Back in July, Vera Flash emerged in the blogosphere with a brutally awesome video for her first single, “Hustle”. Its high level of production and dark theme instantly made the video one of the most daring a pop singer could bring this year. Now, just in time for her second release, “Hollywood Star”, Vera Flash fills us in on all the blank spots about her music.
“Hollywood Star” is the second song off her upcoming Anno EP. It sounds like something M.I.A. would do if she were trapped in a pyramid with a good producer and lots of gold. Produced by Vera herself and her collaborator Rusty Mack, the song is all about being famous and living the dream. Vera eases from rapping to singing almost flirting with the relaxed hip-hop beat, more appropriate for the after-party than the party itself.
First of all we love Heavy Roc and we’re very happy that you’re part of them now! We know you’re all from Brooklyn but, how did you “get discovered” by them?
Well! I wouldn’t say I was discovered by them. I’ve known Ben since college. He heard Hustle and saw the video and thought it was dope so they got behind it.
Maybe it’s supposed to be a secret but, is Vera Flash your real name?
It’s not a secret that Vera Flash isn’t my real name, Vera Flash is a project. My name is Lies Becker. Pronounced like Elise without the “E”.
I’ve read some comments on Youtube from Rusty Mack in “Hustle”‘s video that he said that, although he produced the track, he still didn’t understand what the song was about. How would you explain the meaning of “Hustle”?
I think Rusty was kidding, but I’ll clarify. The Hustle music video is about American recklessness. It’s an embellishment on the lack of care and senselessness I saw every day growing up. The Hustle music video was shot in the town I grew up in, the two main characters were my friends from middle school. It was important to show a snippet of my reality, without making fun of America. I am from a small town. I am proud of where I am from, but there is also a lot of hardship in the middle of nowhere.
You’ve wrote the lyrics to “Hustle”, so did it came from any personal experience?
The concept of Hustle came from amalgamation of a whole lot of people I’ve known. Friends, ex-boyfriends, my self at times. We can act recklessly without being bad people. But our actions are our strongest influence, it is what defines our identity to ourselves and to others. If we don’t look at our actions, we can’t hope to improve, or to learn, to make ourselves stronger.
The video is totally brutal but totally awesome. It’s seriously one of the most daring videos we’ve seen and with a high level of production, not seen by many upcoming artists. We’ve googled Real Sprague (director of the video) and he is also from Brooklyn and looks like an upcoming director too. Was there a connection between you or was the guys at Heavy Roc responsible for making it happen?
Thank you. I needed to honor a story, and the brutally was used to illustrate the story. I’ve Known Real for about 4 years. I had worked on a short film with him. I sent him a rough of the song and he came on board immediately. I was still recording the track at that point. I had an original treatment that I’d worked on with my choreographer, Paige Manley. Real took it, honed it, gave it grace. It was amazing. So many amazing people came on board, everyone was just so excited to be working on it. Heavy Roc didn’t come into play until everything was already shot and we were editing. They were just happy to have tripped on a gem!
Are you afraid that “Hustle” might never air on MTV or other public channel because of its violence?
I’m not afraid, I’ve accepted it as a reality. I made a piece of art with my friends. I know the rules. I decided not to follow them. The one thing I would like to do is make a performance version of the film – less violence, more dancing. There is so much amazing choreography from that shoot that didn’t make the cut.
Your image is quite dark in “Hustle”. The question is, how is your image gonna look like next?
I don’t feel the need to fence myself in. Looks will always be different, and varied. I obviously don’t wear a pink dress and ballet shoes every day – Well, maybe you didn’t know that! I’m really excited for Hollywood Star visuals/music video. It will be very different from Hustle. You’ll just have to wait and see.
You sing, you rap. What are you focused on, rapping or singing?
I am releasing my second song Hollywood Star. Who knows what style that track is. People ask me all the time what kind of music I’m making. Am I singing, am I rapping? It doesn’t really matter to me. I’m doing my own shit, and making music my own way. I cut up my voice, use it as samples. I sing what I write and I co-produce the tracks and my vocals with my boy Rusty Mack. The delivery will always be different. I’m not using a character to regulate my songs, or my style. That would suck.
Will we see any remixes of “Hustle” soon? Did you already choose some producers to work on the song?
Remixes will come when the time is right. I am focusing on finishing my EP, Anno.
We wanted to say that we are very curious to see what you’re doing next, but “Hustle” is so cool that at least we’re assured that it’s gonna be something good. We will be happy to blog your new songs and we can’t wait to see you around here soon! What can we expect?
Well, YOU can tell me what you think of “Hollywood Star”! I’m in pre-production for the Hollywood Star music video now. Whenever me and my choreographer, Paige, would see a hot person, we’d be like (to ourselves), “Come here, lemme cast you.” I started writing Hollywood Star from that joke… But yes! Other things. Collaborating with a few artists, I’ll release some collaborations soon. I’m curating a gallery show… and my EP, Anno. Then I’ll play live.
Any last words for your brazilian fans?
I know I’ll have a warm welcome when I visit Brazil. I’m proud to have made the Brazilian connection. So, where are the invites! I can’t wait to come. And thank you for listening to my music and for the love you’ve given me!