Natural born talent nowadays is hard to come by so when you hear a voice that takes you aback, a sense of surprise takes over. When I was approached with the opportunity to interview Vieem, I went in with my eyes closed and ears unbiased. Listening to her song, “If Only You’d Know” I knew I was experiencing one of those moments. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York with a French background, Vieem was surrounded by music. Her father started her off with piano lessons at a young age. Later on she was introduced to other musical genres such as opera, gospel and classical.
In her teenage years she formed the all girl group, 3 Days, with two of her high school classmates. Over time the group disbanded and Vieem decided to pursue a solo career. With her heart on her sleeve, chance playing a role and singing in local venues, she was given the opportunity to record a solo album. Vieem produced the album, wrote all the songs and created Funk Desour Records in the process. From her time and hard-work, Be It Hated was born – titled as such due to the effort and the difficulty of getting the album to be released. Her vocal range is conjured up of her different musical aspects and the naturalness of her ability to sing. Receiving the opportunity to talk to the person behind the voice, Critic Studio will showcase why she is rated next and eventually now.
Critic Studio: Tell us about your beginnings.
Vieem: I’m the product of a family of musicians. Everyone either played an instrument or sang. That is how we ate sometimes. That’s how we still live.
CS: What does music mean to you?
Vieem: Music gives you the liberty to create it with the freedom to express it.
CS: What is the significance of your name?
Vieem: It comes from the French word “La Vie.” I was a huge Edith Piaf fan growing up and admired her story. Coming from a French speaking background, I wanted to have a name that could identify with that aspect. My initials are v-m which is Vieem spelled out. So it all fit.
CS: How you describe your music?
Vieem: It’s a mix of pop conscious, explorative lyrics bedded on alternative melody.
CS: Does your music reflect your personal life?
Vieem: One would think that, right? That is a yes and maybe question. It’s not hard to figure out what songs are from personal places on the album. Those tracks tend to take the narrative or direct approach. The answer is obvious.
CS: Do you write your own songs?
Vieem: Yes. Part of the allure of doing this. You always have the okay to write what you’d like. Don’t get me wrong. I respect the magic that can result by collaborations. There are times when a song chooses you and you have to just say hey, I trust this. I get those instincts often, putting them in a studio would be like releasing the arsenal. A wish list is to have a home facility to turn them out as they come.
CS: Can you take us through your creative process when writing a song?
Vieem: Oh that’s a boring picture that goes something like this. First off, I have to begin with chanting. Then it’s the vocabulary of vowel sounds. Then there’s running to make sure I’m mentally ready. Then there’s tea. Gotta watch Scarface and then presto! O-n-l-y k-i-d-d-i-n-g. The truth is far less interesting. There’s no real process, it’s spontaneous in every sense. It is as random as walking down the street, hearing the sound of a car stereo lingering down a road. That could turn into something.
CS: What song means the most to you?
Vieem: Good question. Actually I like to let the listener decide what song means the most to them. The song that could mean the most to you can be someone’s opposite. I’m always going to have a favorite as the songwriter. That’s hard too. It’s like cheating. Really, the answer is in the lyrics. All you have to do is listen.
CS: Where do you want your music to take you?
Vieem: Beyond the walls of my room.