Although it’s a bit awkward for her to say now, West Michigan electronic music artist, vocalist and sound designer Veronica Eileen will admit that the pandemic actually helped her music career.
“Honestly, I was thriving, even though I knew the world was screaming,” Eileen told Revue. “Quiet is my favorite. Isolation is my favorite.”
An introvert by nature, Eileen had started to make music as part of a duo as far back as 2016. Working solely as the vocalist in that project, she didn’t want to stop when her collaborator moved away for college, so she decided to study sound design herself.
Ultimately picking up an online program offered by Berklee College of Music during the pandemic, Eileen used that time to learn the basics, explore inside of sound design, and begin working with Ableton and Logic Pro.
Creating her own compositions from start to finish, Eileen’s music became fully her own, as she used both the lyrics and sounds to convey the emotional message she wants to share with her audience.
“I feel like with electronic music, it’s more than just the lyrics,” Eileen said. “You become the synths and the noises that you make. You just show that feeling through the sounds that you’re creating.”
Born and raised in West Michigan, and calling Muskegon home, Eileen soon found herself playing shows in Grand Rapids, as it was the nearest place for her to get that live performance fix, and meet other electronic artists in the area.
“Veronica and I met at The Intersection years ago through mutual friends and I was instantly connected to her glowing energy,” Chad Smith, owner of Ignyte Events/Management said. “As soon as I heard some of her early projects, I knew Veronica was going to be a star. Her voice and message is so special and something many can connect with. Music that truly makes you feel the love that she spreads through her music.”
Smith took her on for artist management in 2021, and together they’ve worked on several shows since, including the upcoming album release show for her debut EP, CHAOS, July 8 at The Mint (inside The Intersection).
“I am so excited because it’s four years in the making,” Eileen said about the release of CHAOS. “My first show was at The Intersection, like major show. It’s really cool to come full circle and have my album release be there, because there are so many friends and family, that place just feels like home.”
The EP will feature eight songs, including the closing track, “Breathe,” which Eileen released as a single earlier this year.
“I remember when I put my first song on the EP, “Chaos,” – which is opening the album – that is the first track that I ever opened up in Ableton,” Eileen said. “So that one meant a lot to me, because that was my first track doing this by myself. That came before any of the singles I’ve released and I just kept going, ‘It’s not ready yet, it’s not ready yet.’ There’s one of the songs on there that came with me from high school, called ‘I Feel Alive,’ and it’s about my friends from high school, and about my friends now. That one’s really emotional for me.”
Eileen remembers first getting into electronic music via the short-lived post-hardcore band From First To Last, and their frontman Sonny Moore, better known now as the EDM artist Skrillex.
“I remember my mom was like, ‘This is garbage can music,’ and I was like ‘don’t make fun of my garbage can music,’” Eileen said about diving into Skrillex in high school.
She then discovered Porter Robinson, and more recently has taken inspiration from REZZ.
“Especially being a femme in the industry, like the power they walk and how they walk with it, like it’s awesome to see that person go,” Eileen said about REZZ. “I really like Lucille Croft too. I’ve just been recently getting into her stuff and it’s really good.”
Eileen has had a few high profile shows of her own, opening for bass music producer G Jones in Detroit, and Wreckno in Grand Rapids, among many others.
Most recently, Eileen performed as part of the Muskegon Pride event last month, and will have drag performers Betty J, Cherry Poppins, Cherub Sinn, MX Benji, and Velma Violet appear as part of her album release show, along with her friends and fellow femme DJs
KAR POW and Soular Spice.
She said that as a femme artist in a still very male dominated industry like electronic music, she hopes to speak to everyone.
“He, she, them, they. Everybody,” Eileen said. “Anyone just getting comfortable with themselves and being able to express themselves.”
“I think I come from, “Hey, we’re all human. We’re here for a good time, not a long time,’” she added about the message of her music. “So I think just trust your vision. You start from somewhere, you can get somewhere, anywhere you want to go, with enough vision.”
CHAOS Album Release
With KAR POW, Soular Spice, Betty J, Cherry Poppins, Cherub Sinn, MX Benji, Velma Violet
The Mint (inside The Intersection), 133 Cesar E. Chavez Ave. SW, Grand Rapids
July 8, 8 p.m. doors, 9 p.m. show, $10 advance, $15 day of show