The Vera Project: Amplifying the Voices of Up-and-Coming Musicians

Interview with musician Hunter Grier at The Vera Project.

Written by Sumeya Block, during TeenTix’s Beyond the Review Press Corps Intensive.

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The Vera Project has become a household name in Seattle since their founding in 2001. They hold shows for all ages with a strong value on no drugs or alcohol within the building, while creating a fun space for teens and adults alike. Many have seen shows, performances, and concerts at The Vera Project, but not many know of the significance it has on the local Seattle artists it partners with. From holding programs, to booking new artists their first shows, it is clear The Vera Project cares about its Seattle musicians and the music community it cultivates. One of these up and coming musicians is the young, dedicated, and inspired Hunter Grier. A fresh high school graduate, Grier, 19, has already released over twelve collections of songs and tells us he has more in the works.

Grier is a DIY artist. When I asked him what that means, he told me “DIY [do it yourself] culture is what the name implies. It’s doing it by yourself, being able to like take projects into your own hands.”

“Now, there is definitely a bigger connection to everything. Soundcloud artists can upload a song, and within an hour billions of people will have heard it.”

He expresses himself in a multitude of ways using the projects Hunter Grier, honeypot., and Blackened Bile. Blackened Bile is a place where he explores metal songs which “can be jarring for someone who finds my other music.” honeypot. is a band that’s currently a solo project, but Hunter hopes to add new members soon. What is unique about honeypot. is Grier incorporates spoken word into some songs, while others are lyrical.

An example of this contrast in sound is his song "May," a spoken word piece which is then followed up by "Sasquatch," where Grier’s own vulnerable, soft voice is accompanied by a high energy bass on his album seat filler. “I like to open and end an album with spoken word,” he says. “The way I listen to albums is by hearing from start to finish. That is how they are supposed to be listened to.”

Grier wrote spoken word in high school, but does not consider himself much of a poet. It’s clear from his Bandcamp collections that he has a way with words and a passion to use his gift.

Grier writes his music to express the anxiety he is dealing with. “When I write a song, I am trying to get the chaos I am feeling that is happening in my brain onto paper.” He says he wants to write his anxiety into a form of a song so others can understand. Grier will be playing at the Capitol Hill Block Party this coming July, something the good people at The Vera Project helped him set up.

He has been playing music since he was 8 years old, but is still fairly new to the Seattle music scene. “I started performing a year ago almost to the day, I think.” And yet Grier has integrated into the music community in Seattle almost seamlessly, gaining more listeners and new friends along the way. The Vera Project is dedicated to giving artists like Hunter Grier spaces to cultivate and share their voice—and in doing so, bringing the Seattle community closer.

Lead photo by Julia Cerpe.

This article was written as part of the Beyond the Review Press Corps Intensive.

The TeenTix Press Corps promotes critical thinking, communication, and information literacy through criticism and journalism practice for teens. For more information about other Press Corps programs including the Teen Editorial Staff or the TeenTix Newsroom, see HERE.

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