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VÉRITÉ 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."

Transcript

and I'm the managing editor at Baeble.
When I'm not writing about music, I'm making my own music in New York City.
Baeble covers a lot of great artists.
I love to take the opportunity to pick their brains about gear, songwriting, and more.
So join me as we talk, artist to artist, right here on the Writer's Block.
I try to count my blessings Lying on my couch
Tiny little pieces
- Vérité is an abject lesson in being an in-control modern artist.
She stopped by to discuss her authentic style of songwriting, and along the way, I received a master class in balancing business and creativity.
In our revealing talk, she shares where she finds unexpected inspiration, as well as no inspiration at all.
Does living in Brooklyn inspire you? Whoa...
- But first, I can't wait to see this moving performance of Vérité's emotionally organic brand of pop.
You can drive your fast car Through the village 'til you die
Or you could take another Seep breath swingin'
For the days I could watch you run
Through the white-lighted streets Where the houses stay the same
Where we could drink 'til We'd never remember our names
You could bring me to life...
You could bring me to life...
And we could hang our noose Under stars bright
Ready to glow
So we could fall in love For the weekend
We're on the edge, baby Two hearts starting to slow
So we could fall in love For the weekend
Oh, ah, oh, ah, oh...
Oh, ah, oh, ah, oh...
You could dream in white-hot Color in ecstasy, we'll fade
Into the silence of our Dead night freezing
When the smoke cleared I awoke here
Caught in the patterns of the mess That we've been making
We could play Pretend 'til it gets dark
And count the seconds 'til everything falls apart
You could bring me to life...
You could bring me to life...
And we could hang our noose Under stars bright
Ready to glow
So we could fall in love For the weekend
We're on the edge, baby Two hearts starting to slow
So we could fall in love For the weekend
Oh, ah, oh, ah, oh...
Oh, ah, oh, ah, oh...
We're the new kids Waiting on the edge
And we're ready to go We could fall in love for the weekend
On the edge of a shotgun Ready to blow
So we could fall in love for the...
Just give me one shot in my veins And I'll be ready to love
So we could fall in love For the weekend
You know you're trying too hard But it isn't enough
So we could fall in love For the weekend
Oh, ah, oh, ah, oh...
And we could hang our noose Under stars bright
Ready to glow
So we could fall in love For the weekend
We're on the edge, baby Two hearts starting to slow
So we could fall in love for the...
We're the new kids Waiting on the edge
And we're ready to go
So we could fall in love For the weekend
We're on the edge of a shotgun Ready to blow
So we could fall in love For the weekend
Oh, ah, oh, ah, oh...
Oh, ah, oh, ah, oh...
- Your songs are very emotional.
In real life, you seem like a very put-together, self-proficient, business-minded kind of person.
Like, is it hard for you to balance everything? Did you have to learn how to kind of have an on and off switch? Like when you're going into the studio, you have to be like, "Oh," like, "I'm a creative person now," or when you're, like, going into a meeting, you have to say to yourself, "Oh, now I'm a businesswoman"? - It's a natural transition between the two.
I think I've always been, like, a very logical, proficient human being, and then in, like, brief moments, I wind up fitting all of the creativity and kind of...I wind up writing really quickly and I don't think about it very much.
It's the one thing I don't necessarily overanalyze.
- Your songs are very emotional.
Is that hard for you to be so open, lyrically? - Not really.
I mean, I think with this project, definitely my goal with it was to be as transparent as possible, and so for me, it's just a way to kind of communicate.
- You've said that for the Living EP, there were five different producers on the five songs.
- Yeah.
- Do you prefer to work with a lot of producers? - Yes and no.
I definitely like being creative and collaborative with a bunch of people.
I think that I did that out of necessity, but also, you always want to get the best product and so I'll do whatever I can to write and create the best, most dynamic music.
And usually, when you're writing and taking all of these different sessions, it's hard to limit the amount of people because you're trying to meet new people and explore new ideas, and then at the end, I very much narrow it down and I'm in charge of making sure that everything comes out cohesive and correct.
- Was it a challenge to make sure that your voice kind of cut through all of those other producers? - No, it could be and there are times when it was frustrating and, you know, there needed to be extra communication or it's kind of like a maze, but ultimately, I just don't put anything out that I don't completely sign off on and aren't completely happy with.
And so I think I have, like, the strongest negotiation position that you can have because I'm the only one that has to say yes.
- I mean, you're the artist.
- Exactly.
Everything means everything And nothing means nothing
So why hide your expletives Under your breath?
'Cause all you ever wanna do Is take all my clothes off
So you could show me There's no reason to be upset
You could convince me To tie my hair back
Relive the years I've left behind
You could convince me to Stay up all night with you
While you leave me Underdressed and out of time
Underdressed and I'm all out of time Take me to the fucking roof
Made it Give me just a little truth
Leave me Underdressed and I'm all out of time
Take me to a different view Change it
All I ever wanna do Is stay here
'Cause everything means everything And nothing is numbing
You can't avoid the consequence So don't get upset
'Cause all you ever wanna do Is take all my clothes off
Watch me make you promises I can regret
You could convince me to Tie my hair back
Relive the years I've left behind You could convince me to
Stay up all night with you While you leave me
Underdressed and out of time Underdressed and I'm all out of time
Take me to the fucking roof Made it
Give me just a little truth Leave me
Underdressed and I'm all out of time Take me to a different view
Change it All I ever wanna do is stay here
Stay here
Stay here
Stay here
Stay here
Underdressed and I'm all out of time Take me to the fucking roof
Made it Give me just a little truth
Leave me Underdressed and I'm all out of time
Take me to a different view Change it
All I ever wanna do is Stay here
All I ever wanna do 'Cause all I ever wanna do
'Cause all I ever wanna do All I ever wanna do is stay here
- And for Underdressed, which you performed today, one of my favorites, that was actually written about a text message that you received and it was like this one little small moment and you just totally blew it out of proportion for the sake of the song.
- Yeah, definitely.
I was walking down the street and I was headed home and I was super happy to be home, then I got a text from somebody and it completely just changed my perspective and I turned around and I went to their apartment.
And it was just this moment of guilt of feeling like I was completely powerless in that moment and just really overanalyzing it and kind of blowing it up.
- When you did that for Underdressed, you were actually walking and... - I was.
I walk a lot.
- A walk is such a weird specific.
Yeah, you've mentioned that walking is where your brain just like turns on and you get like all those ideas.
- Yeah, I think it's just free time, you know, and I don't get a lot of free time or a time where I can actually shut my mind off in ways, so I walk a lot and it helps.
- Is that how you write a lot of your songs? - Yeah, definitely.
I mean I don't necessarily write narratively and it's not pure autobiographical, but it's all personal, if that makes any sense.
Don't you wanna stay here Or do you want to phase me out
Don't you wanna lay here Or would you rather do without
- Phase Me Out is the most recent.
Can you talk about the meaning behind that song a little bit? - Phase Me Out was written in stream of consciousness, like everything, but it's definitely about these kind of lines that I draw with myself and interactions with the world and kind of figuring out how to exist within it.
Watch it all play out Reactions too familiar
The way I act dissimilar To always see it in my mind
Say just what you mean The love I don't believe in
The days we spend deflating And passing by the time
Stand up straighter with my Back against the wall
Keep me still and wondering Just why we falter
Don't you want to stay here Or do you want to phase me out
Don't you want to lay here Or would you rather do without
Ooh-ooh Ooh-ooh Ooh-ooh Ooh-ooh
Eventually you'll crack And remember there's no need for
Siphoning some reasons From a dissipating line we drew
Stand up straighter with my Back against the wall
Keep me still and wondering Just why we falter
Don't you wanna stay here Or do you wanna phase me out
Don't you wanna lay here Or would you rather do without
Ooh-ooh Ooh-ooh Ooh-ooh Ooh-ooh
Stand up straighter with my Back against the wall
Keep me still and wondering Just why we falter
Don't you wanna stay here Or do you wanna phase me out
Don't you wanna lay here Or would you rather do without
Ooh-ooh Ooh-ooh Ooh-ooh Ooh-ooh
Don't you wanna stay here Or do you wanna phase me out
- So you kind of had an alternative background and I think that's kind of how you started when you were first making music? - Yeah, I've always been in bands, and so since I was like 13.
I was in an all-girl like punk cover band.
We weren't very good.
It was in middle school, actually.
I was a very ambitious sixth grader and so I just like got people together.
My drummer didn't know how to play drums.
It was a mess, but we played shows.
- Really? - Yeah, I mean super... - Big ones? - No, very small ones.
- Cafeteria? - Cafeteria, but like different music venues around where I grew up, and I've been playing in New York City since I'm like 16.
It's just been a natural progression to where I am now.
- So you'd say it was like a smooth transition from alternative to pop? - Yeah, I mean, it's a weird place that I'm in now.
It's kind of straddling this line of alternative and pop, and I've just made a decision to not care about that.
I think there's always this little internal pressure to, you know, go more mainstream or go more alternative and cater to radio, and I've just decided to not give a fuck and so I'm just, you know, trying to create a sound that sounds like me.
And it's a slow process in building up to it, but the album will be hopefully indicative of that.
- Speaking of the album, are there going to be more songs like the ones that you've been putting out? Very, like, heartbroken songs? - I wouldn't say heartbroken, but I would say that it just continues the same trend of really overanalyzing and blowing up these small moments and they're definitely all going to be personal, but I'm just trying to push myself in confidence and, you know, boldness and trying to make a statement.
So I heard you found somebody else And at first, I thought it was a lie
So I took all my things that make sounds And the rest I can do without
I don't want your body But I hate to think about you
With somebody else A love's gone cold
You're intertwining your soul With somebody else
I'm looking through you while You're looking through your phone
And leaving with somebody else No, I don't want your body
But I hate to think about you With somebody else
Come on, baby This ain't the Last time that I'll see your face
Come on, baby
You said you'd find Someone to take my place
I just don't believe that you Have got it in you
'Cause we are just going to Keep doin' it and every time
I start to believe in Anything you're sayin'
I'm reminded that I should Be gettin' over it
I don't want your body But I hate to think about you
With somebody else Our love has gone cold
You're intertwining your soul With somebody else
I'm looking through you while You're looking through your phone
And leaving with somebody else No, I don't want your body
But I hate to think about you With somebody else
Get someone you love Get someone you need
Fuck that, get money 'cause I can't give You my soul 'cause we're never alone
Get someone you love Get someone you need
Fuck that, get money 'cause I can't give You my soul 'cause we're never alone
Get someone you love Get someone you need
Fuck that, get money 'cause I can't give You my soul 'cause we're never alone
Get someone you love Get someone you need
Fuck that, get money 'cause I can't give You my soul and I don't want your body
But I hate to think about you With somebody else
A love's gone cold
You're intertwining your soul With somebody else
I'm looking through you while you're Looking through your phone
And leaving with somebody else
And no, I don't want your body But I hate to think about you
With somebody else And no, I don't want your body
I don't want your body With somebody else
And no, I don't want your body
I don't want your body With somebody else

Artist Bio

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."

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