The Russian-Belgian art-pop producer Veronica Maximova, a runaway bride who has never returned to her native country, lives in Berlin and writes and sings on the fleeting nature of attachment and how it affects her mental health. It appears that Veronica has spent her entire life running away from something—possibly her home—in order to get there. Only when she was making music and losing herself in another world could she feel the lack of stability.
She has a Master’s degree in German and Russian translation and communication and studied jazz and classical piano. She went to Berlin in 2014 and began performing there under the stage name Rave Icon. It wasn’t until 2018 that she switched to her own name, Veronica Maximova.
She initially encountered the owners of Voitax in 2018 while attending a party at Club de Visionaere in Berlin. It was there that they heard her music for the first time and decided to publish her tracks. In 2019, they released her debut vinyl album, Computerlove, and she received some moderate press coverage from publications like Resident Advisor, XLR8R, The Ransom Note, and others.
She released a couple singles during her maternity leave three years, a pandemic, and a baby later. This spring, she is releasing a new EP called “Ordinary Forever” on AWAL, a Sony-owned label.
She also obtained employment at Ableton in 2017, where she is currently the Team Lead for the Social Media Monitoring Team. She frequently sang about her mental health struggles but didn’t know what was “wrong” with her until this year when she received an ADHD diagnosis. She feels relieved that she is simply different and not “broken.”
She self-released the song Shame On You in October 2021, which will be included on the EP “Ordinary Forever.” Lee Avant, a former mix engineer for FKA Twigs, created the track’s final mix. She self-released The Ones in December 2021.
Veronica aspires to be one of the top female artists in the art pop field, specializing in imaginative performances that stage the dreamy settings in which she frequently loses herself. In order for her music to be performed in galleries, fashion shows, minor art festivals, and exhibitions, she wants to assemble a group of dancers and filmmakers. She will be working on a few additional intriguing projects in 2022, mostly in the hyperpop genre. Follow her effort to get the music industry to support female indie artists more. Check out the Exclusive Interview below:
1. Can you tell us a bit about where you all come from and how it all got started?
VERONICA MAXIMOVA: I was born in Russia and grew up in Belgium, now living in Berlin. I’ve always made music, but when I ran away from a marriage with another guy who broke my young and stupid heart, I wanted to connect with others through music – the only thing that made sense to me back then after all what happened. I’ve lost everything through that divorce, and fled to Berlin.
2. Did you guys have any formal training or are you self-taught?
VERONICA MAXIMOVA: I studied classical and jazz piano and have learned electronic music myself.
3. Who were your first and strongest musical influences and why the name ‘VERONICA MAXIMOVA’?
VERONICA MAXIMOVA: My name is the name of my father. I have missed his presence while growing up. I’ve never been back to Russia, every day I am more scared of what I’d see compared to my childhood there, to which I have very nice memories. I don’t want to spoil those memories.
The musical influences for this project are FKA Twigs, Aphex Twin, Abra, Grimes, Andy Stott.
4. What do you feel are the key elements in your music that should resonate with listeners, and how would you personally describe your sound?
VERONICA MAXIMOVA: I’ve heard from a fan that when she heard my music, she could feel her heart break. The cynicism I sing about that goes along with healing a broken heart resonates with others. Laughing about your own stupidity. My sound is melancholic, longing, naïve.
6. What’s your view on the role and function of music as political, cultural, spiritual, and/or social vehicles – and do you try and affront any of these themes in your work, or are you purely interested in music as an expression of technical artistry, personal narrative and entertainment?
VERONICA MAXIMOVA: my music has always been an expression of a personal narrative, like a diary.
7. Do you feel that your music is giving you back just as much fulfilment as the amount of work you are putting into it, or are you expecting something more, or different in the future?
VERONICA MAXIMOVA: I am getting very close to being burnt-out at the moment seen the amount of work I put in my music does not reflect what I get back from it. For this reason, I think it will be healthy for me to step back for a year and just write very honest songs and hopefully I will find a label that will want to help me spread the word.
8. Could you describe your creative processes? How do usually start, and go about shaping ideas into a completed song? Do you usually start with a tune, a beat, or a narrative in your head? And do you collaborate with others in this process?
VERONICA MAXIMOVA: I love working with words I write down, feelings. Every feeling has a sound but it takes great focus to sit in the studio and get in that zone. You have to be very very honest with yourself to hear what sound your thoughts make.
9. What has been the most difficult thing you’ve had to endure in your life or music career so far?
VERONICA MAXIMOVA: Becoming a mother. It’s been beautiful and scary at the same time. It has made me go through an identity crisis but it has also made me very present.
10. On the contrary, what would you consider a successful, proud or significant point in your life or music career so far?
VERONICA MAXIMOVA: I would be very happy if my music would be played at big fashion shows and art exhibitions.
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Photo credits: Kirsten van Niekerk / Matthias Mayz Yzebaert