A native New Yorker, Kelsey Byrne played in a punk cover band in middle school and an alt-rock folk band in high school. You also may have caught her waitressing at the Applebee’s in Times Square for a little while before she went on to perform for thousands of fans at festivals such as South By Southwest, Firefly Festival and Lollapalooza.
Performing under the stage name VÉRITÉ (meaning “truth” in French) since 2014, Byrne believes she has found her sound after years of exploring different genres. “I was really playing the field and somewhere landed in left of center pop music,” she says of her musical self-discovery. “I think I was testing the waters and figuring out how I wanted to be seen and the type of music I wanted to make,” she adds.
VÉRITÉ has released three EPs since 2014 and learned something new from each one, allowing her to perfect her sound on her debut album, Somewhere In Between. “This project has been three years of a slow and steady climb,” she says of her journey.
“In the beginning [of my career] it was all very experimental. For the album, I had a clear vision and the confidence to execute. I had learned so much from my past EPs and walked away with so much new knowledge,” she admits.
Somewhere In Between offers the same catchy melodies and layered pop vibes as always, but VÉRITÉ says that the album has a somewhat darker aesthetic. “I want it to be an exploration of trying to live and be happy and deal with the obstacles that get in the way.” I joke that cramming all of that into an album is a lofty goal, but she’s up for the challenge. “It’s basically an analysis of my existential crisis for the world… presented from all different angles,” she responds with a giggle and a sigh.
We start discussing today’s music culture and how it’s rare for someone to listen to an entire album more than once. “I hope people are captivated by mine enough to explore it a little more. I want people to think and to feel something and it doesn’t matter what,” she confesses.
Although this powerhouse vocalist will be touring the country this fall promoting Somewhere In Between, one place you won’t find her at is a wedding. “I just despise weddings. Don’t invite me to yours. Don’t expect me to have one. I feel like it’s a poor financial decision. Weddings and expensive cars are two things I don’t understand,” she says. There you have it, VÉRITÉ is a musical machine as well as financially savvy.
Main image: Eric Ryan Anderson