREATING ART/MUSIC OUT OF FEAR OF TAKING UP SPACE THEY DON’T BELIEVE THEY’RE DESERVING OF?

         Putting yourself and your art into the world is terrifying. I have mornings where I wake up wondering if anything I’m doing will ever get me to where I want to be. I don’t believe I deserve anything, but I’ll work hard to try and have everything I’ve ever dreamed of. That means ignoring a lot of my fears, which inevitably means facing them. Be open to that, and allow yourself to have moments of insecurity, so when you have those moments of reassurance it feels amazing. You are the only person in this life that is going to give you what you need/want. I have never been as happy and as confident as I am today, and even then, I still struggle with a lot of parts of myself but making music and working hard is a form of self-love. Actively try and give yourself the life you dream of. People don’t necessarily deserve anything, I don’t think that’s how life works, but you can certainly achieve anything. Knowing that, you can’t waste time and energy on being fearful of the unknown or what you predict will be the outcomes. Life is scary, and you’ve made it this far, so why not keep going?

photo by ALICIA MACIEL

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LYDIA VELAZQUEZ