Buttafly Vazquez moved to Richmond almost eight years ago bringing with her a signature golden soul sound. Although she admits, “It took me awhile to get in the music scene here,” she is soon to bring her persistence, talent, and ability to make grown men swoon to an ubiquitous coffee chain near you.
What’s happening with your career?
I’m going to be in the studio recording an EP in July. [One track] should be released on a compilation CD that’s going to be distributed by Starbuck’s. That should come out in September.
How long have you been singing?
Since I was in my mom’s stomach. [Buttafly lets go with one of her hearty laughs.] Since I was three. She was a dancer and she does music. My dad played every instrument you can think of and he was a really beautiful singer.
Where’d you grow up?
I grew up in New York, Fulton Projects, 17th and 9th.
You knew Alicia Keys, right?
I went to school with her. I went to performing arts school for about five years and we were in the same vocal major together.
Was there a defining moment when you knew you wanted to be a musician?
I just always had it. I think I got it from my parents. They had such a love for art.
How did you become a “Buttafly”?
When I was living in Norfolk, I would do open mics. People would always say that’s the butterfly girl, or that’s the butterfly lady. People just randomly started calling me butterfly, so I thought, go with it.
Do you write most of your material?
Yes. Some of it comes about from melodies in my head and I’ll write chords to it. Sometimes I’ll be thinking of a subject that I want to write about and think about what the music should sound like. Or sometimes I’ll just have lyrics and maybe just try to put music to it, however it hits me. In my sleep, in the shower.
Who are a few artists you’d like to work with?
Emily King, Laila Hathaway, Amy Winehouse.
Who is your audience?
I’ve actually been surprised at who comes to my shows. I get anything from a big gay following to bikers. I had a big biker crew come out, a whole biker family who just really loved me. It was really funny. I had a bunch of gay boys and bikers. So anything goes.
What was the most recent live show that you saw and where was it?
Arrested Development. We opened up for them. Well, Crucial Elements did, and I did a couple songs with them. Friday Cheers. That was a good show.
Who was your first celebrity crush?
David Bowie. The Labyrinth! I was like, “He’s so cool.”
What’s your favorite way to chill?
We’re going to the river later. That’s just really calming and therapeutic. Listen to the water.
What’s your favorite comfort food?
White cheddar cheez-its! [Her boyfriend interjects, “This is ‘keepin’ it real!’ I was getting ready to say it.”]
What’s your favorite beverage?
Beer! No, not really. I like wine. I’m a wino.
Philadelphia or Atlanta?
Landmark or Mosque?
Text or email?
Text! I don’t have a choice.
Anthony Hamilton or Raheem DeVaughan?
Mmm, Raheem probably.
Blueberry or cherry?
See Buttafly perform with Crucial Elements and visit her at myspace.com/buttaflyvazquez