Poet/Songwriter/Singer artist Ingrid Chavez always trusts her instincts. The one-time Prince muse and lyrical engine behind Madonna’s 1991 Number 1 hit Justify My Love charted a brave new course at a critical juncture, pouring her creative energy into motherhood as her music career was taking off. The birth of her daughter helped Chavez gain a new perspective on the lives of women, sparking a surge in creativity across a variety of mediums. Today, the mantra “Little Girls With Dreams Become Women With Vision” not only permeates every crevice of Chavez’s artistic vision, it resonates loudly with both her audience at large and a new generation of aspiring female artists.
“As a young woman in the mid-1980s, I hadn’t yet found where I was going,” Chavez says. “Looking back, I’ve worked with some amazing artists – Prince, David Sylvian, Ryuichi Sakamoto, and Lenny Kravitz to name a few. Motherhood has been a blessing. These things have heightened my sense of giving back. I enjoy mentoring young artists, particularly women.”
The multihyphenate has been hard at work – promoting her upcoming album, Memories of Flying, producing a video music video for the single Snow-Blind, and focusing on her Snow & Ink Collection, a growing brand that includes her poetry, journal writings, and apparel.
Raised in Marietta, Georgia, the ambitious young artist relocated to Minneapolis in 1986, which led to a chance encounter with Prince. The result was Chavez’s first album, titled May 19, 1992, released on the Paisley Park Records label. Chavez also appeared on Prince’s Lovesexy album as “The Spirit Child.”
“Lovesexy and May 19, 1992 mirror each other,” she says. “I was writing poems at the same time that he was writing Lovesexy. We talked a lot about God, love, and sex…how we felt about those things.”
The spiritual connection continued with the feature film Graffiti Bridge, with Chavez cast as Aura, an angel. Chavez then teamed up with Lenny Kravitz and Andre Betts, emerging with Justify My Love. That same year, another Chavez-penned song, Do Anything by Natural Selection, peaked at #2.
During the mid-1990s, Chavez worked with David Sylvian and Richard Werbowenko on Little Girl With 99 Lives, released through Ingrid’s own Ten Windows Records. In 1996, Chavez joined the band Ova, leading to a four song EP. Her second solo album, A Flutter and Some Words, was released in 2010. Next, Chavez collaborated with Marco Valentin as Black Eskimo, releasing the Deep & Heady LP in 2013. Other collaborations include Ganga’s 2015 single Non-Toxic and Ride (with Deep Dive Corp.) in 2016.
Today the little girl with dreams is all grown up, replaced by a woman with vision who fearlessly pursues her art while selflessly mentoring other female artists on the rise. She’s featured, along with Ole Theill, on Mashti’s Out of Love. Memories of Flying drops on May 17. There’s the Snow-Blind video, and more on the way from the Snow & Ink Collection. Busy? You bet. That Ingrid Chavez continues to create – those stark New England winters serving as the canvas for many of her poems, the narrow back roads leading us to her ten window studio – is a dream all its own.