Verité is the Independent Artist Rivaling Record Labels

Verité is the Independent Artist Rivaling Record Labels

The singer talks about her dark record and remaining an independent artist in today's music landscape.

The singer talks about her dark record and remaining an independent artist in today's music landscape.

Text: Ilana Kaplan

When VÉRITÉ’s Kelsey Byrne, surfaced back in 2014, she was still waitressing at Applebee’s in Times Square. With ethereal vocals and an air of mystery, her single “Strange Enough” caught the ears of the pop scene and she began to rise following a show with Neon Gold Records. Making music runs in her blood: Byrne grew up with a musician for a father and even played in a female punk band—something that’s reflective of her fierce independence when it comes to making music her way. Byrne has made it clear that she’s wanted to make music without relinquishing creative control over her music, so she’s remained an independent artist, despite offers.

Fast forward to three years later, Byrne is finally ready to put out her debut album, Somewhere In Between. After releasing EPs Echo, Sentiment and Living, and doing a gorgeous cover of The 1975’s “Somebody Else,”  Somewhere In Between mixes Byrne’s ethereal penchant for making music with an air of moodiness. It’s not always pretty pop, but that’s the beauty of it: VÉRITÉ is unafraid to tap into those darker emotions and make her songs an intimate experience.

Before Somewhere In Between comes out on June 30, we caught up with Byrne about her growth as an independent artist, her serving past, and making depressing pop music.

How did you decide on Somewhere In Between as the record title?

I went back and forth for a while. I knew I wanted it to be a track from the album as a title of the album. As I was writing these songs, it was a placeholder, but it was actually the last song I finished. It just kind of fit the sentiment of the album. I was going to go with the song “Death of Me” but that’s a little depressing, so I wanted to keep it light. I knew I wanted the album name to be a title track. I went back and forth between a few. Somewhere In Between was the final song written for the album and fit.

What's the meaning behind the title?

The first line of Somewhere in Between is "somewhere between living and dying". The idea of the album existing as this analysis of my experiences in between these two things made the title stick.

Did you come up with an overall theme for the record?

I think the general theme is an overall analysis of me and my interactions, of me and the world, and how I feel generally disconnected, bored, apathetic, nostalgic and emotional. The album follows this as well.

You’ve staunchly wanted to always make it as an independent artist. How did that affect you putting out the record?

The only way it affected me is that I had the autonomy to make it, which is a beautiful thing. I wrote all of the songs. It’s been like this since the beginning. It meant that I needed to be completely confident in the writing, production, and world I was creating. There were no A&Rs, no guidelines, no one to sign off on what I was doing. At times, the process was overwhelming, but ultimately I can know this record is completely mine.

Do you want to stay as an independent artist indefinitely?

I'm not going to limit myself by saying ‘yes.’ I will say that being an independent artist to this point has been amazing. I have been able to partner with people who understand and trust in my vision. Carrying that sentiment forward is important to me, regardless of the circumstance.

What were you listening to when making your album?

I listened to Phantogram, Chance the Rapper, Kehlani, Anderson.Paak and a few other things along the way.

You said there was a darkness to this album. Where does it come from?

I've always had a strange relationship with my surroundings and the people around me. There's always been a distance I've created. I've always had bouts of depression, apathy, boredom, straight existential crises. This album is dissecting various aspects of my experience through different lenses.

Do you miss waitressing at Applebee's? What did you learn from doing that that you applied to making music?

Sometimes I miss the mindlessness of it. My manager, Vern and I still text sometimes and I'm overdue for a visit. I don't miss actually waiting tables. Working as a server taught me how to be uncomfortable—how to work and move forward regardless of how I feel. Being a writer and touring musician, there are so many instances where my state of mind isn't where I need it to be to write when I need to or play a show but I can always get shit done.

Who do you want to work with in the future?

I'd love to work with Childish Gambino, Lido, Sohn, James Blake, Kimbra, BANKS or Nick Murphy (Chet Faker).

Credits: Banner Image Photography Eric Ryan Anderson

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