Vanessa describes her debut effort as “a journey through the various episodes of my life for the past 2 years through these melodic stories. Happiness, apathy, discouragements, anticipation and frustrations are some of the few emotions evident in this compilation. It is about taking on the journey to learning to love yourself, others around you, and life”.
For her, it hasn’t always been an easy journey. In the course of her pursuit of making music, Vanessa faced challenges like parental objections and the lack of funds to invest in expensive gear and equipment. What keeps her going? “I usually write songs as a reflection of certain lessons learnt in a season of my life and I’ll write whenever inspiration strikes. This kept me accumulating more original songs through the years”.
She sums up the theme of Inner Voices in the words freedom and victory. “Freedom is illustrated as a celebrative liberty in being able to truly discover oneself deep within and be contented about one’s originality. One is able to come to a point in his/her life to realise there’s none other like him/her and it is indeed a privilege to be uniquely created. Victory… can be found in every circumstance that life can throw at you; an encouragement to listeners to know that they are never meant to live a life that is short-changed and there’s strength in overcoming difficult situations – for instance the freedom in setting one self free by forgiving others who have hurt him/her”.
Vanessa cites Feist, Ingrid Michaelson, Brooke Fraser, Corrinne Bailey Rae, Joanna Wang, and Sara Bareilles as her favourite artistes and influences for her style of music. Inner Voices has a largely acoustic folk sound, be it upbeat and infectious like Green-Eyed Monster and Peek-a-boo or sobering and reflective like If Life.
My personal favourite is probably No (Bring Me Down), a tune infused with melancholy yet also with a determination to prove detractors wrong and rise above. I also like the fact that the EP opens and closes in similar ways, both Welcome To My World and Awake O’ Sleeper featuring vocal layers and ethereal synths/strings. They make a fitting entry into and exit from the journey through the world that Vanessa has brought us into.