As an artist, one of the most important and difficult feats is to find your true, creative self. To shake off your influence and write as an individual is not something achieved by all but, in Vera Blue, an artist has emerged, completely original and ready to take on the world. We sat down with Celia Pavey a.k.a. Vera to learn about the realisation of her artistic vision and the making of her brand new video, Fingertips.
The evolution of an artist can’t be rushed and, for Vera Blue, the journey from inspiration to creative individuality was all important.
HAPPY: Hey, Vera! Thanks for taking some time out. What have you been up to lately?
Vera: Hey! That’s okay. I’ve just finished up my first little sold out headline tour, released some new music videos, toured with Matt Corby and have done loads of writing!
HAPPY: It’s amazing to see you selling out shows and gaining some serious traction, how does the success feel?
Vera: It’s incredible, the main focus for me is that my music is shared and heard; people are connecting with the music and feeling something, so that for me is everything!
HAPPY: What sort of process do you go through to write music?
Vera: There’s a few different ways. I co-write with other writers and artists e.g. Gossling, Thom Mak. When we work together it can start with a chord progression on an acoustic guitar or piano, then we play around with melodies and get a vibe for a song, then the lyrics flow naturally on feeling. Other times, there can be a concept or idea before melodies or music come. But alone, I will normally write off a progression and vibe.
HAPPY: Do your recent tracks have a particular meaning to you? What are you writing about, mostly?
Vera: Absolutely and always! The songs are about things that are happening at the time or past moments, about heart break or pushing through a tough time or just about love. I write a lot about feeling and emotion – relationships.
HAPPY: Do you feel it’s important to convey a message through music?
Vera: I believe so, yes. One of my all time favourite artists, Joni Mitchell always had messages. I love a lyric that makes you think and feel something you’ve never felt before or, even music that reminds you of something or uplifts you.
HAPPY: I hope you don’t mind me mentioning, but, I remember vividly Celia Pavey singing Scarborough Fair in an audition for the Voice, in which you proceeded pretty far! What are your thoughts on the experience looking back?
Vera: I had a positive experience. Met some wonderfully talented people, had fun too! A great stepping stone.
HAPPY: What contribution do you feel talent shows have to offer in the music industry?
Vera: I feel there are so many incredibly talented AND unique artists out there that just want to share what they have and show people their music. It is however, a tough industry, but if you’re curious about something like that then give it a shot, for the learning experience too.
HAPPY: Since then, what prompted your change of name and image? Where did Vera Blue come from?
Vera: I spent a couple of years writing with artists and writers and working with producers. I collaborated with a team that I truly connected with. We experimented lots and that’s where the new sound came about. Because it sounded so different and fresh to my previous music, I felt It needed a project name. Vera Blue was what I came up with.
HAPPY: What do you feel your moniker has contributed to your evolution as an artist?
Vera: I feel it has allowed me to explore different sounds, opened up my mind to different styles, melodies and blending genres from my folky roots, to subtle and sometimes heavy electronica and interesting melodies. I have the freedom to experiment and I love it.
HAPPY: It’s awesome to see you continually grow as an artist. What inspires you these days and how has your inspiration evolved over time?
Vera: Artists inspire me a lot, Joni Mitchell, Simon and Garfunkel, Crosby, Stills & Nash as well as young artists of today like Jack Garratt, James Blake, FKA Twigs, Banks. The sounds, the melodies, production and lyrics. I am so inspired by other artists. At the moment, my writing is inspired by relationships or the people that surround me
HAPPY: What have been some of the highlights of your time as Vera Blue?
Vera: Definitely having people sing the lyrics to my songs with me so loudly at my own shows. Truly a special feeling. Touring with Matt Corby, who’s such a beautiful and inspiring person. Recording the new music, watching the project unfold and seeing people’s reaction to it. It’s incredible.
HAPPY: What’s next for Vera Blue? Should we be excited?
Vera: Of course! Lots of new music and another tour, lots of festivals! Busy times ahead but, fun times!
HAPPY: Your video for Fingertips is incredible. What is the meaning behind the song and video?
Vera: Fingertips is basically about social media and how it can have negative affects on relationships. The song wasn’t really written from my perspective, actually. The music video shows incredible art installations that seem as though they are never ending, like a bad habit or a relationship with someone you can’t let go of. Lots of emotion.
HAPPY: Thanks for chatting!