THERE aren’t too many hotter names in Australian music than Vera Blue. From singles success alongside Illy with Papercuts to sold-out tour dates to a hotly-anticipated album.
Everything the 23-year-old Triple J darling touches is turning to gold.
Yet for Celia Pavey, the woman behind Vera Blue, it’s only a name. That emotion and that stunning voice is all Pavey.
In 2013 Pavey finished third on season two of The Voice as part of Delta Goodrem’s team.
Pavey’s folk-pop debut album This Music was released that year and peaked at No.14 on the ARIA charts.
Overall it pales in comparison to the commercial success and critical acclaim of Vera Blue, but Pavey remains open to recording under her own name again in the future.
“I’m never going to close the door on Celia Pavey music or other projects that might develop,” Blue tells Weekender.
“There’s always so much you can do and that’s so exciting about playing music and meeting new people.
“At the moment Vera Blue is keeping me busy and it’s where my heart’s at.”
Vera Blue is essentially a collective. Pavey’s the face, the voice and co-writer and there’s the producer Andy Mak and his brother and co-writer Thom.
The Mak brothers’ influence has allowed the Forbes-bred artist to move beyond her folk roots to a more contemporary EDM sound.
“I think of it as more of a collective,” she says. “When I’m performing the Vera Blue music I feel I can really perform a lot.
“I dance and the electronic side of the music allows me to put my guitar down and for me to really feel the music and connect with the audience as well.”
When Blue’s first single Fingertips was released in May last year it didn’t initially dawn on music fans that this was the same Pavey, who had become a reality TV star.
The electronic indie appealed to a different audience than The Voice and quickly received strong airplay on Triple J.
Besides Australian Idol’s Matt Corby, no other former reality TV contestant has been able to reinvent themselves and attract interest from the Triple J taste-makers.
However, Blue denies the name change was about hiding her reality TV past.
“It was a really positive thing,” she says of The Voice. “Creating the Vera Blue stuff and naming it Vera Blue definitely wasn’t a way of running away from The Voice it was just the next chapter.
“My experience on The Voice was really positive and a stepping stone to where I am now. I’m constantly having positive stepping stones.”
Blue is certainly busy. Her debut album Perennial was released on Friday, followed by an appearance at Splendour In The Grass and a national tour.
Perennial, a term for plants that grow back year after year, maps Blue’s emotional ride from the breakdown of a relationship to her renewal.
The record is split into three chapters that chronologically detail the journey from the opening track First Week, written immediately after the breakdown of a three-year relationship.
Songs like the more electronic-based Lady Powers and Magazine also express Blue’s new-found empowerment as a single woman.
“I went from having a relationship for three years and then going straight into another relationship for three years,” Blue says. “It’s not necessarily a bad thing being in love, but you can sometimes lose your sense of self and you can lose who you are and your own self.
“When I came out of that heartbreak, it was awful and heartbreak can be really terrible and it takes a long time to overcome, but I learnt so much about myself.”
Blue has been particularly popular in Newcastle. Last year she wowed Novocastrians by supporting Corby at the Civic Theatre and followed with two sold-out headline shows at 48 Watt Street.