The last time NZM spoke to Shana Graham, aka Valere, she had just released her second EP, titled ‘Blue’. Having graduated from Auckland University‘s pop music degree the singer-songwriter found that the EP particularly resonated with listeners in the Phillippines, where she was born. These days Kirikiriroa/Hamilton-based, Valere’s in the middle of touring her first full album ‘Colours’, another vibrant alt-pop offering, nationwide. Time for a quick catch up!
June 25, Auckland
June 26, Wellington
July 3, Hamilton
Life has been moving pretty fast and hectically. I got married last year and now am expecting a little pēpi in September! Music-wise, I released my debut album ‘Colours’ last October, and now I’m on tour to promote the album!
It was a pretty great learning experience and a formative one. I realised how much music meant to me and to others during that time – it was a needed relief from the doom and gloom.
I was so grateful for the amazing support I received when I released the singles and then the album. Initially, I was hesitant to even release anything (my first single was coming out in March when Covid first hit!), but I realised I couldn’t hold on to the album much longer. Deciding to keep going made me think creatively and more personally to listeners, which paid off!
It’s going awesome! It’s my first tour so I am learning a lot. It’s been so fun meeting new people and sharing the experience with my whānau!
My touring vibe is pretty chill I think! I’m a planner, so I want things to be all sussed out and comfortable for everyone involved. Because of my own family and the families/work of bandmates etc, I wanted to make sure that dates were spaced out enough so that touring wasn’t too intrusive. That’s really important to me. I’ve also endeavoured to work with amazing people, especially the incredible wahine acts on the bill.
Anyone who wants to connect to music in a deep way while also feeling like they’re yarning with a mate on stage (I do love having the odd yarn between songs!) would love the shows. I just want people to feel comfortable and have a little reprise from their daily, and have an experience that’s connective and fun!