Interview with Verónica Montero A.K.A, Vermon
E: What is your full name?
- V: Verónica Montero Morales
E: Where were you born?
- V: On La Isla de Moravia, Costa Rica. Some time of my childhood in Caldera, Puntarenas and in Canoas. But we went back to Moravia.
E: Vero, it is no secret to anyone that your career as an artist is taking off and we would like to know a little more about how it all started and at what age you began to explore these rap and freestyle paths.
- V: Well, I never really to listened to rap or freestlyle, in fact, I did not know that free style battles existed, but it was when I was 15 years old that during school, two of my friends were with that will to battle and at recess I saw them that they were trying to freestyle rap. When I was looking at them they told me "Vero, your turn." I didn't know what it was, but I said "say let's try", and by sheer luck without ever having rhymed in my life I pulled out a rhyme that, for me, remembering it now, I didn't like much, but at the time it was incredible since I didn't know what I was doing, and I liked it. I liked the feeling of rhyming and fighting with another person, I liked it a lot. Later it became routine to always go to recess with my friends to battle and every day I got more involved and I discovered that it was not something only between friends but that there are battles in other countries such as Argentina or Spain and as I learned to freestyle I was also discovering the battles and I was soaking up a lot of the scene. In fact, the first RedBull I saw live was in 2017, when the champion was Aczino. But I saw all this as something great in other countries and not in Costa Rica. It was until 2019 that I realized that if there were battles in Costa Rica and by that time I had been practicing with my friends for 2 years then I already had a certain level to start with. And coincidentally, in Moravia there was a competition that was known, and of course, it was in my area, I had some level and I was super feverish with the battles, so that's how I started with competitions.
E: So how many competitions have you been to?
- V: Contrary to what people believe, I have hardly fought in national competitions. I started at the end of 2019 with the Moravian Battles competition, then I went to one in Cartago called Plaza Mayor and then I went to Rapquicia, the best known in the country. And then I went to one that was in the first one where I was champion in Quepos and if everything goes well I will soon go to compete at Limón province.
E: Did you tell us that you didn't grow up listening to rap or freestyle, so what did you listen to or what do you listen to now in your everyday?
- V: Now if I listen to a lot of rap in Spanish, trap in Spanish. I listen too much in Spanish, before now days it was only music in English. What little I heard of rap was Eminem, Tupac, Biggie, all those influences from the 90s. I used to listen a lot of electronic, pop, but it was always more electronic, in fact, today I still love it. But actually, I like to listen to everything, orchestral music, salsa, merengue. But now what I listen to the most is rap, and I also listen to a lot of reggaeton.
E: Well, now a bit on our topic, we would like to know about your experience with cannabis, when was the first time you tried or had an encounter with cannabis / hemp?
- V: I was always in an environment with a lot of cannabis because of my friends who have always used a lot of what was marijuana. At the time I tried it, but never consume it regularly, it was just out of curiosity. Yes, I tried it before starting with rap, contrary to what people believe, but I never continued to consume because I did not like the environment of drugs with the study and my parents have always taught me that you have to be very careful with these. So at that moment I did not feel prepared or with enough responsibility to know when to stop or set limits. Now that there is more information and I know more because I am more interested and if I can say that these types of products like the ones you have if I consume them when I have the opportunity.
E: Vero, we would like to know what happens with your rap style, what do you plan for the future, what is happening with Vermon at the moment and the musical career?
- V: Regarding Vermon's style, what I always liked was the versatility. What it is to vary a beat, to have the certainty that they put any beat on me and to be able to say “ok, I can flow it incredibly well”. Either a beat that sounds better with a melody or with a more aggressive rap that can be done in any way. When I progressed more with the music I found a certainty in what was my double tempo and melody, so I loved to vary with those 2 a little, from going from fast to a melody and then returning to rap, those musical games have always been something that I quite liked to do. It's something that was very scary at first because it's not something I was used to listening to in general, but it's something I love to do and I love that it's the image of my music. And my plans for the future is to emerge as a result of that style.
We wil leave you here the link to one of the cyphers that was what connected us with Vermon.
E: You told us behind the scenes that you are looking for some independence in the future with your musical career and what rap and freestyle is.
- V: Normally whenever you see a freestyle artist they usually have a lot of music and what I have been commenting on is that many times freestlye is a very good path because if you learn to take advantage of it, you go very far, but at the same time it was very short momentum. If one does not know how to sediment that knowledge or all the fruits that you made as a freestyler, it can be forgotten. And one of the things that seemed right to me to do and something that I feel very comfortable doing is to make music, so I see music more as a long-term plan that can take me further than battles. My plan is to continue with the battles, to continue giving it hard as many years as possible, but there will always be a love for music that is the one that will predominate more in the future.
E: In particular, if I have heard you sing, I like your voice, have you ever taken music classes, or do you play an instrument?
- V: Never, never in my life have I received a music class. The only thing I did to sing was to be in my house and just sing, either in the shower or karaoke simply because I liked to do it. And every time it became easier for me to be able to throw a beautiful melody. And it was something that I was practicing in a matter of years until I reached a point where I already trusted my voice.
E: There is a part in your last cypher that amaze me and it is when you say that you are what you are by claw, character and wine, what does that mean? (this sounds amazing in spanish)
- V: In part it has to do with the image of Vermon, in an industry in which they are mostly men and it is very rare to see a woman, forming an image without having to sexualize yourself as a woman was one of the biggest challenges for me as an artist. it has been presented to me. Since we are used to seeing that most female figures are there because they are sexualized. And when we see a famous woman it is because she is very pretty and pleases the stereotypes of beauty that there were or are. So overcoming those stereotypes and growing up without having to go through that is something that always influenced me a lot at the time of battles and that in my head was always the idea of wanting to be judged by my rhymes and not by how physical. So when I wrote those bars it was very personal because I feel that Vermon's image has to do with talent, that I'm getting people to see me without having to go around thinking I'm going to wear or if I look pretty or not for the people who are watching me. So the image of Vermon is that of a very tough, aggressive person, with a lot of rudeness, and I feel that it has been noticed that she is there at the point of courage. These are something that I have always liked to make clear in my songs and in my battles, that I have never cared how I look, if not that I care that people learn to listen to my message above what they have to see. So the claw and the character is that courage that I was commenting on and the wine represents my funny side that not always everything was fighting, but rather that I had fun doing it and that I have enjoyed these moments. In fact, those bars are the ones I liked the most because of everything I comment.
E: Would you like to leave a message to the readers and even yourself?
- V: Don't be afraid to be yourself. Many times you will be criticized, but there will always be people who support you and who feel identified with you. No matter what image you project, make sure you are yourself and that you feel safe and comfortable in what you do.
GO FOLLOW GER ON Instagram: @vermon_aka