10 Questions With… Vesper

10 Questions With… A series that delves into the musical careers of some of our favourite artists, local and afar. With a particular focus on our Melodic Distraction friends and wider community, this lil natter gives us an insight into their musical escapades when they’re in their studio, not ours. 

This month Jordy sits down with singer-songwriter Vesper to ask her all about her influence, live music in Liverpool and future plans!

What’s the story behind the name?

So, it’s my actual name, although so many think it’s a nickname but when they find out it’s my real name, they always think I’m named after the Italian scooter Vespa! But in actual fact it comes from the first James Bond book after his first love Vesper Lynd, and I think my overarching vibe and look suits that kind of smoky roomed premise. Plus, I like the idea of a singular memorable punchy name and no one else seems to go by it so it became my stage name!

What influences, musical or not, are inspiring your current process?

First and foremost, nature, it’s that outdoor energy that I surround myself with that brings the most up and out of me. It’s the space in which I choose to create that effects my process and end product the most. As for other influences I’m a sucker for collections of short stories, specifically The Mistletoe Bride by Kate Mosse (not the model). I feel you get to peek into the lives of the characters just for a few pages, I like the idea of mimicking that in music.

Where are your go to spots for live music in Liverpool?

I’m always looking to new venues opening up across the city but as for my staples I do tend to lean toward to the Kazimier Stockroom. They always have such a wide variety of artists, whereas some venues have a genre they stick to and they’re great at it, it seems the Kaz pull in a such a mix, you never know what you’re gonna get! I also regularly attend The Grapes jazz on Sunday of course, and Fredericks always have great acts on too.

What have been your most spun records as of recent?

Sunset by Caroline Polachek and A&W by Lana Del Rey, these two right now are a real mix of what I’m trying to achieve within my writing. The lush high melodies of Polachek and the kind of dancy and dark movements in Lana’s new stuff, I’m rinsing these two at the minute!

What has being an artist in this day and age taught you about the music industry?

I’m learning everyday as to how fast things are changing in not only the industry but social media and how to market yourself. It’s difficult to navigate how to cut through the saturation of releases online every day. So, right now most of my decisions are gut based, if it feels right then I’m there, if not then I tend to move on to what I feel will help me grow as an artist. I’m choosing to take the DIY/self-releasing approach for the time being as I think artists have been made aware as to how important protecting your work is. So, I feel like wading in slowly will help better equip me for future releases whether be on my own or through a label.

Being a southerner, what brought to Liverpool and its music scene?

So, I lived here pre-covid and loved it, once covid came along everyone got sent home and that for me meant going back down south. It kind of gave me the realisation being away from Liverpool as how it’s a magnet for creativity. The community speaks for itself, it feels like people can’t wait to help you and that’s what I needed, it gave me the confidence to start in the first place and is now giving me platform to grow as an artist. Music was never on the cards for me, it was really only when I moved back to enjoy that creative space that I thought ‘you know what I think I’m good enough to do this’ and since then I’ve been writing and gigging more and more.

What song do you wish you’d written?

A song I always circle back to is ‘There Must Be an Angel’ by Eurythmics, I just love the way she just moves through her range, her melody structure is certainly something I want to emulate, it just exudes euphoria! Because of how it pulls me out of any fuzzy headspace, I would love to write something that has that kind of positive power over people.

As a solo artist, how have you found collaborating with musicians here in Liverpool?

I’ve always tended to write on my own but the last year I’ve been learning how to write with others and that is something that I would love to explore more. Ultimately being a vocalist, and for the most part a non-instrumentalist, there’s a certain element of having to translate what it is that I feel the song needs. It’s almost like the guitarist or the drummer or the keys player act as my translator to make the instrument make the sound that I need. I know what it is that I want out of a record, so it’s been tricky terrain at times, but I’ve fallen on my feet the last six months as the communication with the musicians in my band has been exactly what I’ve been looking for. We’ve created a comfortable space to express and conduct our ideas far more efficiently now when we’re writing.

What venue can we find you in next?

I’ve just played my first ever London gig at Paper Dress Vintage, I was so overwhelmed with the support it feels like a true milestone in my career! As for my next gig I’m gonna be playing Sound City Festival here in Liverpool alongside some awesome artists. Feels like a real honour to be playing at an event that has a strong reputation for supporting smaller artists, not only that, offering well needed education on the music industry with the conference running on the Friday of the festival.

What’s on the horizon for 2023?

My second single ‘Supermoon’ has just been released, after almost a year of sitting on this record it’s been amazing to finally have it out in the world. As for this year it feels like the next step would be to release an EP, I have the material for it it’s just a case of getting it recorded! Though I’m eager, I’ve come to realise that these things take time to come to fruition, so with this time I’d like to collaborate and ultimately refine this material to try to carve out a record that feels right.

Click the link below to check out Vesper’s new single ‘Supermoon’ and follow her at @Vespergram for her upcoming gigs!

|| VESPER ||