Vera Blue, née Celia Pavey, is 24 and only just coming into her "lady powers." She's protective over them, though, which is the theme of her new single "Lady Powers." "Lady Powers" refers to a type of individual strength that's always in danger of disappearing. If you want to keep your lady powers, Blue explains, you have to safeguard them. You have to be on alert for things like ghosting — the ultimate lady-power-stealer.
"I'm not gonna beg for your respect," Blue sings in the song.
In the music video, which arrives today, Blue is sometimes obscured by a plastic wall, safe from anything that might steal her lady powers. The video also features Atlanta-based rapper Kodie Shane, who raps a verse about women who try to "steal your energy."
For Blue, the reclaiming of her lady powers could be analogous to her finding her career footing after a stint on The Voice in Australia. She found a record label after the show — she didn't win, although she came close — and now, moving forward is a matter of establishing a voice that feels her own. She has to establish her lady powers, if you will, and keep them close to her heart.
Refinery29: Can you give me your definition of "Lady Powers"?
Vera Blue: "I think lady powers is a lot of things. My definition of lady powers would definitely have to be having confidence, having a sense of self love, dignity, self-respect, all those kinds of things. I think lady powers is also strength. The inner strength that develops in you over time. I also think lady powers is the people that surround you, the women in your life that inspire you. It's a lot of things, that's what I love about it."
Well, the song suggests that lady powers can be usurped by, for lack of a better term, a fuckboy.
"Yeah, it's also when you jump into new relationships and you kind of — it's a familiar feeling but it's also unfamiliar because they're a new person. You're kind of figuring out who they are. Sometimes, they may not be the right person for you, and you feel like you're changing to suit their vision or you're changing to adapt to someone else's liking, which is a really hard thing. It does happen in relationships. So, it's kind of about developing that sense of strength and knowing you shouldn't have to change for someone. It takes time."
Kodie Shane, an Atlanta-based rapper with a lot of buzz, features on the song. What brought you to Kodie?
"Well, we already released ['Lady Powers'] on the record last year. But as we were releasing it as a single, we kind of wanted to give it a special touch. And I felt like it was missing something, and I felt like Kodie was the perfect match for the song. I love her tone. I love her sense of rhythm. And the part she laid down for it was absolutely perfect. It was a really interesting swing on the song. It's really special."
The song decries the male gaze. At the same time, music videos have for a long time been versions of the male gaze. How did you reconcile those two elements when making the video?
"The thing that I really love about this music video is there's so much strength there. There's lots of movement; there's lots of cool lighting. In all the shots, there's kind of, like, a sassy vibe. It's like, 'Don't treat me like that. Don't talk to me like that. I can't believe that I felt like I had to change for you.' There's also — in a lot of the shots, you don't have to bare your skin to feel sexy. There's lots of shots where there's only a couple of glimpses of skin, and [for] most of it, I'm quite buckled up in strong outfits."
You got your start on The Voice in Australia. How has that informed your career since?
"The Voice was a really good experience for me. Starting out, I had a really great experience with the show. Lots of people don't. I think at the time, I was able to be myself, which was a really, really, special thing on the show. When I came off the show, I got a record deal, I got management. All those things were a really great start for what I really wanted to delve into. And I was given the time to experiment and find different sounds. That's what was the best thing — the time that I was given to figure out what sound I wanted, and what project I wanted to make next. The television world's crazy, but it was good to be a part of it so young. Just to experience it and take moments from it."
In the video, you shift from being very simply dressed — hair down, no makeup — to being very styled. By the end of the video, your hair is very elaborately braided! I thought it was an interesting evolution.
"It's one of those things I haven't done yet. It's moving into a new look. That also comes with different parts of being a human as well. You kind of experiment with your look, and [can] be more confident in different looks as well. The video's going to be really cool, and a lot of elements about the video align with the song. There's a couple of scenes where there's a cool plastic barrier between me and the camera, which is like a wall up. It's great symbolism."
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Watch the full music video for "Lady Powers," below.
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