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Article and interview by Allie Adams, photos by Second Mile Media
LAW Records newest signee, Vana Liya, is bubbly, smiley young woman about five feet tall with a voice that melts and an aura that instantly draws you in. Vana got her start covering Pepper songs on her bathroom floor (because acoustics, duh) and began writing her own music, becoming a voice for mental health awareness after experiencing and conquering her own struggles. Her new single “Surface” was released on World Mental Health Day, October 7. Listen HERE.
We initially did an interview meant for one article, but after chatting for thirty minutes we decided to split them up. Find Pt. 2 the following Monday, 10/15.
AA: Hi, how are you?
VL: I’m a little hungover to be honest [laughs]
AA: Where did you guys play last night?
VL: Long Beach, at The Federal Underground. It’s a really cool venue they’ve made it look like an old bank, there were huge vaults for the green rooms and it’s decorated all vintage.
It was crazy, We didn’t realize that Bret from Pepper and Dan from Fortunate Youth were playing down the block from us and their show was later, so as soon as we finished our show we went to theirs. It was a fun night.
AA: Was last night’s show it for you guys?
VL: Yeah, for me and Kash’d Out. KBong is playing Beach Fest in San Diego today.
AA: How was it touring with all those guys?
VL: Honestly, I think it sounds worse than it is! I’m super fortunate and lucky that they decided to bring me on the road again, because, you know, they only have so much room in that van and I know I’m small, but… [laughs]. They’re kinda like my brothers now. It wasn’t awkward at all, they don’t smell and they all take showers, so that’s good.
AA: Those guys are so… pure. In the sense that they are just very good and nice people who are pleasant to be around. I bet they made you feel right at home.
VL: Totally, that’s how I feel about them too. I had met them before because I wrote some of my songs with Greg and Nick, so we already knew each other from there.
It was a really nice and genuine thing for them to do, because they didn’t really gain anything from having me, they did it to show me love and support. I think actions speak louder than words, so the fact that they did that for me… it meant a lot. We got really close this tour and I hope to see them soon.
AA: I think it’s pretty amazing how LAW is bringing all you guys together and sending you out to play music and creating, from what I observe from the outside looking in, a little family.
VL: That’s how I feel about LAW in general. When I got this record deal, I wasn’t looking for it. When LAW reached out to me in the beginning, I didn’t know how the music business worked, and I feel like it can be a real dog-eat-dog place. But with them, they held my hand and showed me the process and told me what I had to get done. I don’t have a manager right now and Yesod takes time out of his day to help me with stuff, which is nuts because he’s the drummer from Pepper, he has a million things to do.
AA: Yeah, how did you get signed to LAW? Backstory!