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Diary Entries and the Attention Economy with VÉRITÉ

Q&A of VÉRITÉ by Erandhi Mendis

Kelsey! Welcome to Ramona Mag – where are we chatting to you from today?
Hi! Speaking from a Greenroom in Chicago about an hour before I hop on stage!

You’ve had such an exciting start to the year. Congratulations on the release of love you forever! How are you feeling about sharing it with the world?
Thank you. It feels a bit opposite how you’d expect the release of a record to feel. Sometimes, there’s this feeling of loss, like I’ve reached the end of a year-long process that’s been a really great companion to me. There’s always an adjustment between the release and the life long process of sharing that work with the world.

Each record you’ve put out feels like a distinct time capsule – if you had to categorise your albums as different eras in your life how would you describe them?
A constant, ever shifting journey of progression, learning and growth. I don’t recognize the person I was when I made my earlier work, I’m constantly shedding my skin.

Sneak Peek into Kelsey’s Notebook

Being an artist in 2023 is filled with swings and roundabouts, how do you feel about being an independent artist?
Being an independent artist is a fucking rollercoaster. The highest of highs dropping to the lowest of lows, the excitement, the nausea, etc. For me, my autonomy and freedom to create and release music how I want to is the most important thing to me. All of the hard moments are worth the payoff.

I wanted to ask about the tagline of the record being about “loving someone so much you murder them and drag their body into a lake.” I think that’s such clever – oddly understandable – imagery. What does it mean to you?
The imagery and the theme that emerged from this record came from my own process of learning how to let go, learning how to create space in myself to exist with my trauma and balancing that with all the parts of myself I need to kill off to grow.

I’m reading a book at the moment about attempting to do nothing amongst a world that demands attention. You’ve spoken on instagram about avoiding the attention economy – after going through releasing an album, how do you feel about the dichotomy between sharing your work and promoting your work?
The attention economy is bullshit and not sustainable for artists or audiences. It slowly eats away at authenticity and genuine connection in exchange for quick hits of distraction and virality. I understand as an artist, I need to practically meet the culture of music consumption where it is, but I am trying to do that in a way that feels aligned with who I am as a person and the art I create.

You’re touring at the moment which is so exciting, how does it feel to perform this work on stages? And do you have a favourite track to perform live?
This record feels so amazing on stage. It was written to be shared live and in real life. The favourite track changes every day, but a lucid dream and temporary are my current favourites.


The imagery of this record feels important to your creative process – can you tell me a bit about how that came about?
The imagery always strikes at some point in the middle of the album creation process. The first glimmer of the world came when I wrote none of you. I saw the figure with a bag on their head, with their hands tied. I could see the narrative and feel the emotion of the arc as it played out in my head. The rest becomes filling in the blanks.

You’re also an artist in more ways than one! How did you get into illustration and how does making visual art compare for you against making sonic art?
I wouldn’t say I’m an illustrator, but I can say I am a creative director and have learned a lot of the tools needed to execute the vision of this project. For me, being in control and knowledgeable about the entire process of creating a world and a record makes me feel like I have so much more freedom to push boundaries for myself.

I thought it was really fun how you made astrological predictions for what songs resonate with different peoples’ signs. What is your star sign (or big three if you know them?) and do you feel you identify strongly with it?
I am a Taurus sun, Libra moon, Leo rising. I wouldn’t say I identify strongly; though I do feel like what I read about myself can be eerily accurate and I think it’s fun to play around with those identities.

Finally, what is the biggest lesson you’ve learned in the last 12 months?
Rest when you can. Please remind me of this when I get off tour…

Erandhi Mendis

Ramona’s resident music editor has been writing music and writing about music since Alex Patsavas first revolutionised the sound of teenage angst. A wearer of many hats, Erandhi says the common thread between all her jobs is storytelling. She likes asking equal amounts of serious and silly questions and one day would like to bottle the feeling you get from being in a crowd listening to live music. You can listen to her favourite tracks of the week here.

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