Dreams on sale

It takes a lot of courage to make a dream come true. To live the life you want to live, when the rest of society is trying to impose its own blueprint on whom you should be. You might even find yourself blissfully unaware of the signs, ignorantly following the directions, when the world decides to this is not where you are meant to be. Maybe it prefers to tease you with what could be. Either way new beginnings, and leaps of faith are perhaps the scariest path to take.

“Every journey starts with the first step” verity | journey

Verity Price found herself on that very journey. With a different plan for her life, the lyrics could not be held back. Soon they took over her world and took her on an inspirational detour till this very moment in time. Lena_Ski chats to Verity about inspirations, music and dreams on sale.

After the passing of her father, the world changed. Caught in self-reflection, inspired by Paulo Coelho, and having walked Spain, Verity found the courage to take the plunge into music. She realized that if she could walk across a country then there wasn’t much she couldn’t do.  Soon she followed her feet, and went to singing lessons in an attempt to give it all it could be worth. This was followed by her first musical success in the shape of winning ‘Catch A Rising Star’ competition in Florida. The universe was in total agreement.

Back in South Africa,  the “boys club” music industry, has been a challenge of its own (and one that she is still trying to overcome). “Dido would never have made it if she was South African” Verity comments. “It’s hard enough getting the industry to take you seriously if you don’t fit in with that idea of commerciality. If you are not a Madonna, Alanis Morrissette or one of the boys – then you are going to struggle.” There just is not a lot of support for non commercial genres, and even the radio stations prefer a ‘Local-American’ sound or a sellout act , to what Hello Africa has to offer.

Despite the challenges, Verity considers herself really lucky. She has tremendous support, and is always finding new audiences with whom to share her sound. She’s constantly putting herself in line for that lucky break, and I don’t see her giving up till the band gets there.

I think that a lot of that has to come from being an independent artist. The band does have a record deal with Musketeer Records ( the guys said to be behind the success of Seether), but they operate very much solo.  If fact, it’s up to Verity herself, to make sure the band gets gigs and PR. It’s not an easy juggle to be both the creative and the business.

However, wearing multiple hats comes rather easily to Verity. She’s now even qualified in the de Bono Hats system (6 thinking hats), and educates business minded people about the power of parrell thinking. When she’s not doing that, she’s inspiring others through motivational speaking, or a universal student of life.

It’s with this very knowledge that she has been able to define herself and give her music a fighting chance. More than just true to life inspirational lyrics, she also self funded her debut album with a revolutionary approach. Having no money to record an album, a cuppa coffee, and a confident (her sister) was all  that was needed to revolutionise the music making scene.

” I was inspired by filmaker Tim Green who financed his film “A Boy Called Twist” by inviting a thousand people to give him R1000 each to raise the first million. My sister and I sat down one day to brainstorm how I could raise the R300,000 needed to record a worldclass album in South Africa without going into debt and I decided to expand on Tim’s approach of asking fans to fund a project. The Lucky Packet project essentially was an initiative to invite people to buy my first album before I recorded it and allow them to be part of the journey of creating it with me. This journey has taught me so much and in so many ways. I have encountered generosity beyond my wildest dreams – from an American businessman standing up and buying 140 albums at a show, to a fan in Argentina giving $20 to a South African woman and asking her to find me, and buy an album for him – which she did! I have had families send me cheques in the post to wish me luck and anonymous fans pay money into my account to give to the charities. It has been a journey that has demonstrated just how supportive people are when we dare to put ourselves out there and ask for help to reach a dream.”

The Lucky Packet projects created a platform through which dreams were sold and realities were made. Her first Album saw 2000 people in 25 different countries investing in a dream. More than that, they were part of a social kick back that saw R32 000 being given to charity. This time around Hello Africa is doing it all over again in preparation for their second album, which they hope to record next year.  Now they would like to ask you for your love and support again.

With a zest for life, go-getter attitude, and infectious tunes – it’s no surprise that Verity has all the elements of inspiration and the makings of a true star. Even Sipho Hotsix Mabuse agrees,

“Their music is a refreshing reminder of WHO WE ARE – FABULOUSLY AFRICAN!”

Verity’s mantra has always been to ‘ speak your truth, live your dreams, be you…’ She explains that  everyone has their own truth inside, which takes the shape of their true purpose. Each one has a different destiny, and it’s up to you to find it. Society cannot tell you who you should be. You need to figure it out. Once you know that, you will have the courage to live your dreams. Once you know that, you have the power to be you.

“I’m going to take this day – I’m going to make it mine. I’m going to take this moment – and I am going to shine. I’m going to be grateful for my given time. Yes I intend to shine”

 Lyrics “Shine” | Photography (top)  Kirsten O’Donovan (left) Neill Le Roux

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