Varrovivyds – Interview about chasing bad boys and her new song “Fool’s Gold”

During the 2021 New Year long weekend, my home city of Toronto, Canada was shut down by Covid-19 and everything was closed.

Therefore, with a lot of free time on my hands and being the music nerd that I am, I went over to SubmitHub’s “Hot or Not” section and started listening to songs posted there by indie musicians which were submitted for the purpose of being critiqued by fellow musos on that board. As a side note, if you’re an indie musician who’s feeling particularly masochistic, go ahead and submit your tune on that board for scrutiny by your fellow artists and see what happens 🙃.

I must’ve listened and provided feedback to well over 30 songs over the span of almost 2 hours. I heard a lot of good songs, but there was one song that stood out to me in particular – “Fool’s Gold” by Varrovivyds. Here it is: give it a listen…

Fool’s Gold by Varrovivyds

I was impressed to say the least. The singing was lush, the lyrics (which you can find at the end of this article) were well-written and the production was top notch.

Soon enough, I followed Varrovivyds (civilian name, Veronica Christie) on her Instagram and reached out to her to tell her how impressed I was by “Fool’s Gold”, which is scheduled for official release on Spotify and other streaming platforms on Friday January 8th 2021 and which you can pre-save here.

We subsequently corresponded via Instagram Instant Messaging and soon enough, I was preparing my list of questions for the interview which follows.

About Varrovivyds

Where are you from and what got you into music?

I’m from Santa Cruz, California, which is a sweet little beach town right at the tip of the Bay Area. What got me into music in the first place was actually writing.

When I was young I used to write lyrics and make up melodies in my head all the time. It wasn’t until fifth grade that I started taking voice lessons because I liked to sing so much.

It’s actually kind of funny because I started with piano lessons and the piano teacher fired me because he said I was wasting my time with piano – he told me that I should move on to a voice coach ha ha! It wasn’t until sixth grade when I was given my first guitar that I was able to put together a musical melody to go with my words. And the rest is history.

I’m dying to ask: what’s the origin of your stage name “Varrovivyds”?

Ahh yes – so this is also a funny story. And also somewhat embarrassing ha ha.

I wanted something that sounded similar to my name Veronica. But so many artists already have that name and variations thereof. I also knew that as an emerging artist, it’s important for all your social media handles to be the same so it’s easier for people to find you.

Therefore, I went onto Instagram and tried different variations of Veronica, Vero, and Varro, the vast majority of which were taken. Then I just started saying random words after “Varro” and “Vivids” stuck. To be different I decided to put a “Y” instead of an “I”. In retrospect, it probably would’ve been better if I just stuck with the “I” ha ha!

What instruments do you play?

I play guitar. I used to play it more often, but I’ve kind of switched gears into the style of writing that I now prefer to do. Every once in a while I’ll bust it out and start writing some choruses. Maybe once all my current projects are done I’ll start writing some more songs on it.

Are you a self-taught singer or did you undergo vocal training?

So, I started off as self-taught, but I wasn’t very good and I was doing all of the wrong things ha ha! I wasn’t taking care of my vocal cords whatsoever.

So I finally ended up taking voice lessons but I only did that for about three years. I really should get back into it, just to help keep myself in the know, but I definitely do all the vocal warm-ups I’m supposed to now. And it’s all about the breathing exercises.

Who are your musical influences?

I absolutely love John Mayer. He has amazing lyrics that are always so insightful and really make you think. I would say my favorite song in the world is “Stop This Train”. It’s so beautifully written and it makes me cry every time I hear it because it feels so relatable. He’s an amazing storyteller and I think that’s why I admire him so much. I try to do that in all of my songs – tell a story.

I would also say Taylor Swift. A lot of people think she’s basic and super cliché because she has a lot of top 40 hits. But there are other songs she’s made that aren’t just ear candy – especially her new stuff. It’s deep, makes you think, and of course it’s catchy.

Are there any relatively unknown musicians that you admire and want to give a shout out to?

I wouldn’t say Melanie Martinez is unknown, but she definitely isn’t being played as often on the radio. She has a lot of great songs that have that spooky dark vibe, which is actually what my EP is like.

And my sound engineer Henry Chadwick is also incredibly talented. He plays all sorts of instruments and writes 100% of his own songs – I would classify him as indie rock.

About Fool’s Gold

What were the circumstances that led you to write “Fool’s Gold”? Is it just a story told by way of a song or is it based on your actual life experiences? From my reading of the lyrics, it seems to recount the classic dilemma of the good girl chasing the bad boy with a “body of gold”.

Fool’s Gold was the first song I wrote after my hiatus (discussed below). It also was written right after my first clean relationship/clean break up.

Any song I ever write is always going to be a personal experience. However, the songs can be exaggerated to fit the setting. But everything is always based off of a feeling that I’ve felt in real life.

So with this song, no I wasn’t picking up cigarette butts following my boyfriend all around town (as described in the lyrics). But I did have a sense that this guy wasn’t right for me and I still kept chasing him even though he treated me like crap. I stayed way longer in the relationship than I should have. I believe it’s a feeling that many people can relate to regardless of gender and orientation.

Who were your collaborators on this track?

This track was created by a production company called MixtapeSeoul. They are a wonderful duo and create the most beautiful songs. I was lucky enough to find them and this track spoke to me. It’s basically like the track chose me ha ha!

Which major musical artist would you love to have perform and/or record “Fool’s Gold”

This might sound totally cliché, but I feel that Adele would absolutely slay on the chorus! She has those amazingly powerful vocals and she sings everything so smoothly.

And also SZA – there’s just something about her voice that’s genuine. You hear a story whenever she sings.

Career

What’s the music scene in Santa Cruz like right now in light of Covid-19? And what are your plans in Santa Cruz once the vaccines get distributed and things slowly get back to normal?

Santa Cruz may be small, but it’s a musically vibrant town. We’re just at the tip of the Bay Area, and we’re right next to the beach.

You’ll get a lot of reggae, hip-hop, country, and many rock bands. A lot of my very talented friends are currently performing a lot of online shows. It seems that the standard thing to do is to set up your Venmo and people can tip you if they’d like. I haven’t done any of that as I’ve been extremely busy recording and finishing up my EP. But now that Fool’s Gold is being released, I plan to do just that. So be on the lookout for some live singing 😊!

If Varrovivyds of the year 2021 could sit down with Varrovivyds of the year 2011 at the local Starbucks for a coffee, what advice would she give to her younger self based on what she’s learned and experienced (both good and bad) over the past 10 years?

There’s a lot I would say to my younger self.

I’ll start with the bad: in 2011 I was just starting to get heavy into drugs. When I had moved to L.A. I fell into a bad crowd and drugs basically took over my entire life. I had been creating music since I was young and I found that the more drugs I took, the less music I played.

Just a couple years ago I broke out of a 7-year hiatus from writing anything, which is absolutely crazy to think about now considering how much material I’ve written over the past couple of years!

So I’d tell my younger self not get into a bad crowd and use those drugs. I don’t want to be in a position of putting my music on the line and cheating myself from my dreams.

But on the other hand, I’ve learned so much from my period as an addict. And I’ve recently celebrated being four and a half years clean. My music is heavily based off of emotionally tolling life experiences. And I wouldn’t have had that if I hadn’t gone through it.

But one thing I would say for sure is this: learn to be kinder to yourself. Tell yourself that you’re beautiful and you have a lot to offer the world.

What are your short-term (within a year), medium-term (within 5 years) and long-term (within 10 years) professional goals?

As for my short term goals, this year I have 6 to 7 singles I’m planning on releasing. It’ll be one single a month starting with Fool’s Gold. And then around September I’ll have my first EP dropping! At this moment my collaborators and I plan to have five songs completed, with a possibility of six.

Within five years, oh, my goal would definitely be to have at least have two albums out. I feel it’s important to release music consistently. First, it keeps your audience engaged – unfortunately these days everybody has such a short attention span because there’s so much material coming out. Second reason – I love making music and I couldn’t imagine not releasing more of it.

Ten years down the road is a little harder for me to imagine, but if I could have it my way, I’d say that I’d like to have a Grammy for a song I’ve co-written. Not necessarily a song that I’ve sung myself, but I’ll definitely hope to have written it for some other artist who made a huge impact on people.

Honestly I love singing, but what really does it for me is writing lyrics. That’s where I shine the brightest.


You can check out Varrovivyds on her website as well as her various social media accounts on InstagramTwitter, and TikTok.

And of course, you can listen to her music over at Spotify and other major streaming platforms.

Fool’s Gold

I’ve been waiting round, for you to come around

While you’re coming down

Picking up your cigarette butts all over town

Why I do the things that I do?

Acting like a stupid fucking fool

Following you, all the way down down down

Tell me you love me, I’m your one and only

That you’re thinking of me

I’m overdramatic, I’m a fucking attic

Addicted to the shitty way that you love me

I’m a fool, I’m a fool

For allowing you to treat me, the way that you do

And falling even more in love with you

I’m a fool, I’m a fool

For putting you up on a pedestal,

I’m a fool

And your body is gold

Look, I’m a lot of things

But I can sing

So I aired all your shit in a song

Now watch as they all hum along

Oh you took all my heart and you took all my cash

And you did it fast

I got to give you that

So why the hell am I still here?

Tell me you miss me, that you wanna kiss me

You want to be with me

I’m so psycho pathic

I’m a fucking addict

Addicted to the shitty way that you love me

I’m a fool, I’m a fool

For allowing you to treat me, the way that you do

And falling even more in love with you

I’m a fool, I’m a fool

For putting you up on a pedestal,

I’m a fool

And your body is gold

I’m a fool, I’m a fool

For putting you up on a pedestal,

I’m a fool

And your body is gold