Meet Rhode Island Pop Artist Viana as She Releases Her Cover “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)”

The song was originally performed by the popular band My Chemical Romance, but Viana has put her own moody spin on it.
Cover Photo Credit Maurisa Mackey

Cover photo by Maurisa Mackey.

A few months ago, I saw Viana’s incredible retro-inspired music video teaser for “About the Money” pop up on Instagram, and I thought, who is this stylish, talented young woman who has a voice from a bygone era and style that looks like she stepped straight out of the ’60s mod squad?

Then I found out she is a Rhode Island-based solo artist, and I needed to know more about her. Rhode Island pop artist Viana is releasing her next song, her version of “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)” today, December 3, across all streaming platforms. The cover track is paired with a video that will follow a week later on December 14.

I’m Not Okay (I Promise)” was originally performed by the popular band My Chemical Romance, but Viana has put her own moody spin on it. It brings her back to her high school days of cruising in her car and blasting the ballad while singing her heart out. We are listening to the new song now and patiently awaiting the music video, but in the meantime, learn more about the local artist.

1. When did you first get into music and decide to pursue it as a career?

Music has always been a huge part of my life. I come from a musical family, stemming back to my great grandfather who played trombone professionally for artists like Sinatra. My mom is an amazing singer and I grew up with her always singing around the house, which absolutely rubbed off on me. And as far as figuring out that singing was going to be what I did for the rest of my life, that just kind of happened. To be honest with you, I have never really pictured myself in a life without music. So, I just keep on singing and seeing where the journey takes me.

2. Where are you from in Rhode Island and how did the local music scene influence your career?

I’m from the woods baby! I grew up in Western Coventry, out in the sticks. I spent my childhood frolicking around the forest with my dogs, which is still exactly what I do now, so some things never change. Luckily, when I started playing shows before I could drive, I had friends that would drive the extra twenty minutes out of the way to pick me up and parents that would come to my gigs. The local music scene was kind of what really started getting me on stage more and more and meeting some amazing artists and humans in general. I definitely wouldn’t be anywhere near where I am today if it wasn’t for the inspiration of being part of a really talented community in Providence.

3. What does going solo mean to you?

Going solo was pretty huge for me after being in bands for basically all of my career. I was pretty scared to venture off on my own, but looking back I’m really glad that I did. While being a solo artist absolutely means feeling more pressure to keep everything together on my own, there’s also something freeing about knowing that I am the only thing standing in the way of creating and growing as an artist. If I want to achieve something, I know that it’s up to me to make it happen. So basically… I better make it happen! I’m still learning so much about who I am as an artist too, which will always be an ongoing journey, but I’m definitely learning to sit back and enjoy the process.

4. What made you decide to do a cover of “I’m Not Okay (I Promise).”

So, I love taking rock bands I listened to a lot growing up and making pretty piano versions of their songs. My friend Ashley was insistent that I cover this song. I had an instant flashback of myself and my friends. We were skidding around the back roads of Coventry in my Nissan Sentra, extra extra iced coffees in hand, blasting this song and subsequently blowing out our voices in the process. I knew I had to cover this throwback jam and then my producer Greg and I recorded our version of it at my house in late 2020.

5. I noticed you’re doing some cool music videos! What made you decide to put in the extra effort to produce the videos.

Hey, thanks! Something that I’ve been a huge fan of while releasing singles has been the ability to make each song it’s own little vibe and create visuals to go along with that vibe. I feel like I get to show off a bunch of my different sides, which as a Gemini, is kind of essential. For some songs, you daydream the video as soon as you hear the first mix pass, and that was what happened with my most recent video for “About The Money.” I knew that doing a video set in a certain time period wouldn’t be easy, and I wanted to make it as accurate as possible. I was lucky that I had an incredible team of humans who I’m lucky to call my friends to pull that video off!

6. You have great style. Who are you influenced by and where do you shop?

Okay, now I’m blushing! My style these days consists of going to vintage stores and buying a bunch of wolf and band tees and adding a classic pair of Levi’s, my jewelry stacks and a pair of black boots and calling it a day. Picking out outfits can stress me out, so I just go with what makes me feel confident and comfortable.

Photo Credit Maurisa Mackey 2 Copy

Photo by Maurisa Mackey.

Listen to “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)” starting on December 3, followed by the music video on December 14. Follow @vianavalentine on Instagram, for updates.

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