Lara Veronin is largely known for her duet with Jay Chou and her unique doll-like voice which labelled her as an artist with a girl-next-door image, sweet and likeable. Sweet and likeable she is, but I feel that there is so much more under the surface than what the media likes to focus on.
I’ve been a supporter of Lara’s music since 2009, and I have definitely seen her grow as both a person and an artist during this time. When I first heard her voice, I was really shocked because I had never heard anyone with such a pure, unique voice. But as I was soon to find out, that was not the only thing that made her special. While others in the music industry still characterise Lara by her doll-like voice, she has proved that she is a much more versatile artist than her voice leaves to the imagination. From her first solo album <Hello Lara> to her second, <Free Spirit>, she has already established the versatility of her voice in the many styles of independent and mainstream genres within them such as <自由灵魂 Free Spirit> and <舒适的监牢 A Comfortable Jail>. But she doesn’t just stop there. After leaving JVR music for a break this year, her performances at the Jazz club Brown Sugar has unearthed Lara’s talents for consistency, her ease on the stage and the wide range of vocal ranges and textures that her voice encompasses. (See her performance of <House of the Rising Sun>).
Her lyrical ability is one of her standout points for me as I am a great fan of her works, both musically and lyrically. She puts her ideas forward in a way that flows very well, introducing (sometimes) more complex ideas with simplicity and yet a sense of grace. She doesn’t just write great lyrics about sad love songs, but also about what it means to be free, pondering on the meaning of life in a way that really makes listeners think about the world around them, and their place in this world.
But in general, her uniqueness as an artist is something that is hard to find in all senses of the word. Being an American-taiwanese of Russian descent, she is an eclectic mix of chinese and western ideals, although she professes that Taiwan will always be home for her. She encourages fans to embrace healthy ideals in all aspects of their lives; by introducing them to her favourite books, quotes and music, but is also an advocate for a healthy lifestyle.
She’s talked quite a bit about her experiences with yo-yo dieting, and explains that this is not the way to go. While other artists constantly post pictures of themselves ‘Gymming it’ at all kinds of insane hours of the day, going for runs at midnight and professing that they’re gaining weight and need to go on diets, Lara teaches fans that theres a time for indulgence, and for healthy eating. (That one facebook post about her eating Reese’s peanut butter cups for breakfast may be an exception to this…)
I think the thing that I like most about Lara is that she knows who she is and has been able to create an image of herself to her fans and media that is very close to her actual personality which is something a lot of artists can’t do. In many ways she is indeed fitted to the girl next door image in the best way possible, but the ideals that she embodies are far from this stereotype on the whole.
I don’t think words are really enough to summarise or even explain how much of an inspiration she is to me, but let’s just leave it at that for now. J
#01 Hebe Tien
#02 Elva Hsiao
#03 Wang Lee Hom
#04 Lara Veronin
#05 Anthony Neely
#06 Gary Chaw
#07 Rachel Liang
#08 Yen J
#09 William Wei
#10 David Tao
#11 Kimberley Chen
#12 Peggy Hsu
#13 Magic Power