There are many faces in the rising world of alternative pop. It’s a genre chock-full of new and interesting faces, sounds and instruments. One such face is Verite, a songstress with a unique sound and ethereal feel. She recently released her debut album “Somewhere in Between” and received praise and appreciation across many fronts. We were able to talk to Verite about her new album and upcoming tour.
The Daily Campus
: I saw that you released your debut album. What was it like putting that out?
Verite: It feels like an odd exhale. It’s weird how anticlimactic releasing music can be because there’s all of this build up and potential energy and it all feels very new and crazy. Then it kind of drops off to the bottom and you start working your way up, touring and promoting it. So it’s a strange experience, but it’s good.
DC: I noticed you had put out a couple EPs beforehand, so I was wondering what is the difference between those and this album?
V: I feel like the EPs were a natural progression to the album. I think that, you know, I’m always trying to learn from what I do and the EPs were just the early stages of what I wanted to create and I learned a lot from them, and I got to kind of grow with them. The album is ideally a culmination and elevation of those pieces.
DC: Do you think your sound changed at all while you were going through that process?
V: Yeah, I think especially from the first two EPs. It’s just slow so it’s a similar basis. It’s a kind of ambient sound laid with heavy, driving drums and insane melodies at some points but I think it’s a little bit more refined now. Sonically I really wanted to elevate the sound that I was using and I hope to, even on the next record, continue to elevate.
DC: Is that the goal that you had planned out originally or did you kind of find it as you were going along?
V: It’s interesting because the album was written in a similar way that the EPs were written. I went through a phase of experimentation where I worked with a lot of different people and tried to keep my mind as open as possible, then spent the latter half of the album trying to hone everything in and make it cohesive and structure it in a way that made it feel like was in the same world. It’s interesting how the process is the same but having learned so much, I was able to streamline that process much better.
DC: You said you worked with a pretty large group of people. Is there anyone working right now that you would like to collaborate with?
V: Oh gosh, definitely Childish Gambino, even though I heard a rumor that he’s discontinuing his music projects. Sampha. I have a cool collaboration with somebody else who I just remembered I can’t talk about. I just really want to work with people with super strong artistic point of views.
DC: I noticed you mentioned a couple of hip-hop artists in there. Is that a direction you could see yourself headed toward?
V: Yes and no. I love hip-hop and I love hip-hop artists. I am not a hip-hop artist myself, but I think those collaborations can be really powerful and amazing so I would definitely love to collaborate with someone like Childish Gambino to bring that perspective into the project for sure.
DC: So for you, it’s more about the artistry than the genre itself?
V: Yeah, I think there are artists in every genre. I could see myself collaborating with Sufjan Stevens or Conor Oberst, so I think anybody whose music resonates with me, we can find something cool to do.
DC: Who were some of the influences that put you on the musical track you’re on now?
V: I grew up on alternative radio so the singles of the 90s were it for me. In particular, The Cranberries, The Breeders, Nirvana, Green Day, and eventually I got into Death Cab for Cutie and Radiohead and from there I think everything kind of expanded. Now I listen to everything.
DC: I saw that your tour started and I was wondering how it’s been going so far?
V: The tour is amazing. It feels like it’s kind of almost over because it’s been just a complete rush and blur because the schedule is so crazy. Touring is a direct representation of how much hard work you put into things. When you see people in cities you’ve never been to showing up to your shows, singing all the words and spending their nights with you, for me I’m really grateful.
DC: Do you prefer performing live to working in the studio?
V: I prefer touring. All the time.
DC: Where did the name “Verite” come from?
V: It’s directly translated from French to “truth,” and so the sentiment fit when I picked it. But honestly it was just a day of Googling and I gave myself a deadline of 5 p.m. to pick a name and I picked it and never looked back.
DC: How did you come up with it during that process?
V: Honestly I just kind of went on a French-word kick and there were a bunch of words and I knew I wanted it to be a one-word moniker. I was pretty unsure of it when I picked it but I knew I had to commit to something.
DC: If you had one piece of advice to give any aspiring artists out there, what would it be?
V: My advice would be to maintain ownership of your music, masters and publishing as long as you can and if you make those sacrifices early on it will be really helpful initially. You’ll put yourself in a better position to have a longer, more sustainable career.