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Exposed Vocals: So tell us your story. Where did you grow up? What made you decide to become an artist?
I was born in Wales but soon moved over to Wiltshire and grew up in a tiny hamlet in the countryside. I actually started writing music when I was about 13 years old; I had learnt a few chords on guitar at school and so began channeling my emotions through music around then (I have suffered from depression and anxiety disorders for most of my life). I knew that this was what I wanted to be. On my 16th birthday my Dad bought me a day in a local studio where were recorded some of my songs and I’m actually still proud of some of the lyrics and melodies in them. I took a hiatus from music after school because I wanted it so badly and I was afraid of failing. I went through jobs and did a stint at university studying fine art trying to ‘find myself’ but it wasn’t the same. Then, I moved to Cheltenham and I met my soon to be husband, who is an amazing musician and my producer, and he convinced me to start singing and writing again. I began slowly, rediscovering my voice and style and taking local gigs in function bands and as that grew so did my confidence in my ability. Then last year I was asked to go on tour with the prog-rock band Pendragon as a backing vocalist, the proper tour bus experience and it was amazing. That really gave me the push to start releasing music myself, and so, I did!
Exposed Vocals: Since everyone was a start-up once, can you give any smaller or local bands or artists looking to get gigs and airplay some tips?
I would say always be kind, always be on time and always practice - the best vocalists and musicians are masters of their instrument. Then, once you’re in a place that you have good stuff which has been produced to a professional standard, get it out there! Use social media to talk to the right people, be yourself but don’t 'sell sell sell’ as people don’t like that. I’ve had a lot of support and success very rapidly from indie and online radio stations, these are a great resource for new musicians wanting to get their music out there. I also mentioned online gigging earlier and think that’s a great way to get yourselves known too. It’s easier to gig once you have followers who will come to the show - so switch the traditional way of thinking on its head - marketing and PR first, it will lead to better gigs.
Exposed Vocals: Do you ever make mistakes during performances? How do you handle that?
Oh GOD yeah! Last week at my online show I totally just forgot to come in, in the song. It was hilarious, but luckily everyone who knows me thought it was really funny and I got a barrage of #ClassicVerity coming through the chat stream as it was an in-joke - we restarted the song and it was fine. I think as long as you’re not taking yourself too seriously you can turn it into something funny. Adele does a great job of this when she forgets lyrics, which we all do sometimes. I know other singers who resort to ‘pigeon Russian’ when they forget lyrics, mumbling their way through. If I’m in the middle of a song and I forget, I just sing what I can remember from another verse or adlib something interesting vocally to keep people entertained. Then make a joke out of it, obviously!
Exposed Vocals: Do you tour? Anything interesting happen on tour that you think our readers would enjoy hearing about?
As of yet I’ve not been on tour with my music, but I did go on tour last year with Prog-Rock band Pendragon as one of their backing vocalists. It’s like a weird camping trip where you’re in a different country every day and you average about 4 hrs sleep a night. There are always loads of in-jokes, like we bought a dreadful squeaky pig dog toy as a joke for the lead singer Nick, which he then proceeded to take to every gig and place on his amp - Tour Pig is even in the live DVD that just came out! We also had an issue with two of the naughty boys taking food from the group stash and hiding it in their bunks on the bed, so no-one else could have it. I can’t possibly divulge who that was *cough - keyboard department*… so yeah, it’s always good fun, but also a lot of hard work!
Exposed Vocals: Any planned studio upgrades? What are you working with now?
None at the moment, we’re always looking for new gear in the studio (which is owned by my fiancé) but it’s so expensive!! I work with both AKG and Neumann microphones which are really amazing and seem to respond well my rock style vocals, but I have to admit that from a gear point of view that’s all I really know!
Exposed Vocals: How do you find ways to promote your music? What works best for you?
Twitter has been an amazing resource for me as a musician. The interaction with literally anyone, anywhere has opened a lot of doors and enabled me to connect with fans from all over the world! This is why I’ve started using Concert Window to broadcast gigs online, which means that my twitter friends can access the show wherever they are. It’s not used much in the UK at the moment, but I can see a big rise in these types of sites coming soon. Especially as, unfortunately, a lot of the time venues don’t like to pay for original music.
Exposed Vocals: If you could perform anywhere and with any artists (Dead or Alive) where and who would it be with? Why?
I would do anything to sing with Fleetwood Mac, I love their style, songs and Stevie Nicks’ voice is just WOW. So it would have to be them and somewhere amazing and prestigious like Carnegie Hall, NYC.
Exposed Vocals: So, what’s next? Any new upcoming projects that you want to talk about?
Thanks for asking, I actually have a new EP coming out really soon called “Stripped Bare”. This is mainly acoustic (hence the title) with a smattering of strings too. I’m really enjoying working on it, but it’s been harder than I thought to get the songs to really work. I actually finished production on one to decide it wasn’t good enough and have to write another from scratch literally last week! I also have a rock single after that with a working title of “I Don’t Care” which will form part of an album coming out later in the year. I have two music videos planned for June, so they will be out in the Summer too. Oh, and I’m on the war-path looking for gigs, so watch out!!
Exposed Vocals: If you weren’t making music, what would you be doing?
Probably some other sort of art – my mother is a painter, my father a musician and my brother a poet - so creativity runs rife in our family! I don’t think I’d be able to not be creative, they’d kick me out!
Exposed Vocals: What should fans look forward to in the next year or so?
Loads of new music, and fun, and probably more weird videos of me dressed as a unicorn singing their requests on Twitter!! Also, I have a few support slots on tours coming up but they’re not finalized yet and definitely some more gigs of my own too, both online and in person.
Exposed Vocals: Any Shout-outs?
Massive shout-out to my better half Alex, who runs Arpeggio Creative and does all my amazing production, plays the instruments on the songs and puts up with me daily!