Callie Shea Sullivan has been singing and writing songs for years under her own name. We have the honor of debuting her first single under the pseudonym Virago.
“Let The Past Go” is a pop track so vibrant that it’s likely a synesthetic’s dream. You can stream it below, exclusively on our page before its official release tomorrow!
After you listen to the track, be sure to check out our exclusive interview with Virago!
Big City Thoughts: First let’s talk about how you got your start writing and singing.
Virago: Writing and singing were very important distractions for me at a young age. I can remember my soccer coach yelling at me for making up songs while playing in a game. As I grew up I became involved with a rock orchestra and chorus in Cleveland. This gave me the opportunity to sing with artists such as Styx, Jefferson Starship, Jon Anderson, and Pat Benatar. Being on stage with these successful songwriters gave me the courage to pursue a career in music.
BCT: Would you say that what you take inspiration from has changed over the years?
Virago: I think my source for inspiration has remained the same, but my perception has changed. As most songwriters do, I draw inspiration from relationships, conflict, and desire. I think what has changed most for me is my understanding of each situation. I’ve realized that I’m not always the victim, none of us are. We all make mistakes and I believe there’s a power in embracing our inner demons.
BCT: Why recreate your image now? What pushed you to make this change?
Virago: I have been pursuing “Callie Shea Sullivan” music since I was 15 years old. Now, being 21, I felt the need for my music to mature with me. I don’t write about the same topics in the ways I used to. There’s a little less innocence and a lot more honesty in my music now. I’ve been eager to share Virago with the world for 2 years and I think it’s all finally come together the way I envisioned it.
BCT: How would you say that the word ‘virago’ ties into who you are as an artist?
Virago: Virago is defined as “a woman of great stature, strength, and courage. A warlike woman” and “a domineering or violent woman.” I fell in love with the complex opposition of the character and really tried to portray that in this new music. The songs are from the perspective of a stubborn, independent villainess that owns her dark side. She knows she’s wrong but she has her reasons. It’s the villain you love to root for.
BCT: Tell us a little bit about “Let The Past Go.” What were the writing and recording processes like? Why choose this track as the first release under Virago?
Virago: “Let The Past Go” was actually the first song I wrote with this project in mind. I was still performing acoustically as Callie Shea Sullivan but loved what I was expressing through this new perspective. “Let the Past Go” is about a once innocent girl blindly experimenting with temptations that have taken her down the wrong path. The song confronts regret head on and gives the listener a sense of restlessness as the storyline unfolds. The recording process ran smoothly with the help of my friend Steven Beller of Cold Robot Studios. After considering all the songs, it was a given that “Let The Past Go” would be the song to help shed the old Callie Shea skin and transition us all into the new, crude world of Virago.
BCT: What else is in the works with your music that our readers can look forward to?
Virago: Readers can expect to see much more Virago this summer. From single releases to music videos, lots has been happening these past two years that I am thrilled to finally share with you all. I’ve fallen in love with this project and hope that listeners will too. I’ll be graduating from Berklee College of Music this spring and will be moving to Nashville this summer, so people in the area can expect live performances. If you’d like to hear more you can check out updates at www.thisisvirago.com or on social media @thisisvirago.