Artist Spotlight: Valerie Lighthart

Milwaukee artist and photographer Salem Katzman threw an “emerald ball” for their birthday at Company Brewing Friday night, complete with balloon dinosaurs and middle school throwbacks. Pop artists Valerie Lighthart, Jayne Joyce, Ammorelle, Mario Lanza, and Amanda Huff (and a surprise song from Lex Allen) all performed for the event, and it became a massive success.

“Salem is incredible,” Lighthart said. “They are just the cutest, most adorable, sweetest, kindest, present, earnest, and whole-hearted little pixie human.”

Valerie Lighthart walks the line between folk and pop music. She dropped a three-song EP “Places” last year.

“I really enjoyed exploring the folk side of things with the EP. I recorded the entire thing with Kevin and Will Bush from Immortal Girlfriend…they’re just fantastic and phenomenal producers – two of the best people ever met in my entire life and I cannot speak highly enough of them. I had these little songs and I felt they fit together cohesively. “Palisades” was the only one we wrote for that EP, and the other two I had written when we were working on the “V.A.L.” EP. I just didn’t think they fit into that body of work and needed their own branding and aesthetic. “Amsterdam” is in a Kesslers commercial.”

She currently plays with a full band.

“Normally I play with drums and a guitarist and keys but tonight we decided to do it stripped-back with just string instruments. The lineup I had is Anja Elise and Lisa Freigang; they’re both incredibly talented, hard-working, and super technical violinists as well. We really get into the nitty-gritty of the music, which is so much fun to explore. Normally Adam Kohrs drums for me and Lauren Bahr is on keys (she’s literally my best friend).”

Lighthart discusses what she is working on now.

“I’m really excited! I’m working on a trilogy – it’s the “By Moonlight” trilogy – it’s three singles, three videos, and three EPs all utilizing different genres (pop, folk, and electronic) to talk about the historical persecution of women. The first single is coming out April 3rd tentatively and I’ve shot the music video for it over the course of one day – the day before yesterday. Then I want to follow it up with the pop “Summertime” EP…all the bangers you can dance in the summer heat to. The really ominous folk stuff comes in fall and then the weirder electronic stuff in winter.”

Lighthart is signed with N43 Records.

“I love working with (N43). I signed with them off my first single actually, so it was kind of a whirlwind at the beginning and it still feels that way a lot of the time. They’re always working on these big and exciting projects that I feel really honored to be a part of, and the team there just has so much in-depth technical know-how and this entire language of the music industry is very difficult for me to wrap my head around. I’m more of an artistic person and less of a science-math-logic-numbers person. I feel like I’ve learned a lot and that they’ve really been supportive through the whole thing.”

Valerie Lighthart plays Cactus Club on March 25th.

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