Female singers and their stories

Vérité is the stage name of a singer-songwriter called Kelsey Byrne who hails from New York. I find this name particularly appropriate, as it means ‘truth’ in French; this young woman’s lyrics are all about truth.

When asked about the meaning of her resounding lyrics, Kelsey answered, ‘people can really ascribe their own meaning, which I kind of encourage.’

Eliza Berman, a writer for The Times, believes that she “writes songs about the human condition: what it’s like to be here, to inhabit your own mind, to try to connect with others.”

Listen to her music here.

Selah Sue is a Belgian musician who has a certain raspy, almost reggae quality to her voice which is so rare nowadays.

At just seventeen, she was offered a contract with Universal which she refused, because she wanted to sing her own songs. She managed to balance her growing music career with studying psychology at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven.

In her opinion, this helped her to “understand more about human emotions”, which is important in her song-writing.

Listen to her music here.

Banks, originally named Jillian Rose Banks, is an alternative pop singer-songwriter. She taught herself piano, which she received from a friend to help her through her parents’ divorce. Banks herself admits to feeling “very alone and helpless. I didn’t know how to express what I was feeling or who to talk to.”

She explains that music helps her release her emotions, so she therefore kept her music private while she earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology.

Vogue magazine described her music as being able to “perfectly capture a feeling of being lost and powerless in the world”, and I couldn’t agree more.

Listen to her music here.

Okay, so this last one may be cheating ever so slightly since Florence and the Machine is technically a band, but for the purpose of this post Florence is a solo singer.

Florence had a rather difficult childhood, with her parents separating when she was just four. Consequently herself, along with her mother and two younger siblings, were forced to move in with their next door neighbour. There, Florence “just used to stay in [her] room and dance around.”

At ten, she witnessed the deterioration and death of her grandfather following a stroke. Four years later her grandmother, suffering from bipolar disorder, committed suicide. Florence, still a young girl, sang at both of her grandmothers’ funerals, and they were such big influences on her life that she went on to write multiple songs about them that feature on her debut album, Lungs.

At school, Florence was constantly getting in trouble for impromptu singing. After leaving school she attended an Arts college, but decided to take a year out to “see where the music would go and then it started going somewhere so [she] never went back”.

Listen to her music here.

I certainly learnt a lot about the story behind some of my favourite female singers, and I can now understand and appreciate their music much more.

-Evie ❁


10 thoughts on “Female singers and their stories

  1. parisianpages

    the only one I’ve heard of here is selah and that’s because of the feature she had in ‘you’re just too good to be true” video cover by walk off the earth on youtube . She can really sing and I remembered I liked her personality during the video but I don’t know why I haven’t cheched her out fully yet . maybe it’s finally time 🙂
    Ps. Great post . I’ve enjoyed it

    Liked by 1 person

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