Vera Ellen

Vera Ellen

Vera Ellen is our 2023 Singer-Songwriter in Residence. The artist has toured NZ and USA with her various bands and has two acclaimed solo albums. She won out over applicants from Aotearoa (including Wairarapa), Australia, Austria, Germany, The Netherlands, Pakistan, Ukraine, and USA. 

Best Alternative Artist - 2022 Aotearoa Music Awards                

"Totally in keeping with her label Flying Nun's famous output" - Loud and Quiet Magazine   

"...there haven't been many more singularly exciting singer-songwriters to emerge   from these shores in several years." - Rolling Stone Magazine NZ/AUS                                  

In her application for the residency, Vera wrote: “My name is Vera Ellen. I’ve been performing solo and in bands since I was 15 years old. In 2016, I moved to America and started a band called Girl Friday. We signed with Hardly Art records, and released 2 EP’s and an album. During the pandemic, I returned to New Zealand and released 2 EPs independently before being signed to Flying Nun Records. I then released ‘It’s Your Birthday’ which was nominated for the Taite Prize in 2022 and won “Best Alternative Artist” at the AMA’s [Aotearoa Music Awards]. Early this year, I released Ideal Home Noise which has so far received great support from NZ radio and publications.

 “I am ready to embark on creating my fourth solo album… I can see some themes of love and community (to counter some of the darker themes of the last record) coming through… During the residency I will be able to flesh out my song ideas, record basic demos, conceptualize what the album might look and sound like. I will also be able to try out some of this material with a small audience [at Studio 73]...”  

Asked to describe her music in five words, she wrote: "vulnerable, rough around the edges".

Vera will be based in Greytown for two weeks in August, thanks to the generosity of Janette and Niels Gedge, and to funds from the Cross Creek Blues Club. A grant from Trust House Foundation also provides administrative support. The residency includes complimentary accommodation, a stipend, access to Pūkaha, and a solo gig with Janette & Niels' music series Greytown Up Close and Personal, at Studio 73 in Greytown on Sunday 27 August, 4pm. 
Vera will return to Wairarapa to perform at INSIDE THE SONG, a gig through Wairarapa Word - at Carterton Events Centre, on Saturday, 30 September. 

For more about Vera Ellen:

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