Over the past couple of years, Viji - aka Vanilla Jennifer - has slowly but surely been building her reputation as a guaranteed one to watch. Having recently signed to cult South London label Speedy Wunderground, the Australian-Brazilian artist has now shared news of her debut album, ‘So Vanilla’, due out on 27th October.
The announcement coincides with the release of the record’s first single, ‘Sedative’ - a melodic, guitar-driven track dripping with with 90s influences and alt-pop hooks. We caught up with Viji to talk through the track’s visuals, her writing process, and how she found working with renowned producer Dan Carey.
Your debut album, 'So Vanilla', was recorded with Dan Carey of Speedy Wunderground - how would you describe that experience?
Like a breath of fresh air! I’ve had a long writing relationship with Dan for a while before going into the recording. We hung out a lot and making the song selection was cool. Everything at the studio works in the most mysterious ways, I love it there.
You mention that each song on the album had a different writing process - can you talk us through some of them?
It’s my debut album, so really it’s a collection of songs I’ve written in the past two years. The style kind of solidified with the first track me and Dan wrote together, called ‘Ambien’. It’s the closing track on the record, and we did the instrumentals together just before going away for the summer. I had a guide melody, which I ended up writing all of the lyrics to - I remember writing about 13 verses until I picked the ones I liked the best.
Another track on the album called ‘Blanket’, I wrote at home late at night. It was a funny one to record, because we actually just wanted to re-demo it on the first pre-production day. I think I did one take on guitar and we just said ‘wait, I think that was it’.
Do you have a favourite track on 'So Vanilla'?
That’s a hard one. Low-key one I still listen to sometimes is ‘Sundress in Pink’. Maybe that...
What made you choose 'Sedative' as the first single of the album campaign?
‘Sedative’ was my favourite track for a while! I think the energy suits it, full blast into the album.
Talk us through the concept behind the 'Sedative' video - we've got angel wings, horror movie twins, and a padded cell...
Haha I don't know, it’s been pretty much living in my head rent free since writing it. I love a good movie reference, and the obvious one in this are The Shining twins. [There's] some Girl Interrupted, some Sucker Punch (even though that is the only movie I've ever walked out on in the theatres). Gilbert Trejo (the director) and his crew really brought it to life, showing off the love interest in such an intimate way. I’m really happy with how it turned out. 90% of the cast are my homies too, which is dopey.
'So Vanilla' is out on 27th October via Speedy Wunderground.