Over the weekend, I had the chance to email with Vanilla Sugar. This band is primarily made of one artist, named Jessica Perry. She sings, plays the guitar, keyboard and synthesizer. Vanilla Sugar uses these instruments to blast “intense beats” and bring high energy to her live shows.
Vanilla Sugar has won local radio awards in Texas, as well as an MTV award for Best Keyboardist. She writes all of her own music and is not signed to a label. She is an independent musician. Our conversation reached many topics, including some of her non-musical influences and her future plans for the band.
You can find Vanilla Sugar on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @vanillasugarmusic
Her music can also be found on YouTube and Spotify.
• What are your biggest musical influences?
My biggest musical influences are Grimes, Sleigh Bells, Nero, and, Mindless Self Indulgence.
• Do you listen to any band or genre that would surprise your fans if they found out?
I listen to a large variety of music. One artist that may surprise fans would be Cardi B. She and her team write extremely catchy songs.
• What’s next for the band?
I am currently in the studio working on a new album. The single is almost finished, and I start working on the video soon! A US & European tour are being planned for later this year.
• How do you think streaming services like Spotify and Pandora have changed how bands release music? Has it made it easier or more difficult?
As a listener, I absolutely love platforms like Spotify and Pandora. I appreciate the fact that I have whatever song I want to listen to at my fingertips under one monthly streaming price. I feel that it is definitely easier to listen to new artists with these streaming services. Playlists that feature all types of musicians – some well known, some up and coming – are accessible to anyone. I can release a single via Spotify and once added to playlists, my song is now in so many more people’s hands than before the existence of Spotify / Pandora.
• Do you have any non-musical influences that show up in your music?
I am heavily influenced by cinematic soundscapes. I love that “doomsday” feel… like War of the Worlds. I am into epic sounding build ups and breakdowns.
• Can you describe your sound?
Vanilla Sugar is a blend of dark electronic melodies & in your face vocals, infused with a pop sensibility.
• What are you listening to lately? Anything you would recommend?
I have been listening to Billie Eilish, Nero, and KoRn. I would recommend listening to Nero’s album, Between II Worlds. It’s best for cruising at night.
• What made you decide to “get into” music and start a band?
My dad is a drummer, so I’ve always been around bands and live music. I started playing piano when I was 4, and guitar when I was 12, writing in my room by myself. I write a lot about personal experiences, and wanted to share it with others so they know they are not alone. Music saved me multiple times and I hope to do that for others by creating and performing.
• How does your writing process work, do you all collaborate on the lyrics or is that job reserved for just one person?
I write my own lyrics, but am always open to collaborating with others.
• If you had to pick just one, which album would be your favorite?
It’s hard to pick a favorite album because I love so many. If I had to choose one, it would be Follow The Leader by KoRn. It definitely got me through a lot of tough times while growing up.
• Are there any bands you would desperately love to tour with someday?
I would absolutely love to tour with Grimes, Mindless Self Indulgence, and Billie Eilish.
• What are your thoughts about bands releasing more singles, rather than following a traditional route and just releasing albums?
I honestly love the idea of bands releasing multiple singles instead of just releasing albums. I feel like it brings more hype up to the actual album release. For example, Muse recently released 3-4 singles over a year, each with a music video and single remixes. I looked forward to each single release. I think it works! I will be releasing my next single on Spotify with a video attached as well. I’m looking forward to it!