are you listening to at the moment?
I love Kathryn Williams and Ryan Adams, I absolutely love Ryan Adams. I’d
seen him live at the Royal Festival Hall, he’s like a god. Everyone
was sitting down and when someone took a photo everyone was like “ssh!”
it was just amazing. I like pop and all kinds of music, but I’d say
my influences and who I get inspiration from include Kathryn Williams because
I like her melodies and she licensed her music to a major label so she still
has control over what she does which is what I want to do, I don’t
really want to sign away to a major label, so she kind of inspired me into
doing that. Badly Drawn Boy, his earlier stuff, I’m really into guitar
so Bowie, early Elton John, I love all that kind of stuff.
You’re quite the musically talented one yourself, what
do you play and did you compose all the music that’s on the album?
I play the melodica, the guitar and I write all my music on guitar but
I’m not great, that’s why I have two guitars. But not all
the parts on the album are composed by me, there were session musicians
who came in, but chord wise I wrote the structure of each song except
the ones that I co-wrote with my boyfriend who wrote some of the guitars
chords. I’ve actually got my second album already written, and my
guitar is getting better so now I’m really hearing how I want the
drums and the bass to be. That’s why I want to sell enough of this
one to get my second one out. I want to record it in January but we’ll
have to see what happens to be honest, I really don’t know. I want
to add more instruments this time and make it more interesting, there
was a limit to how much I could do with the first album, even in terms
of arranging songs, and I just didn’t have as much time to develop
them because I had to get it done during my time in the studio.
So are you happy with the album you’ve made?
I really am happy with it, but now that I’ve been working with the
band, live, things are developing with the songs which probably wouldn’t
have happened if I spent longer developing the songs before. I love listening
to it; I really do, so I guess that’s why I like it. Some of the
songs are written 5 years ago, ‘A little Advice’ was written
4 or 5 years ago, and then ‘'It’s The Way’ is slightly
newer, they vary in time, between one and five years, basically I’ve
been writing since the start of university, about 90 songs in total but
it’s a case of picking the strongest ones for the album.
In your own words what would you say you sound like?
Hmm, pop probably, folk pop. I hate saying who I sound like, people have
said that I sound a bit like Mazzi Starr so there’s probably a bit
of that on the album, but personally I’d love to be a female Ryan
Adams, I’d like to go for that sound in my next album. My boyfriend
has got everything to do with Ryan Adams. To be honest I don’t really
know how the album is selling, it’s doing quite well, it’s
in Virgin and stuff and people are really searching for it because it’s
not that easy to find which is really nice that people are doing that.
All the money I make goes straight back into the company, I don’t
pay myself at all, I don’t pay for the band to move about, but if
we’re short on getting the band up to Scotland then I’ll pay
Your live band you tour with, are they mainly your own friends?
They are mainly friends of friends, the lead guitarist Soren played on
the album on a few tracks, and Michael (harmonica) is awesome and played
on the album and Dionne the cellist is on the album too, but the others
all work and the live band was put together after the album so they can’t
do it full time. We are all friends so it can be difficult to say to them,
‘this isn’t right’ or ‘change this’ so that’s
got to be something I have to get better at because I love being the artist
but I’m not very good with the business side of things, its difficult
when you’re writing songs and performing and then you have to also
manage yourself and your band. I’ve had a few offers in the last
few weeks to have my own manager but I’ve reached a point where
I might need some help to get it a bit further than where we are.
How’s the second album going to differ from the first?
I think there’s a little bit more to it, it’s more quirky.
I think my songwritings developed, so I’m getting better with melodies
and my guitar too, its coming together. It’ll still have a similar
feel but there’ll be a few more rockier tracks in there, but just
probably more instrumentation as well, more trumpets and percussion, and
xylophones, just a bit more, that’s what I want.
Where do you reckon you’ll be in a year’s time?
I hope to have recorded the second album in a years time and be in a position
to have sold enough of the first to put the second one out, that’s
kinda what my aim is. I’ll probably give it six months to see what
happens with this one, but I really want to go and record it. We’ll
still be touring, looks like quite a few venues in Manchester are quite
keen to have us, I’ll do more gigs in London throughout October,
then hopefully move on to Brighton and Glasgow. The guys work so can’t
just go whenever, so I’m looking to do some acoustic stuff too,
just me and Soren the guitarist cos he’s freelance.
Any bad experiences so far with the music industry?
Apart from the ‘Boots are made for walking’ thing, which was
a kind of rude awaking really, I trusted people and from then on it was
contracts and you know, know what you’re signing, so in terms of
that nothing really negative (touch wood). Sometimes someone will say
‘ah so and so is really good at this’ but you don’t
really know until they start so you’re going on what someone said,
so that’s quite difficult. On the plus side, I’m proud that
I’ve even got the album out! It got a four star review in Closer
magazine and a 7 out of 10 on Teletext so…the positive is I haven’t
really had a negative reaction to the album and the gigs, I just think
perhaps there hasn’t been enough exposure in influential places.
I think that if the Closer review was in NME or Q magazine, people might
actually look for it even more.
Any tips for anyone thinking of doing the same as you?
The hardest thing I’ve dealt with is lack of self belief, so you
need good support mechanism around you, family and friends who really
believe in it even when you don’t, because sometimes you do stop
believing in it. It is all about contacts and who you know, it really
is, but if you love music the n go for it, I’ll carry on doing it
even if it doesn’t work out, I’ll keep gigging because that’s
what I love doing, I’m not going to give up, but at some point there’s
going to be a moment when I have to say ‘is this working’.
My parents and boyfriend have been amazing, when I’ve said I don’t
know if to carry on they’ve said carry on which is important because
if they had said ‘come on what are you doing, forget it, what are
you doing working in a bar part time’, I would've changed my mind
back then’ so its important.
Review by Bevis Man