Berlin singer-songstress Cloudy Verdecia’s ‘Heartless EP’ hit 1000 streams in its first week.
Emerging soul-pop musician Cloudy Verdecia‘s new EP ‘Heartless‘ is what we’re cranking out of the BLY stereo this month. Boasting thoughtful and lush instrumentation, Heartless’s songs tell stories of Cloudy’s life over the past few years. Love, loss, betrayal – it’s all there in heart-wrenching detail, honey-coated by Cloudy’s endlessly soulful voice.
Berlin-born and Schöneberg-based, Cloudy’s been crafting her art over the past few years in the city’s bars and cafes. Released on the 7th of December, ‘Heartless’ is her mission statement and a glimpse in one of Berlin’s promising emerging songwriters.
We spoke to Cloudy about what it’s like to grow up in Berlin, playing music in a city dominated by techno and what the future has in store for her.
Your EP got more than 1000 streams in its first week, how did that make you feel?
It felt great since it is my first EP and I got so many positive responses! 1000 streams on Spotify isn’t a lot nowadays… but it’s a good start and I can’t wait to release more music.
Why an EP and not an album? Are EPs more relevant in our streaming age?
Not many people listen to a whole album these days unless they already feel connected to the artist in some way. So if you’re just starting out as an artist, it makes more sense to release singles first. I released the ‘Heartless EP’ all at once but I’m planning to my next releases out song-by-song.
The EP mentions the loneliness of being in a big city. How is it different when you grew up here?
When you’ve grown up in a big city your whole life, you’re always exposed to the stress and hectic life around you. It’s easy to forget it’s not the same everywhere.
Living here, you get so used to something always happening somewhere. When I visit my grandma’s small village, I sometimes can’t enjoy the quiet because I feel like I’m missing out on something that’s happening in Berlin. And people who come from small towns to visit Berlin tell me that they see the city as this crazy, creative but lonely place. I feel like I am taking this craziness and loneliness with me wherever I go.
Does Berlin’s changing make you feel nostalgic – that it doesn’t belong to you anymore?
A few years ago, when I looked out of my window in Schöneberg, all I could see were trees. Now I’m staring directly into the grey windows of a new block of flats. But I can also remember when Gleisdreieck Park didn’t exist, which is now a place full of life on sunny days for all generations.
So of course change can also be good in some cases, but I just hope that this city is not going to lose its charm and uniqueness some day.
Writing about Berlin, does the muse ever run dry?
Everything that I write about in my songs has happened here. Every street that I walk through carries the memory of a moment. I feel like I’m always hungry for more stories, which is why I’m outside a lot, and that resonates in my songs. If I ever left, I feel like this city would always be a part of me.
Berlin’s not a rock city. It’s a techno city. Are there enough opportunities to play and be heard?
The techno scene in Berlin is definitely bigger than the rock scene, or the concert scene in general. I know people who organise bi-monthly rock concerts that draw in about 200 to 300 people each time. A few years ago, the same events were weekly and had an attendance of over 400 people. So the scene has been moving more and more away from concerts.
But luckily there are still many opportunities for musicians to be heard. There are a few open mic events happening every week where everyone can join in and play their songs live. And you can ask the owners of bars, cafes or other venues that have live music in their programmes if you can play there. Just talk to the people and show them what you do! I’ve found that many places are happy to have live music because it’s a refreshing contrast to the techno scene.
These days, what draws a German musician to sing in English? Has the industry has changed in regard to German-language songs?
There is a big market for German-language music, and not only Schlager. Bands like Rammstein have basically taken over the whole planet, despite their lyrics not being in English – and I often see comments under German songs saying, “I’m learning German now because of this band.”
We have great bands that sing in German, like AnnenMayKantereit and Bilderbuch, which are very successful in what they do. I personally just have always listened to music with English lyrics and feel connected to the language when writing.
You walk into this bar, hear your music playing and know you’ve made it. Which bar and why?
Whiskey a Go Go in LA, because many bands that have inspired me played their first shows there. Like The Doors, for example. I also dream of going there one day.
What are your usual haunts way-out-west in Schöneberg?
I usually spend my nights in Kreuzberg because I live a few minutes from the border with Schöneberg. But there are some nice bars in Schöneberg, like the Barbiche, which has concerts with singer-songwriters from time to time. Other places that I love in Schöneberg are Gleisdreieck Park, where I spend lots of time in summer, and Goltzstraße, which is full of nice restaurants and small shops. We also used to hang out at Kleistpark a lot.
Now I mostly meet my friends in Schöneberg, buy a Wegbier at the Späti and head to Kreuzberg.
Do you have any gigs planned in 2019?
I’m planning to perform with a backing band for my solo project and I’m looking for people at the moment. I’d love to do a tour soon so I’m working on that as well. Let’s see where it goes!