A brief expose on the singer Veela, and how important it is for girls and women to have female-centric idols.
It is no secret that young girls and women grow up without enough positive female influences. They read stories about men, watch movies and cartoons about men, and listen to music written and sung by men. The only 'idols' girls in Western culture are truly offered are the Disney Princesses, characters rife with unrealistic beauty expectations and heteronormative ideals that alienate and repress young women who would not otherwise adhere to modern gender norms. Today's sexist cultures dictates that young girls have a plethora of male idols to worship, with only a few female figures to look up to.
Often, those female figures are real-life versions of the Disney Princesses. Additionally, they are almost always white-skinned, skinny, and straight.
This is why artists like Veela are so significant regardless of whether they have achieved worldwide fame or a small but loyal following on the internet. Finding songs where women are singing about other women (the lyrical Bechdel Test, if you will) is a struggle most often resolved by luck and chance.
I have been listening to Veela's music with dedication for several years now, after being introduced to her by the song "Let it Be." The visuals of the music she both creates and associates with have inspired dozens of characters and stories for me, some of which have become fully explored pieces of writing. She often collaborates with other artists in the EDM/Dubstep world and beyond, and despite the variety of people she has worked with, her own ethereal quality is introduced to each and every song, making it unmistakably her own.
Deep colors of blue, teal, violet, and red are often conjured by her songs, as well as fantasy landscapes, sometimes up in the clouds, sometimes in magical cave dwellings. Veela's music is like a shot of inspiration for your brain in just three minutes.
Veela's songs are also unique in that she rarely sings about typical romance, a joy for someone like me to listen to. I make no claims about Veela's preferences, but many of her romance songs are in fact gender neutral, allowing the listener to create a story that works for them. Rather than romance, Veela sings about her favorite games, shows, stories, and characters who reveal themselves through the lyrics. Her openness about what she loves shines through her art and allows her fans to find a deep connection with her.
Songs such as "Offering (Original Mix)" by Veela + Captain Panic tell a story of oppressed women, and is easily viewed as a feminist track, though I can't speak for the intent of the writers. This song is one of many that inspired my upcoming series, "Anthology of the Cold Night," about a group of warrior women known as The Wolfena, who are hellbent on ending trafficking and prostitution in their ice age world.
"Broken House" is a raw account of a girl abused by someone who was supposed to be her father, or father figure.
In a lighter realm, "Ribbon Final," a song she made with Cyaneyed, is Veela singing an encouraging anthem of future freedom to another young girl.
"Though you are little, you're too bright for us
And you are wise with age,
We fought against
To never cry again"
All in all, it is no rarity to hear women's stories in Veela's songs. Some of her tracks are her own originals, while others were offered to her by other artists, but no matter what her taste and talent presents itself, and her incredible, emotional voice always compliments the musical background.
Some of my other favorite tracks by Veela which can all be found on her Soundcloud are "Walking," "True Colors Master," "Forever Blue," "Poets of the Fall," and "Ghost Assassin."
Here are some other ways to learn more about Veela, and buy or download some of her music.
I hope this article has inspired you to listen to Veela's music, and support her work if you find you enjoy it. A true artist is one who connects deeply with people through their chosen medium. This is something that Veela does for me as a music lover and a woman.