entered the room like a hurricane. She had already done a couple of interviews earlier in the day before Baeble and we were the last stop before she had to catch a last minute flight to Los Angeles. The curfew resulted in a sense of excitement in the air - a fun adrenaline rush.
VÉRITÉ, AKA Kelsey Byrne, is known as a pop singer-songwriter, but what a lot of people don't know is that she's also a savvy business woman - kind of like an indie version of Taylor Swift. As our crew put the final touches to the set, she sat and waited on our couch with her rep and our CEO and excitedly shared her upcoming plans for her music. We realized that she was much more than just a pretty voice, but also a boss, a self-aware indie artist who knows what she wants and is most certainly going to get it... On her own terms. However, this made us wonder: is it hard to be both an artist and an entrepreneur? Is there an on-and-off switch when it comes to finding balance between your creativity and boss duties, and do the thoughts about sales ever get in the way during studio time? "It's a natural transition between the two. I think I've always been a logical, proficient human being and then in brief moments, I wind up fitting all of the creativity... And I wind up writing quickly."
Joined by drummer Andrew Marshall, who we recently talked to about making it as a musician in New York City
, she played four songs for us: "Weekend," "Underdressed," "Phase Me Out," and a cover of The 1975
's "Somebody Else" (which is also on Spotify and has over 60 million streams
). Her nearly flawless voice fluttered up and down from a loud, stomach-churning belt to a fragile falsetto. That, over her subdued piano and Marshall's minimalistic drum pad, made for a spine-tingling performance. Later on, she dished on the story behind "Underdressed," "I was headed home, and I was super happy to be
home, and then I got a text from somebody and it completely changed my perspective and I turned around and went to their apartment. It was this moment of guilt - of feeling like I was completely powerless in that moment and just really over-analyzing it." And VÉRITÉ overanalyzes things a lot; not when she's balancing out her many roles, because luckily that comes naturally for her, but when she's in songwriting mode. She told us that a lot of her songs are tiny moments blown out of proportion into drawn out stories. For "Phase Me Out," it's about "lines [she] draw[s] with [herself] and interactions with the world and figuring out how to exist within it."
As for what's next for VÉRITÉ, she's currently working on her new album, where we can expect to see a continuation of over-analyzing and blowing up small moments. Each song is going to be personal, yet highlight the growing confidence that she has been clearly working up to. "I don't put anything out that I don't completely sign off on... I think I have the strongest negotiation position that you can have because I'm the only one that has to say yes." Because yes, even though she's churning out emotional pop music, she's also living the indie dream, "there's always this little internal pressure to go more mainstream or go more alternative, and I've just decided to not give a fuck."
Kelsey Byrne, also known by her stage name VRIT, is an American pop singer-songwriter based in Brooklyn, New York. Her first single "Strange Enough" was self-released in July 2014, reaching No. 1 on Hype Machine and becoming the #1 Most Viral Twitter Artist the week of release. Described variously as indie pop or alt pop, Liza Darwin of Noisey wrote that her 2014 Echo EP is "packed with crisp, delicate vocals, soaring melodies, and glistening production."