Interview & Photo: Lyz Olko
vōx released the EP, I Was Born to immediate acclaim in 2017. Praised for both the intricacy of the songwriting and the power of the vocals, the EP is at its core about growth and rebirth, and it does not flinch from delving into the — to quote vōx — “change and pain” that goes along with that growth. Lyz Olko reached out to the L.A.-based artist for a discussion of her music, her spirituality, and her background and how it helped to form her art.
I have loved your aesthetic and music for some time prior to meeting you. You have a mini universe around you at all times that is self created. How did the conception for this aesthetic come about ?
vox: It had been stewing in my mind for over a year before I started trying to fully form it. It was a collaboration between my friend Teresa Hu and I that sparked a lot of those first visual ideas. And writing these songs from an incredibly open place has helped me better understand who I am and the space that I inhabit in the world.
I know you grew up religious, as you speak of not feeling like you were able to fit in at church. Do you think it is possible to be spiritual and believe in a higher power without subscribing to a religious dogma? Are you a spiritual person?
vox: I am spiritual. I think spirituality often doesn’t correlate with religion. I think of it more as being in tune with the world and its energies.
Do you believe in ghosts?
vox: Not in a visual sense, but I think the energy from people who have passed has to go somewhere.
Performing in churches now, do you feel at peace with yourself and what it had always represented for you?
vox: I do feel at peace in those spaces, especially while performing. I like to take that as a comfort that I’m on the right path.
By making it your practice to perform in the environment, you confront what has always made you uncomfortable in the past or feel fear, then just completely own it, and make it your own, but with love, compassion and incredible creativity . It’s admirable and beautiful.
vox: Thank you!
Becoming a songwriter was my direct outlet to self expression and working through emotions I felt I wasn't allowed to share when I was younger.
The Author Daphne Rose Kingma writes that one’s purpose is very likely related to your “wound.” Like basically what you are meant to do , is somehow connected to the very things that were so painful in your life, the things that compose your life theme – the things that have also made it so hard to love yourself. Is that what making music is for you?
vox: Yes, definitely. My family is not very expressive emotionally. Becoming a songwriter was my direct outlet to self expression and working through emotions I felt I wasn’t allowed to share when I was younger.
And if so, is that what lead you to ” I was Born” ?
vox: For sure. I think the overall theme of the “I Was Born” EP is change and the pain (and magic!) that can go along with growth.
What song can you put on no matter how hard of a day you have had, how sad you are or even just fine; that makes you feel “some type of way”?
vox: Amber Mark “Monsoon” <3
What instruments can you play?
vox: I’ve played piano since I was very young.