Veronika Bell, better known as the singer-songwriter and musician, VÏKÆ, is a Ukrainian-born New Zealander, whose family left Kiev when she was a kid to escape the aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster. Once a classical piano student, as well as an aspiring opera singer in a Classical Performance program at University, Veronika soon felt boxed in and switched her studies toward to Contemporary Performance. Obtained a Bachelor of Music (Contemporary Performance Voice) and a Diploma for Graduates in Music (Jazz) in 2016 from The University of Otago. She tbecame a resident vocalist of The Dunedin City Jazz Orchestra and began releasing her own music as well as managing her band VTMNK.
Currently pursuing a solo career, her first single “Truth” reached the New Zealand Official Top 20, New Zealand Hot 20 Singles and the New Zealand Official Top 40 as well as gaining over 50,000 Spotify streams.
VÏKÆ is at her best when writing from personal experience – it is the raw honesty that makes her music resonate, without feeling cliché, something many of her colleagues and peers often fall into.
Whether she sings of sentimental matters, human behavioral patterns or mental health, VÏKÆ isn’t afraid to open up about her own flaws and vulnerabilities.
Furthermore the shifting and expansive production styles found in her songs, allow her the space to inhabit different parts of her personality and even invite them into conversation with one another.
When VÏKÆ sings, it’s hard not to feel the impact of her emotional quotient, so affected is her open-throated, poignancy-inflected delivery, which can eloquently hover on a whisper or powerfully stride into a soar.
She does both convincingly well, on her latest single “Rumours”, produced by Abigail Knudson (MISSY) and mix engineer Rich Bryan. The song which deals with bullying created in toxic friendships and peer groups, is taken from her upcoming EP called ‘VIRUS’, set for release at the end of April 2020.
“Rumours” is born out of VÏKÆ’s own experiences living with trauma and physical limitations. She fully understands the pain of being shunned and isolated, and how the weight of words can consume the psyche.
The lyrics are both introspective and angry, and what VÏKÆ does extremely well – besides her poetic lyricism – is her ability to deliver dark, angsty verses disguised as a fun, catchy pop song.
Contemporary pop often showcases superhuman, self-assured starlets with silky voices and sparkly costumes. The ensuing effect on the senses is at once dulling and overwhelming. Simply take away ‘superhuman and self-assured’ from the equation, and you’re left with the sincere candor of VÏKÆ.
On “Rumours”, VÏKÆ tears apart the gilded veneer of fickle pop perfection to expose a visceral, bracing authenticity, all while retaining the sleek sound she embraces. She is a creative force, just as powerful in her performance as she is in creating the visuals to match her songs.
With verve and audacity to match her vibrant videos, “Rumours” showcases VÏKÆ’s ability to create hope from hurt, and beauty from pain. This single is a fantastic reflection of her talents as a consummate performer, and as a magnificent songwriter with a remarkable voice.