Having released her brand-new single “Like It’s Yesterday” last November, the American singer V. Contreras showcases her awesome vocals with a soulful tone. She’s rapidly making a huge name for herself, and for this reason, I was very eager to learn more about this talented female artist. Read the full interview below!
1 – Where did your music career really begin?
I guess in the back of my parent’s car. We took tons of long road trips to Idaho to visit our Grandparents and that is where my parents introduced my Sister (Tamara Gee) and I to various artists, mostly incredible singers like Patsy Cline, Linda Ronstadt, Barbara Streisand and Heart. That’s when I fell in love with music and singing. In terms of when I had my first opportunity in a professional setting, my first paid gig was The Sound Of Music when I was 10 years old and played the role of Brigitta, the strong-willed von Trapp daughter. I think my most vivid memory was that I was so nervous that I threw up backstage on opening night before the curtain rose.
2 – What is the best way to have a great singing voice like yours?
It’s like anything – learn great technique from an awesome teacher who has a teaching style you connect with and practice, practice, practice!
3 – Are you of Hispanic descent? Do you sing in Spanish too?
I am about 10% Spanish. The name Contreras is my Husband’s name. I have always felt very connected to the Hispanic culture, I think due to the culture’s contagious lust for life, laughter, and Family as well as the hard-working nature of the Hispanic community. Yes, I do sing several jazz standards in Spanish and some in Portuguese. We are likely recording my song “Like It’s Yesterday” in Spanish very soon!
4 – What is the inspiration behind your new single “Like It’s Yesterday”?
The melodies to this song came to me very quickly. The tune found itself in my mind on a walk and I could not get it out of my head for days. The lyrics didn’t come so easy. I tried so many times to sit down and write lyrics but I don’t usually find genuine lyrics or music when I’m trying to. I don’t think we find words or melodies; they find their place in us. So, I let the song sit for a couple of months. During this same time, I was witnessing the demise of my music mentor’s memory. Following a session with him, I started thinking about what his wife must be going through and the lyrics to the chorus made themselves present. However, the verses that came to mind were more in line with the demise of a relationship. I think subconsciously I didn’t want the song to be quite so sad.
5 – Why is the music video filmed in black and white?
When Angel (Colmenares) first heard the song, he created an inspiration board and the bulk of the photos were in black and white. When I received his initial storyboard, I played the song while looking through his images and the tone of the photos just felt right. We filmed the video in color so that we had the flexibility to use color or black and white. But, it just looked too happy and because it was fall, the colors were almost too gorgeous that they were distracting. We wanted it to be dark and for the listener to have no choice but to focus on the lyrics of the song.
I love this question because I recently received a direct message on Twitter from a new fan that was profound. He was a kind young man who wrote to simply say that he loved LIKE IT’S YESTERDAY, especially the lyrics and that it made him feel ok for a moment. He shared that he recently became widowed and that watching the music video made him not feel alone for those five minutes. Although his story was heartbreaking, it is hard to explain how incredible it feels to be able to aid in someone else’s healing process through music.
7 – Do you only sing Ballads?
Ha! No, not at all. This is the first big ballad that I’ve ever recorded. The only ballad on my last album is a creepy understated tune called BURN. It’s a song that I love but is not torchy, has very little vocal range and has got a lot of attitude. My new album is full of mostly upbeat and mid-tempo R & B songs.
8 – What’s the normal process V. Contreras goes through to decide which tracks to work on?
I’m a purger. I am not the type of person who can say “I’m going to write a song today.” I store ideas in my mind and don’t write sometimes for months and then let it go. I wait until the gate feels good and ready (like I’m going to crack) and then lift it and let the songs take over my life. Basically, I turn into a hermit and no one can get a hold of me and my social media posts stop and I can’t think about anything else. It’s a bit exhausting and exhilarating all at once.
Once I feel like I have a good solid group of songs to choose from, I take all of the songs that I’ve written (and feel emotionally connected to) and cut them down to 20 songs or so. At that point, I run all of them by Martin Feveyear who produces all of my music. I trust him like Family. Together, we pick the top 10-12 for the album. We have never disagreed on our top picks which always reminds me of how in tune we are.
9 – Where did your last performance take place? Can you share with us any funny anecdote?
My last performance was at the LIKE IT’S YESTERDAY music video release party which took place at a speak easy hidden in the back of local clothing boutique called Do The Extraordinary. The vision of this store is to create a local, handmade lifestyle brand that merges edgy, urban design targeted at a generation of world changers.
It’s basically a bad ass clothing company that sells gorgeous, edgy clothes and accessories made right there in the building by local Seattle designers. In the back is a hidden speak easy with a stage and a sexy lodgy vibe. There is a lot of taxidermy in the space. I have been a pescatarian for 20 years so that was a bit weird for me.
Funny anecdote, hmmm well I love tequila so the LIKE IT’S YESTERDAY signature cocktail was Casamigos, St. Germain, club soda and egg white. It was delicious but a bit strong for anyone and so the hashtag from my show has like 100 photos of people doing strange things with the taxidermy animals in the space. 😀
10 – Is there something else you would like to tell your fans?
As always, I just want to say thank you. If it were not for you, I would be geeking out making tracks in my studio too scared to share them with the world.