With plans to release a new single in October and an EP in spring, I caught up with the London-based singer-songwriter to talk about her journey into music and what inspires her to make the music she does.
So you’ve been working at Natural Habitat Studios today, finishing off your brand new EP. For those people that aren’t familiar with your music, could you tell us a bit about the purpose of the music you make.
“Music isn’t about choice for me, forgive me for sounding like a profoundly generic singer-songwriter, but I feel music constantly in everything I do. So the purpose for me is finding a way to bring emotive sound to the thoughts and feelings I have within me”
You’ve been working a lot with a music collective based at St Mary’s church in Baker Street, do you feel that being around talented musicians and writers helps your practice?
Absolutely. I found that back when I had this huge pool of musicians around me at university, everybody had their own path and were reluctant to collaborate. Whereas in this new space you have people like Joey (Natural Habitat Studios) who love what you create and are willing to help you in a supportive environment.
Now you’re looking to drop a couple of brand new singles in the coming months, could you tell us a little about your release plan and the reasoning behind it?
Well, I’ve decided to kick the campaign off with ‘A Song I Could Write’. A song I wrote earlier this year when I was struggling internally with a lot of different expectations i’ve had for myself my whole life, including what the people around me thought. Even though we’re moving slowly out of a heteronormative focus on culture, women like myself can typically be marketed as a ‘pretty trophy’. Which is something i’ve been made to feel my whole life.
And do you still feel this is prevalent within our social environments?
Yes. As I got older I slowly started to realise that this wasn’t right, almost coinciding with me realising that I was gay, which is why this song was about changing my perspective on the whole topic so I could finally be happy with it and not constantly weary of its presence. The best way to describe it would be in the main line of the song: ‘now all at once the worlds upside down and i’m sunny side up’. Meaning if I flip this whole thing on its head everybody else will be wrong and i’ll be okay.
I’ve had the pleasure of listening to the single a few times shall I say… and i’m intrigued to know if when you sit down and write do you think about each song as a body of work or do you lean towards creating each track as a standalone piece?
I think anything i’ve written acts as a standalone piece, almost like a little snapshot of what i was going through at the time or my viewpoint on a certain situation. But naturally if you’re writing from a genuine and authentic place there will be themes that reoccur. With regards to the EP that’s coming out next year, there are similar elements within the songs, however they’ve all been written at completely different times (from 5 years ago to as recent as a month ago). To answer your question, I never set out to make a body of work, it almost does it itself because it’s so personable.
Now for a generic interview question, who would you say influences you to make the type of music you make?
I’d say its quite a mix because I come from a theatrical background where my parents were performers and I was always around actors, singers and dancers, so one of my major influences is simply drama and theatre and that’s why a lot of my songs are immersed in a storytelling narrative, also my grandad was a folk singer, which is why I started playing guitar. It’s difficult to think of it in terms of individual artists as I listen to so many genres, but I guess early Sia, mainly her ‘Some People Have Real Problems’ album which combines experimental production techniques with the raw emotion in her voice, also Tory Amos and more recently Florence Welch are two other artists that combine the intensity other vocal delivery with a beautiful soundtrack.
We’re down to our last question, as you’ve said you have an EP coming next year, have you got anything else planned for the future that people can keep an eye on?
i’m really buzzed about the new single which will be out in October, and the EP will be out in spring, so i’m just preparing to ride the wave that those songs will bring with them, but I hope everyone is as excited to hear them as I am.