MOBO Meets: Veronica V YMCMB'S New Princess
Can you tell MOBO a little bit about yourself, how did your musical journey begin?
My name is Veronica V, I am signed to Cash Money Records YMCMB all day repping.
It began so early on, I grew up singing in the church so that's where it all started for me vocally. I am also a writer as well and I just feel that God has blessed me with a message.
So your real name is Vanity Gardner is Veronica V your alter ego? How did you come up with Veronica V?
No, I just always liked the name Veronica and it always stuck with me and the v stands for my first name Vanity.
So you have recently joined Cash Money, how does it feel to be a part of such a successful and talented family?
It’s amazing cause you know what they allow me to be me, musically they don't censor you they don't hold you back and they want you to give it your all!
Slim and Baby just say make us hit records and we are good!
So that is incredible because a lot of labels don't do that.
How did you meet Slim and Baby?
We actually recorded at the same studio in Miami ‘the hit factory’ and the studio called a meeting with Slim and Baby and said "oh you guys have to meet this girl that's here she’s amazing" and they heard and loved my music. Straight away they were like we need her to be a part of the YMCMB team. So I just feel really blessed and really honoured to be a part of the label.
Have Lil Wayne, Drake and Nicki given you any advice or tips?
I haven't had the opportunity to meet Nicki yet, as her schedule is so busy.
But I met Drake and we spoke for a while, everybody in the family is really cool.
It's definitely a family orientated company and that's very rare.
Can you tell us a little bit about your latest single ‘What happened to us’- featuring 2Chainz. What was it like working with the talented "Polow Da Don"?
The latest single is called ‘What happened to us’, it was produced by Polow da don he is an incredible producer. I was also kind of floored when I found out that I was going to work with him. We have a great bond musically it was the first record we actually did.
I went out to Atlanta to do five records and it was the first one we ever did, so it was very organic.
I co-wrote with a few other song writers and it was just real, there was no thought process behind it, the album was going to be called ‘the break up’. I wanted everything to be related to that, in some way shape or form. Shout outs to Polow!
What was it like working with the directors? Did you have a vision for the music video?
The directors were amazing and Laurie Ann Gibson choreographed the video, she knows how to get into you and like bring the best out of you.
Working with her was kind of a spiritual journey as well, which was pretty cool overall I learned a lot.
I am a very humble person I just believe if you have been doing this for such a long time I just have to step back and let you do your thing. So the video came out great and I really loved it.
How would you describe your sound?
I would actually say it has a blend of Stevie Wonder.
I still like to have fun but I like to throw in the quality, I don't want anything that doesn't do anything. I definitely have studied a lot of vocalists and I have shown homage to people that were before me.
Do you often get compared to anyone? Like musically?
I get a lot of comparisons to Lauryn Hill, Brandy and Kim Burrell sometimes in terms of Gospel. Again, these are people that I have studied for years so if you can hear a little piece of them, then I have been doing my job well.
Who are your musical influences?
Stevie wonder, Roberta flack, Donny Hathaway, I'm an old school head I love good quality music and I like to infuse it with today. You may hear a pop record but the back ground arrangements will be on the next level, that's what I like to do. Initially I wanted to do urban album but I don’t like to restrict myself. There may be some rock in there too but for me most importantly it's all about the quality.
I love doing all types of records I would even do a country record.
Who would you love to work with right now who is currently in the music game?
My dream collaboration is Stevie Wonder, but in terms of hip hop and RnB I would say. I love Jeezy.
Anything with Nicki that would be amazing!
I think Drake is cool I think he is an amazing lyricist, I also love Katy Perry.
My list is kind of long I just want to do great music, as long as it’s great I don't care if you are unknown or the hottest person around, I just want great records that people will love for a very long time.
So you’re in the UK, how you finding it? Is there anyone in the UK you like musically and could see a future collaboration?
First time in London, I love the weather. Musically, I love Adele she makes it okay to talk about break ups, she's different and she's real. I love her.
Back to Veronica V, music isn't your only passion you are a proactive campaigner for abused women and children. Why does working on such campaigns mean so much to you?
Because I have experienced things and have seen things over the year, I feel like if I wasn’t doing music I would be helping children, working with children.
I still want to do that, even while I’m making music and if anything maybe being in this position it would give me more of a voice. Sometimes sexual abuse, mental abuse is overlooked and I think we need to put a stop to it, because maybe that’s why a lot of these children are growing up doing all these horrible things. As no one paid attention to them when they needed attention as a child, so I’m definitely an advocate for that.
Do you want to see you yourself as a role model?
Yes most definitely I think as I grow as a person and as an artist my message will change but right now it’s about projecting positivity. Never let anyone put you down, never let anyone stop you and when they tell you, you can’t you do it aim higher. I say just prove that you can but it’s not about being sassy, just hit them with a smile keep it moving.
What do you think you can bring to the music game? What makes you different?
This was not handed to me, I’m very candid about that and that’s why I appreciate it even more now. It could be someone else sitting in this chair and I recognise that and I appreciate it, so I’m just happy. I think what makes me different than anything is that I’ve come with flaws. I’m okay with my imperfections and I’m okay with being vocal about them.
One of my biggest role models is Miss Tyra Banks because I feel like when she took her wig off and was like “this is me without make up and weave… what have you got to say now?” She was just so real and I want to be that for the music world.
I think that everything is too perfect I would love to do a music video with no makeup and styled hair and be just like “hey this is me” and at the same time singing about something real! Now that would be awesome and I’m going to do that actually, hold me too it.
When is the album coming out and what can we expect?
A great collaboration of great music, I have had the honour of working with Timberland, Danger J Roc, the list goes on. We just really tried to mesh together and make a great music and that says something even if it’s a club record, there’s still a deeper message. I’m big on that so no matter what, you still have to get a message across.
Describe Veronica V in three words?
Ambitious, exciting and fresh!