Oftentimes, the evolution of a pop star can seem a little too fabricated. Our minds question whether or not this newfound change is a tactic to reinvigorate one’s career, or if it’s at all genuine. It’s difficult to give attention to, and even more so embrace, the new music of an artist that seems entirely manufactured. When an artist’s evolution is natural, and in this case, a necessary advancement, it’s truly an exciting thing to witness. This is why Toronto’s own Veronica, is beginning to turn heads.
Veronica started her career as a teeny bopper. She was a charming, mini pop star, whose music videos were placed between shows on the Family Channel, a popular television station in Canada. Her bright-eyed persona was geared towards tweens, who tuned in everyday after school and watched her sing on-screen. It was fruitful for a while. The gig garnered a loyal fanbase, and ultimately, allowed Veronica to tour and hone her skills. Behind the scenes, however, Veronica knew that she wasn’t like the demographic her music was constructed for. She has since admitted that she felt discouraged and unhappy during this time.
At the age of 18, Veronica left her Disney roots to pursue her passion independently. Now 20, Veronica is crafting the type of music that she’s wanted to her make entire life...her own music.
We sat down with the songstress to talk about her musical evolution, the new single, and what to expect from her in the near future.
Let's begin with your time singing for the Family Channel. What do you remember of that period?
Honestly after playing the songs so many times, I lost the love for them. It happened after each performance. I knew it really wasn’t really for me, because I was bored. I always had a passion for other styles of music, but I was only playing pop. By the time I was 18, I couldn’t do it anymore. I needed something that was new. I don’t blame it on the songs. I was still young and I wasn’t writing. But now that I can be more involved, it’s different. I want 100% control, and to be creative as I can. It’s such a weird thing to describe now. Because I’m putting all of me into these new songs. Everything I’m feeling and all of my emotions, all of that goes into my music
It’s still very early on in this new stage of your career. What is it that you want listeners to know about this new music?
A big thing is that the sound has changed a lot. I’ve grown as a person, and I’m in control of my creativity now. Independence is a huge thing, especially as a girl in the industry. And being so young. I’ve been pushed around a lot, to be made into someone I’m not. And now that I can break out of my shell and do this music, that’s what I want people to see. I think they will.
Did you ever feel like your age created issues for you earlier on in your career?
Yeah I experienced a lot of that. Especially working with bigger producers. If you’re a young girl and you’re walking into a studio full of older guys, it’s tough to have a voice. It took me a while to say what I want. Especially when you’re so young. That’s the thing about the music business too: There are a lot of men. I think being myself in the studio, being more confident and genuine, helped me break out of that. That was a big thing. It was hard for me to speak up about something I wasn’t happy with. But now working with people that like what I like, and know what I want, that makes a huge difference. You really need to trust the people that you work with.
So tell me about them! Who’s the team behind all of this?
It’s me and Adam (Bertucci), my creative director. We also have Miles (Holmwood) who used to be in a band called Stereos. Miles is helping me with marketing, and that’s kind of it right now. They’re great!
Adam, what was it about Veronica that brought you into the fold?
Adam: I approached it all organically. I had heard her voice first, and soon thereafter we did sessions everyday for a month. She was so committed. She didn’t want to go out or party, or anything like that. She’s the female version of me, so I was like, I need to be a part of this. It made sense, and I was exited to make cool shit with her.
What was the first product to come out of this collaboration? Was it the single, “What Happened”?
No, there were a bunch of songs in different genres, but they didn’t really inspire us in the same way. So we decided to keep going and wrote close to sixty songs. We cut it down to four, and all felt that "What Happened" was a good proof of concept. But we’re still experimenting now. We don’t want to limit ourselves to one genre.
Veronica: Exaclty! That's why I featured on a song with an Australian DJ named Alius. It’s called “Hanging By A Thread”. That was really fun to do! Especially for it to come out before “What Happened”, because it’s a nice little glimpse into how my sound has evolved.
Do you feel like with your team now, with Miles and Adam, that this is the first time you have everything the way you’d like it to be?
Absolutely! They let me handle so much on my own, and they let me push the direction, which is amazing. It’s very refreshing to have that. To be in a setting where I have to work, and yet I’m so comfortable in that setting. It’s huge.
“What Happened” has a few influences going on. I hear R&B, Pop, and EDM tinges throughout. What music do you both listen to?
This is a new inspiration, but I’ve been feeling very influenced by Radiohead, recently. That came from my meeting Adam, actually. And of course, I listen to people from Toronto. I know everybody says it, but Drake.
Adam: I grew up listening to a lot of pop punk, so Blink-182 was a huge influence. And yeah, I love Radiohead. I love a lot of music now that I didn’t listen to when I was younger. Like classical music. I’m big into working out counterpoint melodies, and applying them to some of Veronica’s music. I try to draw as much inspiration as possible, and I think that’s what helps me stand out from other producers in the city. I love what Johnny Greenwood does for Radiohead. Radiohead’s tough for a pop listener. I didn’t like them when I was younger. But now I get that it’s great. It’s very intelligent music. And of course, we love EDM and old Eurobeat stuff too.
Eurobeat is so fun because it’s melodically-driven. A lot of people call it tacky, but there’s a lot of musical architecture involved in Eurobeat.
Adam: The melodies are so memorable! Some people say it’s cheesy, but I hear a lot of Euro in today’s music. It's so easy to listen to.
Having said that, there’s something cool about being challenged. I love Danny Brown’s XXX, but I was so put off during my first listen. Now it’s one of my favorite albums of the last decade. Sometimes the best music forces our brains to adjust.
Adam: I love that. That’s exactly what I want to do with our music. To force brains to adjust.
So “What Happened” is out now. Do you have a tentative project? Or are you releasing the singles for now?
Veronica: We’re thinking about it! We’re going to see where it goes from here, and just taking it step by step. But the most exciting thing is that we have more songs. We’re still writing, and that's the most exciting part.
You can watch the video for "What Happened" above. You can also purchase the song on iTunes.