Article Review

velours: “Whatever That Means”

One of the most notable things about velours’ career so far is the consistency of her team.

Velours (rhymes with allure, stylized in all lowercase) is a Saskatoon-based altpop singer-songwriter with a single “Whatever That Means” out this summer.

About velours and the single

velours, whose real name is Ava Janzen, has cut her most enjoyable single yet. Her presence is comfortable, like she’s just having fun, and the song’s simple structure helps this effect.

Her recent gigs include August 12th at the Saskatchewan Jazz Festival and May 19th at Canadian Music Week in Toronto. “Whatever That Means” dropped on July 23rd.

In this song, the background vocals are a highlight. I also enjoyed the “three chords and the truth” guitar in the context of a pop tune!

SK Arts, a music grant funding organization in Saskatechewan, awarded the 21-year-old $1,000 from their 2020-21 Microgrant Program. The project was, “To produce a new, experimental alternative pop single with Juno-award winning producer Ryan Stewart […] A musical bridge between my recent and upcoming EPs.”

Stewart, who lives and works in Metro Vancouver, has worked with Carly Rae Jepsen, Simple Plan, and more major Canadian artists.

The previous EP by velours, titled Identity, came out in September 2020.


On the Toronto-based Welcome to the Music podcast, velours said that she moved to Vancouver to pursue acting after high school. However, she turned to music as she grappled with her purpose and vocation, and she returned to Saskatoon.

Some of her influences on display are Dolores O’Riordan from The Cranberries, Avril Lavigne, HAIM, The 1975, and especially Lorde.

photo contributed by Eric Alper PR

One of the most notable things about velours’ career so far is the consistency of her team. Stewart has produced her whole catalogue, and the company Versa Films has brought her music videography to life.

In a press release, velours mentioned some context for making this song:

‘“Whatever That Means” is my fifth song working with producer Ryan Stewart, as well as my third experience with Versa Films on a music video […] The recording process was so new to me this time because it was all recorded in my mom’s bedroom and Ryan and I went through everything through zoom and texting.

‘I am immensely proud of the passion and creativity I put into “Whatever That Means”. Working with Ryan has continued to push me artistically and I am continuing to reach my true self as an artist.’

– Eric Alper PR

If velours returns to Vancouver in the near future, I’m interested to hear more!

Watch the video for “Whatever That Means” by velours on YouTube.

By Will Chernoff

William Ross Chernoff—known as Will to friends and colleagues—is a jazz musician, podcaster, YouTuber, and writer. He records and performs under his own name, William Chernoff.