top of page

Band of the Week (VRSTY) 10.12.21

VRSTY is no stranger to industry and business disingenuousness, they nipped it in the bud before even releasing their first record.

With a rather unorthodox sound that fuses singer Joey Varela’s R&B upbringing with his high school love for metal, choosing the right label was even more crucial. And after self-producing VRSTY’s debut Cloud City EP during the onset of coronavirus, the need for a team was evident and Spinefarm Records fit the bill. In addition to studio support, the deal finally gave VRSTY a chance to air all their frustrations from past business experiences with the release of single “Massive.”

“’Massive’ is pretty much about having people tell you that you need them to succeed. And then constantly taking advantage of you,” Varela told American Songwriter. “But then you come to the realization that you are the reason you’re there, not them. It’s because of your time, dedication and grind.”

After the release of “Massive” Varela’s intentions for the band and its management were even clearer. Since the band’s formation five years ago, Varela has been an avid visionary for the band. He has handled the music but also recording, producing and management himself. VRSTY’s fierce efforts pushed the boundaries of what a band could do without representation, when they landed producer Andrew Baylis for Cloud City, ahead of their signing to Spinefarm.

“We made this EP ourselves,” Varela said. “I wrote and recorded the music at home. For Mixing and mastering, I hit up Andrew Baylis. We showed him some songs and he was super interested. And he just wanted to work with us instead of getting paid. So, we took a trip to Ohio and re-recorded everything. And we started putting out a plan to release the EP.”

Just as Varela along with bandmates, Javy Dorrejo, Chris Cody, and Paul Gregory were planning to roll out Cloud City independently, Spinefarm caught wind of their previous successes. Prior to Cloud City, VRSTY had released their EP Lights and Blck and Blck Deluxe that produced streaming hits, “You & I” and “Colorblind.”

“Spinefarm happened to hear some of our older songs and hit us up,” Varela explained. “They asked what we wanted