In­ter­view

Ver­ity & Vi­o­let are Loui and Jess – a singing duo from Sur­rey who spe­cialise in blend­ing vin­tage clas­sics with mod­ern favourites. The two have achieved suc­cess in the cap­i­tal, but are now hop­ing to at­tract an au­di­ence closer to home

Surrey Life - - Inside - WORDS: Si­mone Hellyer PHO­TOS: Won­der­land Creative

Jazz singers Ver­ity & Vi­o­let

How did you meet?

Loui: We met over 15 years ago dur­ing my first ever pro­fes­sional job in panto at Croy­don’s Fair­field Halls. I was stay­ing in Lon­don on my own and couldn’t get back up north to see my par­ents on Christ­mas day, so Jess just said ‘why don’t you spend it with me?. Jess: I couldn’t bare to see this gor­geous young girl spend Christ­mas on her own, so she came and spent it with my fam­ily. I re­mem­ber get­ting on the bus to panto on Box­ing Day think­ing, ‘this is a proper friend­ship; I re­ally love this girl’. We’re still best friends and Louie is god­mother to my baby.

How did the act come about?

Loui: We were off do­ing our own thing for a while, we both act [Loui played Sarah Barnes in Hollyoaks] and Jess does a lot of mu­si­cal theatre, but about five years ago we came to a bit of a cross­roads and wanted some­thing of our own rather than hav­ing to rely on be­ing hired by other peo­ple. Jess: We were hav­ing a lit­tle drink at the pub one day and, after com­ing up with quite a lot of ideas, we thought let’s just sing. Loui: We thought it would just be some­thing fun to do along­side our other work, but it’s be­come a full-time job. Jess: And it’s still re­ally fun. Our motto is: if it’s not fun, let’s not do it. And I think that’s what’s seen us through what can be a re­ally stress­ful busi­ness.

What style of mu­sic do you per­form?

Loui: It’s vin­tage swing, with a mod­ern twist. So, we do a mix of old and new songs, but they all have a jazz, swing vibe. All of our songs are recorded with a big band and it’s also just re­ally fun and toe-tap­ping, and hope­fully just makes peo­ple happy.

How would you de­scribe your per­for­mance style?

Jess: We re­ally vibe off the na­ture of the event be­cause we do so many dif­fer­ent types of gigs, so we can ei­ther be kind of twee for day­time events or Gatsby-style sexy for evening gigs. Loui: Fash­ion plays such a big part in Ver­ity & Vi­o­let too.

What kind of events do you per­form at?

Jess: We per­form a lot in Lon­don at fash­ion par­ties and spe­cial events; we sup­ported Rita Ora at Old Billings­gate and Keane at Bat­tersea Evo­lu­tion and per­formed for the stars of Down­ton Abbey at their wrap

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