Six years ago, there was no such thing as Vera Blue. But, there was a folk musician by the name of Celia Pavey. A 19-year-old Celia took a chance to make it big in her career as a singer-songwriter, auditioning for season 2 of The Voice Australia in 2013. She placed third, and a true star was born – you may know her now as Vera Blue.
There are many ways to describe Vera – humble, kind, angelic, wise – but no words will rightly acknowledge her captivating stage presence at a live show. I’ve had the pleasure of watching her a few times now, and I was dying to know how she does it.. the flowing dance moves, long red hair wrapping itself around her waist, the ability to connect with her audience like there’s only one person in the room..
“Thank you so much!”, she says when I compliment her with all of the above (fangirl much?). “When I perform as Vera Blue I try not to think so much, I just focus on the moment and feeling and movement. I let the music influence me. It’s very freeing and I have so much fun.”
Celia is no stranger to a hit song, being responsible for ‘All The Pretty Girls’, ‘Regular Touch’ and ‘Lady Powers’, to name a few. Her latest release, ‘The Way That You Love Me’, was inspired by a personal experience with heartache, something we can all relate to, I’m sure. Vera says being taken advantage of by people you love is what inspired her lyrics.
“When I’m writing a new song, sometimes I’ll have a melody or song concept idea based on something that’s happening to me or something that has happened. ‘The Way That You Love Me’ was written about some experiences I’ve had with people coming in and out of my life. It’s about how in some relationships or friendships we can often be taken advantage of or vice versa, and it feels especially strange when the behaviour is coming from someone very close to you, someone you love. It’s a strange way to show love to someone if you treat them badly? Almost like they can get away with it because there is unconditional love. Some may often not even realise they’re doing it.“
After all the years of wondering, Googling and reading old interviews, I could not find anywhere or anyone that talked about the name Vera Blue. Where it came from, why Celia Pavey chose to use a stage name.. nada. Well, I finally got the chance to ask her for myself, and boy, she did not disappoint. It’s hard not to call her Vera, because to her fans, that is her name. But to Celia, Vera Blue “represents a project of not just one person, but a collective of people.”
“The difference between Vera Blue and Celia Pavey is the production, the sounds and the music, because I work with a collective on this project they influence the music too. I feel that all of us individually have added to the sound of what Vera Blue truly is. As an artist, Vera Blue allows me to express my emotions and stories openly and freely through movement and connection with others. Being able to play with heavy synths really adds another elements to a song that would’ve been written stripped back.”
“I find some songs for Vera Blue are left quite bare and stripped back which is where Celia Pavey music being the stripped back story telling folk music still holds its place in the new project. Sometimes it’s unnecessary to add crazy production when the song holds its own already with powerful emotion giving you all the feels. We draw influence from all parts of our previous musical journeys. Which I think is important for me as an artist and allows me to continue to feel like I’m staying true to who I am.”
“Both styles of music go hand in hand I feel, all of the songs are written on an acoustic guitar or piano to begin with so for me in that moment, I guess I’m Celia Pavey just jamming on an acoustic guitar. It’s until the heavy beats and synths and more pop melodies come in that Vera Blue makes an appearance.”
Those pop melodies will certainly be making an appearance in Vera Blue’s The Way That You Love Me Tour, coming to a regional city near you (hopefully.. I don’t know where you live). Tickets are still available, and the tour dates and locations she’s playing are mentioned below. Vera Blue is one of the most incredible performers to watch on stage, so I highly suggest you splash on the $50 ticket and make your way to her closest show.
When asked what was next for Vera Blue, Celia says “lots more writing, collaborating, touring and travelling”. We can only hope that means even more great bops to crank up in the car on the way to work in the morning. ‘The Way That You Love Me’ gets played in my car at full volume, every morning, on repeat. No shame here!
You can follow Vera Blue (a project by Celia Pavey) on social media below, where you’ll also find all the important links you need to find her website and buy those tour tickets.
This has been a dream. Thank you.
Until next time,