Vera Blue Interview - Lady Powers 💃
Meet Celia Pavey, best known for her work as Australia's break out pop star, Vera Blue. Since launching the Vera Blue project, Pavey has amassed an outstanding track record in both the studio and on stage. We had a chat to Vera Blue about her forthcoming Lady Powers EP, along with fashion, cocktails and much more.
Futuremag Music: What’s your relationship with music been like over the years?
Vera Blue: I’ve always been surrounded by music. I listen to a lot of folk music and artists, so I first started writing folk songs while I was doing music and singing at school. When I finished school, I moved to Sydney to do music and went to the Australian Institute of Music for six months and then I went on The Voice. I’ve had a lot of different musical experiences which have been fun and have broaden my music background.
Futuremag Music: Before transitioning to the Vera Blue project, you were performing under your own name, Celia Pavey. Can you talk me through the process of becoming Vera Blue?
Vera Blue: When I was performing under Celia Pavey, my music was very stripped back and folky. When I met Andy, my producer, at a writing camp, we kind of experimented with sounds and the electronic side of things. The change in the sound, sparked the change in the name.
Futuremag Music: You still implement a folk aspect into your songs, whilst retaining that electronic base. What’s your favourite part of the writing and production process, when you blend these vastly different genres?
Vera Blue: It’s definitely the experimentation side of it. Using vocal samples, and just finding really cool sounds to fit the song. It’s really just being creative in the studio. That’s my favourite part.
Futuremag Music: With your debut LP Perennial, there was a real heavy focus on the electro pop side of things, especially with ‘Lady Powers’? How did you mix in the powerful message of women knowing who they are, their worth, and their strength in a rollicking pop piece?
Vera Blue: It’s something that happened organically. The idea of the song “Lady Powers” came first, then the melodies came on; it was super easy to remember, and chanty. We just built on it and added production wise what worked with the song’s meaning, such as a driving beat, a vibe centric and grungy vocal samples.
It’s a really fun song to perform. It’s always been my favourite one to do live, since the records come out, just because people resonate with it already. As soon as I say, “This one goes out to all my ladies”, everyone gets excited especially the girls. It makes me and the crowd dance and move.
Futuremag Music: You’re just about to release your Lady Powers EP with a bunch of remixes, and a rework featuring Kodie Shane. How’d you meet up with Kodie, and what was the inspiration of reworking ‘Lady Powers’?
Vera Blue: There’s heaps of different versions of ‘Lady Powers’ on the EP, and the producers who’ve done the remixes are so incredible. So, the song was already written and released on the Perennial album, but for the single rendition we wanted to have a special touch on it. Having another female involved added a bit more excitement, and Kodie was the perfect fit. I loved her vocals, her sense of rhythm, and her part was really cool, and it threw a great swing onto the track. I met her recently in LA when we were doing the video clip for ‘Lady Powers’ and she was just the coolest chick!
Futuremag Music: Throwing it back to the remixes, what unique touches are you looking forward to in TOKiMONSTA, Maya Jane Coles, Alice Ivy or Maria Marcus’ productions?
Vera Blue: They’re all really different in their own way, so I love them all individually. They’ve all shaped the song in a unique and different way, which is really cool to hear different sounds. I love Maria’s one with the cool little screams in there that are kind of random and she really focused on the bassline, which is mad too. Alice Ivy’s one is unexpected, and you can hear the influence of where she’s from in her music. That could be said for the other ones too. That’s what I love about each of the remixes.
Futuremag Music: Accompanying the EP is the ‘Lady Powers’ music video filmed over in LA. Who shot, directed, and filmed the video?
Vera Blue: His name is Jesse Heath, and I think he’s based in LA. We had heaps of treatment sent to us for the song. It was really exciting to have so many film directors wanting to be involved with the process, but Jesse’s was the one that resonated with me and stuck out the most. It all went well, it was a great day. There was a lot of cool lighting, smoke machines, there were a couple of dancers, as well. There’s quite a few powerful moments within the film clip that I’m really excited for people to see and feel. Overall, it was really fun!
Futuremag Music: You have a powerful and suave fashion sense, and you’ve worked with designers such as EWOL and stylists like Jana Bartolo. Who on the fashion front did you work with for the video?
Vera Blue: So Jana, my stylist came over for the clip, which was exciting for me! She brought some incredible pieces from Burberry, Mumu, and just some really fun outfits that reflected off the light. No so many colourful things, but a lot of plastic looking material, and shimmering looks that reflected the light and looked strong. I love working with Jana, she understands what I like, and she shows me so many different designers. It’s exciting to learn about designers, what they do, and represent them.
Futuremag Music: Is fashion an underlying part of the Vera Blue project?
Vera Blue: I guess so, there’s always been a vision with it. I think music and fashion go hand in hand in a way. Not all artists are into fashion, but for me I really love it, because it’s an extension of the visual side of the project. It’s really fun, I get to rock up in flowy and colourful things, it’s part of my personality as well. A lot of the things Jana and I are collaborating on are colourful and fun for when I perform, especially if they flow or catch the light. Fashion is fun!
Futuremag Music: To wrap it up, if ‘Vera Blue’ was a cocktail what would be in it to best describe yourself and your music?
Vera Blue: That’s great hahahha! I guess I like colour, so a cocktail I had recently was strawberry daiquiri and that reflected that. I liked it because it was sweet, it’s pink, and I love strawberries, they’re my favourite. I feel a vodka one would be better than rum. It’s sweet, colourful, kinda bright, yet still powerful.
You can pre-order Vera Blue's Lady Powers EP, HERE.