Pop-based singer-songwriter VERITE is slowly but surely coming out of the NYC music scene woodwork to make herself and her music known. Her most recent EP, Sentiment, released just last week and showcases her ability to mix different influential sounds and styles into a commercially viable product that music fans will surely love. Her style certainly gets away from the stereotypical female manufactured pop-based sound from the late 90s and 2000s that has left a sour taste in our mouths, and goes back to the more singer-songwriter styles of artists from the early to mid-90s.
We sat down with her early on the final day of Firefly to talk about her influences as a female artist, the new EP, and more.
P&W: How does it feel playing Firefly, how does it feel being down here?
VERITE: Honestly I just got here so I don’t know how I feel yet. I haven’t even been out onto the grounds yet, but I’ve never even been to a music festival before so it’s pretty exciting.
P&W: Wait, what? Never?
VERITE: No, never. I guess I’ve just always been busy.
P&W: So I guess the expectations are pretty limitless right?
VERITE: I have zero expectations. I’m convinced no one’s going to come to the show.
P&W: You know you’d be surprised how many people are still here after the monsoon last night.
VERITE: I generally keep low expectations. I’m just pumped to be here. There’s a little board by our green room with my name on it, and it’s just cool to be here.
P&W: Sentiment came out earlier this week. How’s the response been and how’s it feel to have it out?
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VERITE: It’s definitely a process for me when things get written to when they get released. It seems like forever ago to me, I wrote the first track on Sentiment, “Wasteland” the same time I wrote “Weekend.” It’s just nice to be able to share it and finally have it out. I shows I’ve actually been doing something, I swear I haven’t been just sitting around watching television the past few months.
P&W: How many of the songs on the EP have already been released?
VERITE: All of them. So we released “Wasteland” first, then “Colors,” and the last two we kind of bundled together. We’ve been slowly but surely developing the live set and I feel like the songs have gone through so many phases by now. It’s been a cool journey to see how they started off with the spring tour back in March to where they are now.
P&W: Especially at this festival, but also around music in general right now, there are a lot of emerging female singer-songwriter based pop acts- Marina & The Diamonds, Ryn Weaver, Phoebe Ryan, Zella Day, Halsey, how do you set yourself apart from them to stand out?
VERITE: Well I think for me I totally recognize it’s a super competitive genre to be in, but I couldn’t really be in any other genre considering I’m a female writer who writes pop music. So for me it’s more about recognizing that other people are doing what they’re doing and they’re doing a great job, but really just focus on what I’m doing and doing it the best that I can and hope that I can slowly but surely carve my own path.
P&W: When you look at where female-based pop artists have come from since when we grew up in the 90s and into the 2000s, we saw the Britneys, the Christinas, the Pinks, Nelly Furtado, and we’ve seen that role develop into artists like yourself today. We’ve seen that transition from then to now, does that affect you as some of your influences may have changed and transitioned over time?
VERITE: I was never big into the Britneys and Christinas when I was a kid. I was more into The Cranberries, Garbage, and those were the women I looked up to when I was younger. I grew up in bands playing like palm muted electric guitar. So for me I think I’ve always aspired to be really bold and upfront. I mean The Cranberries, and even Natalie Imbruglia came out, those were women I really got into. That was the first transition to grungy rock to pop that I took but they definitely had a big influence on me as a live act.
P&W: You play with a live band, which is awesome. Do you feel like when an artist like yourself plays with a DJ track or a backing track that it becomes less organic or that you lose something?
VERITE: Well tracks are there for a reason. We use live tracks and they help live shows sound massive which is how I want it to sound. I feel like my guys play as much as they possible can and we want it to be a fun and different environment than if we just played the record.
P&W: What’s the plan for the rest of the summer and into the fall with the EP?
VERITE: We’ll be doing a bunch of west coast dates which is pretty exciting. I get to spend some time in LA which I haven’t really done yet, then we’re playing Lollapalooza which I’m pumped for. There’s a bunch of stuff on the calendar and I’d love to keep working and touring because I love it.
P&W: Are you going to be able to bounce around and check out some other acts here today?
VERITE: I really hope so. We have to head back tonight but I’m going to try to catch Børns because he’s playing the same stage before us. I’m bummed we couldn’t spend more time but hoping we get to make it back in the future.
Article/Photos: Tom Shackleford