Interview | Vera Blue

Sydney based singer songwriter Celia Pavey aka Vera Blue has had a huge rise to national consciousness over the past year. With the release of her debut Fingertips EP in May, Vera Blue has performed sold out shows around the country, and recently took stage at Splendour in the Grass performing with Flume, Illy and Slumberjack. We had a chat to Vera Blue about the EP, her huge upcoming tour and transitioning from an acoustic guitar playing folk artist to the powerful electronic artist she is today.

Last month, you took the stage at Splendour not once, but three times with Flume, Slumberjack and Illy – how did you find the whole experience playing to such massive crowds?
It was one of the best weekends ever. So blessed to be able to jump on stage with such incredible and diverse Australian acts. I’d never played to audiences that big, so it was such a thrill for that many people at Splendour to be singing back every word to me.

You have a huge national tour kicking off at the end of next month including Maroochy and Yours & Owls Festivals – is there anywhere you’re particularly keen to head to this time around?
Yes, I’m so excited for the tour and the festivals. I’m looking forward to going back to in Perth. The last time I played there the audience was incredible. Also looking forward to the Tasmania dates as I’ve never been there before.

Your debut EP Fingertips had such a warm reception, which was reflected in both how fast tickets are moving for this upcoming tour and how well your last tour went – how did you find the experience bringing the EP into a live setting for the first time as a whole?
I wanted to bring as much of the energy from the EP into the live set, and I think we’ve captured that really well. I have a really great group of guys in my band, which makes my live show so much fun.

What’s your live set up looking like for this upcoming tour?
It’s definitely a fusion between my love for electronica and folk music. I’ve still kept my acoustic roots in there, but there’s still a lot of synths and electronic drums for this tour.

With Vera Blue, you seem to have moved from a prominent folk-influence as ‘Celia Pavey’ to experimenting with electronic music and productions – was it always your vision to move in this direction, or simply an evolution of you as an artist? What inspired this shift?
I was doing a songwriting camp and was in a session with Gossling and Andy Mak. The song we created that day was so special and different from what I was playing at the time. I wanted this shift in my music to have its own project name.

Earlier this year you toured nationally with Matt Corby on his Terrulic tour, and followed that up with your own national tour for the successful release of your debut EP, Fingertips – how have you achieved such a stamina for touring and what are some of your tips for hitting the road?
Definitely trying to keep healthy on the road. Going to the gym, sleeping and eating well, and making sure my voice is healthy. I usually eat a salad or fruit before my performances.

What has been the highlight so far of this huge past year for you?
I still think one of the highlights this year was doing the Triple J Like A Version. That was really special for me.

Catch Vera Blue at Maroochy Festival this month, tickets still available here