Brooklyn’s own VÉRITÉ has been building a serious reputation along the east coast. She sat down wirth our own Jessica Millete this week and talked about the process, inspiration and the future.
What are the hardships you have faced and maybe continue to face as an independent artist?
I think you’re playing with two clubs, there’s the major label club and then the independent club. So I feel like at some point it feels like there’s a disparity and you feel like you kind of have to hustle five times harder and kind of put your head down in a different way — that being said I don’t really view it as a hardship because it’s very clearly a choice of mine and so I think I view it more as an opportunity to run things my own way.
What makes being an independent artist worth the hardships?
I have freedom and control and I think ultimately what’s most valuable is I get to do things when I want I, I get to choose what I want and so I’m really grateful for that flexibility.
Verite means “truth” in French. What inspired you to take on this name for your music?
I adapted it in 2013-2014 and I think I needed a little bit of separation between myself and the project. It was a very natural process to take on a moniker.
That makes sense. Does the word “truth” have any special meaning to you or was there a story behind choosing the word?
Honestly it was just a day of Googling and the sentiment that it means truth, it was just kind of an impulsive commitment.
Can you talk about the experimental process you took when working on Somewhere in Between? What did you do differently this time around to achieve the sound you wanted?
It’s not that it’s so much more experimental than the original music. My goal was to elevate the things that I liked about in those first 3 EPs and expand upon them but I think when you make music you’re constantly learning and changing. So ideally it’s an elevation but I did get to spend more time with it than I have with the EPS, so there was more room for trial and error and putting in different pieces of the puzzle.
I learned that you waitressed for 10 years to support your dream of doing music. Do you have a specific story that pushed you to the edge to just quit?
Not necessarily…I was dragged out of waitressing…I was terrified to let it go. I was just so used to that lifestyle but it came to the point where the project was taking up so much of my time that it was this constant internal guilt because if I wasn’t waitressing, I felt guilty for not working on the project and if I was working on the project and writing and all of that stuff, I felt guilty for not waitressing. There was this push and pull that was crazy and so it was just this decision of “oh my god, it’s fine, let’s just see what happens”.
What kind of advice can you give to someone who wants to pursue music full time?
I think there’s so much advice to give. Just accept that it’s going to be hard and that you’re going to have to make creative sacrifices in order to fund and be realistic in how you structure your career so ultimately if you’re willing to make those sacrifices on both sides, you can create a life and career for yourself that’s sustainable and I think the logical part of my brain is always kind of craving, “how can I create a career that will allow me to continue making music for 10 years”.
I’ve seen you couple of times live — here in DC for an All Things Go show at U Street Music Hall, and at SXSW in 2015. Both were pretty minimal set ups. What can we expect to be different on your upcoming tour?
Well it’s me plus 2 and I don’t have something super unique of anything, but I think the live show has definitely undergone a serious reboot and elevation so, you know, we play everything live, we have tracks but it’s a very live set and ideally it’s just meant to kind of be “all killer no filler.” Not many down moments.
What do you want people to take away from Somewhere in Between?
I just want them to feel something…I don’t really care what people feel…I mean, in an ideal world they’ll feel, I don’t know, happy, sad, depressed, invigorated…
Are there any artists you want to collaborate with?
Oh I have a long laundry list…Childish Gambino, which I don’t know if that project is even still there, Sampha…so many.
Any particular artists or songs you currently have on repeat?
I feel like I’ve been podcasting on this tour…all the Radiolabs on Spotify have been on repeat currently.
Anything else you want to say about the tour or the album?
Listen to the album!
You can check out VÉRITÉ’s debut album, Somewhere in Between here. In DC? You can see her live at Rock & Roll Hotel this Thursday, September 21 — get your tickets now! Not around? Check out her tour dates.