Each month GoGirlsMusic.com spotlights an artist or band from its community, asking a series of questions. This month we feature Verlee for Ransom, an energetic indie alt-pop band from Seattle. We spoke with lead singer Keira Verlee and gained some great insight into what makes this band tick. Enjoy!
What drives your music? When did you first know you had to do this thing called music or bust?
My love for music and singing started when I was really little. In pre-school I was determined to be a Spice Girl. Around the age of 13 or 14, I started writing songs as a way to work through my problems. Experiences and other music are the main things that drive me to write.
Describe your music style and name three musicians you have been inspired by and why.
The genre we have come up with is “Indie Alt Pop”, but we incorporate a variety styles in our music.
1. Thom Yorke (Radiohead) - His unique songwriting style and creative ways of arranging music have inspired me to think outside of the box in my own songwriting.
2. Regina Spektor – Not only does she have an amazing voice, but the melodies she comes up with are rhythmically interesting and I’ve learned a lot from listening to her.
3. Ben Gibbard (Death Cab) - I love Ben Gibbard’s lyrics. The content in his songs and his descriptive words inspired me to write, especially when I first started writing songs.
What’s your ideal venue atmosphere?
I love playing at cozy venues with an energetic atmosphere. I feel more comfortable on stage and I feel like I get to know the crowd more. Also playing shows in an energetic environment gets everyone pumped for the show.
Describe how your music career has evolved since you first started performing.
When I first started performing, I was playing in coffee shops and small venues for the most part. Now we are able to play at venues that are a bit larger and we are lucky to be playing as many shows as we are.
How would you describe the music scene in your area?
Seattle is a great place for bands because of all the venues and the music lovers. There are a lot of all ages venues and opportunities for people of all ages to see live music.
What was the inspiration for your latest release?
All the songs on the album were songs I wrote based on thoughts or experiences of mine. So my life and all the people I know are the main inspiration for the songs.
What do you think is number one for a musician to think about before preparing for a CD project and do you have any tips on saving time in the studio?
PRACTICE! Practice the songs you will be recording over and over again. If you will be using a click track, make sure you can play the song seamlessly to a metronome before you go record. It saves a lot of time and money. Don’t rush into it. From the few times I’ve been in the studio, I cant stress enough how important it is to be prepared.
What makes or breaks a musician just starting out in your opinion?
A lot of musicians who are just starting out don’t know how to have their music reach people. Even if someone has a lot of talent, they aren’t going to get far if no one hears the talent. Promoting your music and spreading the word is one of the most important things that starting musicians should do.
Describe your toughest moments in your quest for a music career and tell us how you overcame them.
I think the toughest things for me to overcome would be the switching of band members. I have had to part with a few musicians so far, and its always tough. But every time this has happened, I have grown as a person as well as a musician. I just kept playing music and moving forward.
What advice would you offer up and coming artists that get discouraged other than don’t give up.
I would say to remember to always enjoy yourself. Even if something is discouraging, just keep playing music and learning new things.
Tell us something you want the music world to know about you.
I just want people to listen to our music and hopefully find something they can relate to.
What have you gotten out of being a member of the GoGirls community?
So much great information! Especially the stuff that GoGirls are posting in the GoGirls Elite group on Facebook!