Northern Rivers singer songwriter Vanessa Lawless has just dropped her debut single ‘Honey’ which was inspired by her vivid and repetitive dreams about the golden elixir.
Vanessa says the groovy, feel-good tune has now developed into an anthem about the sweetness of life and at a deeper level is about gratitude for the little things that bring you joy and are taken for granted.
Teaming up with mastering engineer Paul Blakey and renowned Gold Coast musician Benny D Williams to record and mix the track, ‘Honey’ is jam-packed with soul and upbeat cheerful vibes.
We caught up with Vanessa to chat about the single, self-confidence and music in hard times and to find out what she has coming up for the rest of the year.
Congratulations on the release of your debut single ‘Honey’. Could you tell us a little bit about the song and the backstory to it?
Thank you so much! This is a bit of a random story, but when we first went into lockdown in March I started having a lot of vivid dreams, and a few of them were of going to buy a kilogram bucket of honey. Then I began drawing bees and honey pots in my journal and every single day for a couple of months the reference would show up. Even meeting dogs in the street named Honey. My close friend Mel suggested I write a song but I had no idea what it would be about. So when I got home I picked up my guitar and just started singing which is how I got the hook. I then found an old half-written song that I wrote about a romantic situation and I incorporated that. But I wasn’t satisfied with it being just about romance. I felt it was about everything that feels sweet and joyful. The meaning came to me as I wrote it.
You teamed up with Benny D Williams and Paul Blakey to bring the single to life. How was that experience?
I couldn’t be more grateful for having worked with Benny and Paul. I was very anxious about picking people to work with because I’m so protective of my music and vision. I actually wrote an affirmation about two weeks before connecting with Benny that was “I am attracting the right people to record my songs with and bring them to life”. I said this every day. And from the first exchange with Benny, I knew straight away that he was the person. His energy is so down to earth and he made the recording process enjoyable. Paul was so easy to work with as well and he amplified the song in a way that just made it so damn groovy. They’ve both guided me through this journey which has been an immense help. And for the first time, I actually love my own song! I dance around my room to it all the time. It came out better than I expected.
You went through a period before the release of the track where you lost your self-confidence and stepped away from music. Now you are back making music again, what would you say to artists that might be going through the something similar?
I would say that the path is not linear. Sometimes we need to take a detour to learn and grow as a part of our journey, but don’t stop your creativity from flowing. Do your art for yourself. Not for anyone else’s validation of you, but for the pure enjoyment and fulfillment of your soul’s honest expression. It hurts more to hold yourself back than to be authentic in a world that is always going to have something to say. If you’re lacking self-confidence, this is an opportunity to give yourself love and approval in a way no one else can. Honour your worthiness.
How have you been during COVID-19 and what have you been up to?
COVID-19 has been quite a bizarre experience and the uncertainty can be daunting, but I feel as though I have made the most of it in regard to creating healthier routines like exercise and self-care. I’ve had to work through a lot of fears this year and I would say that going into lockdown and such has allowed me to face them head-on. I’ve been having sessions with a psychologist who has been amazing in helping me learn about needs, boundaries, and assertive communication. Just another big healing and learning phase of my evolution. I also learned to read tarot so I’ve been doing card readings for people which is really cool.
Do you have anything in the wings coming up that you would like us to know about?
Let’s just say my creativity is vibing right now. I’ve got plenty of seeds being planted and I can’t wait to see how it comes to fruition. I’ve got a lot more to share, and I’m coming for 2021.