CookiesWe use cookies to make it easier for you to browse our website. If you, as a user, visit our website, it is our understanding that you are granting your consent to the use of cookies. You may obtain more information on cookies and their use hereOK
I’ll Take the Blame is the latest taster from the singer-songwriter’s upcoming project, New Limbs: Volume 1. Vérité, aka Kelsey Regina Byrne, describes it, along with Younger Women, her previous release, as some of the most vulnerable songwriting she’s ever embarked upon. The latter song she regards as her best, one that she admits to still not having fully processed. It’s this justified pride in her artistry – indeed, everything that makes her human – that makes Vérité an anomaly, and why her new project couldn’t be more timely.

You’re fresh off performing acoustic versions of your music recently, some of it in people’s driveways, if I’m not mistaken. How did that go? You’ve got plans to perform the new EP live in front of actual human people! How excited are you to get back out there?
It was simultaneously re-energizing and sad because it brought up so much of what I miss about touring, traveling and connecting with people. I was grateful people opened up their homes (aka driveways and lawns and decks) to us to capture the experience.
Is there an added pressure as a performer now in ensuring your audience has a great time, or does the current situation give you more freedom to just roll with it?
I feel like we were winging it in the best possible way. The shows felt spontaneous and there was so much less pressure being fully battery-powered and fully stripped back. We were at the mercy of the fan’s location, the weather and our environment.
You’ve got a good few years of making music under your belt now. How much more confident do you feel as an artist now compared to when you were first starting out? Do you feel free to produce songs and just put them out now, or is there still an anxiety around what the Internet might make of it?
I am so much more confident and comfortable in myself. My voice, my writing, my body and my skin all feel like mine now. Currently, I’m really loving the freedom to experiment and I’m not overthinking what I’m releasing. If I create something I love, I will put it into the world.

“Independence has been very good to me and that freedom would be very hard to give up.”
How important is it for you to remain independent as an artist? Do you feel like you owe it to your younger self to keep self-releasing, or are you willing to cut yourself some slack and embrace any and every opportunity now you’ve put in that work?
I feel like I owe it to myself and my business to place myself in a position of autonomy that has the potential to grow. There are limitless distribution choices and potential partnerships that can exist. Independence has been very good to me and that freedom would be very hard to give up.
You’ve joked before about your Brooklyn-influenced “hustler mentality,” but what is it about Brooklyn that shapes artists in this way? Why is there this need to hustle a la Jay-Z?
Honestly, I don’t know. My work ethic and hustle were instilled in me at birth and I literally don’t know how to function any other way.
Your new single, I’ll Take the Blame, is primarily built around vocal layering and harmonies. Are there any artists that influenced this style of singing for you? How do you normally decide whether a track will focus more on vocals or production, or does this just happen naturally?
The song was so simple and pastoral when I wrote it alone on piano. Producing it out was a test in not fucking up the initial idea. I knew from the beginning I wanted dense, stacked three-part harmonies. The rest of the layers – the guitars, the drum hits, etc. – fit naturally as it developed. Each song and production demand different things, and I try to let the song dictate what happens in the production.
With its brutal, poetic, and unapologetic lyrics, it’s easy to understand why you said that your previous single, Younger Women, is your best song yet. Can you tell us a little bit more about how the track came to be? Are the younger women you’re singing about based on any kind of reality?
I wrote Younger Women in the first week of quarantine, when my life very much imploded along with the rest of the world. I was severely heartbroken and dealing with a combination of anger and grief and unending sadness. I sat for days writing it out and taught myself a lot about production to develop the track. I feel so proud of the final result. The song is painfully personal to me but is not about women. It’s about a relationship that ended suddenly, without a conversation. Love is so strange. It’s all nuanced. I’m still unraveling it all in my mind.

The stripped back style of Younger Women feels delicate and vulnerable on the first listen. It’s definitely those things, but lyrics like “get your dick wet with someone who’s easy” leave no room for prudishness. Do you feel a desire to shock listeners lyrically with songs that are ostensibly demure and inoffensive?
I wanted people to hear exactly what I was saying. It was a moment of pure, unadulterated honesty and shock. I have no regrets.
What’s more important to you when creating music like that? In terms of producing, songwriting, and recording vocals, do you find yourself valuing one over the other? Do you hold other artists to the same standard as yourself?
All elements of a song need to be blended and balanced. Each song is different. Each artist is different. I hold myself to a higher standard than literally everyone else. I also really respect how diverse music and artistry is. Everyone has their own process and perspective.
You’re quite playful with your lyrics as well. Do you often feel a need to challenge yourself and try new approaches to songwriting, or do you think this happens naturally? How much of this playfulness is a way of protecting yourself from becoming too vulnerable and exposed?
Most of my lyrics are streams of consciousness. I don’t plan them out. I find an idea and try to build off it the best I can. I feel like Younger Women and I’ll Take the Blame are some of the most personal and vulnerable moments I’ve had as an artist and don’t hide anything. Sometimes you need to have more levity and don’t want to always have your bleeding heart on your sleeve. It’s a balancing act.
You’ve talked about an innate need to make music before. Why do you think you gravitate towards music specifically? Do you have similar passions you enjoy but could never imagine carving a career out of?
I want to create and connect with people. Music has always been a natural outlet, though I think there are so many things I could do that would satisfy that need.
It’s essential for most artists nowadays to appear ‘relatable,’ and this relatability can take many different forms. You interact with your fans a lot, whether it’s through discussions of your own music or even through talking about their personal issues. Is this something that comes naturally to you? Do you feel there’s still a place in the industry for the untouchable and enigmatic superstar, or are we moving beyond that now?
The conversations I have with fans, the one-on-one interactions, the texts, the driveway tour, etc. are very natural ways for me to connect. I feel like it’s so obvious when I’m putting on a front. Sometimes I like to feel enigmatic but never at the expense of making someone feel as though they are beneath me. We’re all on the same level and I want my fans to feel seen and valued.
What do you think the music industry needs to do to help independent artists? In the age of TikTok and streaming, does the consumer have a responsibility too?
I think we’re currently in a season of gatekeepers reigning supreme. That being said, I feel something always comes to open a door and provide an alternate route. I’m not focused on the walls in front of me. There always have and always will be many. I’m focused on the ways I can move forward.
We noticed you were showing Chloe x Halle a lot of love on Twitter recently. What’s likely to excite you by a live performance? Are you just a sucker for a good old fashioned vocal?
Chloe x Halle are just phenomenally talented and clearly work so hard to be so precise and on point. I respect their work so much.
Finally, what’s next in store for you? Are you the type to already be thinking about your next project, or is it all about promoting and performing live again?
Performing live again is the furthest from my mind. I am focused on writing and production at the moment. I have a few things confirmed for after this EP.

Fraser Currie

ic_eye_openCreated with Sketch.See commentsClose comments
0 resultados