Lady Valore and the Anarchy Tour
Elaina Valore aka Lady Valore: Musician, poet, scene enthusiast and activist.
You may have heard her name before, floating around in DIY Undergrounds across the region or maybe even the nation. And if you haven't heard of her yet, you’ve been missing out.
Lady Valore is a hip-hop/spoken word artist hailing from Savannah GA. Valore uses her musical platform to promote community and the power of love both on and off stage. She's a regular supporter of the city's DIY scene and even gives fellow artists airtime on her radio station, The Abyss 107.5. On any given day, you can find her making music, protesting for a cause in the streets, or lending an ear to someone in need.
I've known Valore for a little over a year. But it wasn't until late winter of 2018 that I was able to catch her live at a BiRDHAUS show. I watched her move elegantly around a small crowded living room, rolling poetic lyrics off the tip of her tongue to a beat reminiscent of 90s hip-hop classics. Out of nowhere, she whipped out a saxophone mid-set and blasted smooth tunes in between verses. I fell in love with her music.
This July I spoke with Valore about her latest Adventure, the Anarchy Tour. I learned about Valore's story, her passions, struggles and triumphs. Since this is Valore's first time on GLS, I figured we'd take some time to get to know the woman behind the music.
Like many, Valore's art started off as an emotional outlet. She turned to music and poetry for release back in 2014. Since then, she's continued writing record after record, expressing herself, questioning the world around her, and inviting others do the same. So I asked the artist how she'd describe her music, more specifically her recent release, ~IRL~.
“I would definitely call it real” Valore said, playing on the album name’s irony.
“Like I said on the description on Bandcamp, it's just like threads in my tapestry of life that I kind of just wove into music,” she added.
A lot of Valore’s artistic inspiration comes from artists like Kate Tempest. But Valore also draws a lot of creativity and energy from members of the Georgia scene like Yani Mo, Selina Haze, and Jami Cornialia. In fact, the music scene is a large part of the artist’s life. She’s run her own house venue in Savannah, booked shows for touring bands, and helped fellow artists set up tours.
In a genres like hip hop, you don't come across a lot of female rappers. Like many female artists, Valore has dealt with her fair share of misogyny. I asked her about her experiences with sexism in the scene and on the road which, not surprisingly, Valore is all too familiar with.
“I'll never forget this one show in Florida, in St. Augustine. This guy comes up to me and he goes 'You know, you were pretty good for a girl,’” Valore answered.
“It's funny too, I've gotten the same thing from other women,” she added
Phrases like “pretty good for a girl” can really eat away at an artists, But Valore doesn't dwell on it. Instead, she sees a better future.
“I’m proud to be a female rapper,” Valore commented.
“I feel like there will be a day where it's not so taboo, and it's not so out there,” she continued.
Valore offers a positive mindset to the world, whether it wants it or not. You can hear it in her music, in the lyrics, celebrating individualism and free thought, while simultaneously encouraging listeners to challenge the system and their reality.
“You can be your own hero. No one's going to do things for you,” she told me.
After a captivating 30 minutes of conversation, we got to the topic of the Anarchy Tour. Come to find out, this tour isn't Valore's second, third, or fourth. It's her 10th since her first release back in 2015.
For Valore, touring is more than just the music. It's about the people and the experience. I asked the artist about her motivations for touring,
“For me, touring and traveling has really taught me a lot about Humanity, and about how we're all struggling in different ways.”
She's been all around the country, even dabbling in shows overseas in Europe. This time around, she'll be heading as far as Canada, a new frontier for this spoken word hip hop artist. On top of that, Valore will be performing at the Fourth River Festival in Pittsburgh PA, a folk punk fest she's wanted to play for a while.
Valore’s Anarchy Tour also features a plus one; New Jersey prog rock band Crust, will be joining her on a few dates as she makes her way up and down the Eastern half of North America. Crust isn’t the only special thing she’s bring on tour either. Valore plans on sharing her message, or rather messages, everywhere she goes.
“I'm really just excited for the community, and to talk about anarchy and ways that we can do better,” she explained.
The Anarchy Tour kicked off July 19th at Rainbow Cave in Savannah and comes to a close on August 12th at the Fourth River Music festival. There are plenty of dates in between you can catch. If you have the chance to, I highly recommend making a show near you, or at the very least listening to her latest release, ~IRL~. If you're anything like me, you'll fall in love with the her music.
Photo Credit: Jhourdynne Winston