Great to catch up with you. You have lots going on, and you’ve just released your latest track, ‘Loud’. What was the inspiration behind it?
The song is about love and confidence. It’s about wanting to be confident in myself. And all my relationships, romantic or otherwise. It definitely symbolises the time of my life that I am in now; one of acceptance.
And the video was shot by filmmaker Margot Bowman.
I love Margot. She’s such a special person; someone I know I will stay friends with for a long time. We both think in a similar way; we both want to empower women, and express sensuality in a non-sexualised way.
It’s a great video. What was the idea behind it?
The concept changed a lot and stayed pretty fluid throughout the process. But essentially Margot and I wanted to portray the naturalness and vulnerability of sleeping, juxtaposed with unusual settings. We often call ourselves “nap pioneers”.
How would you describe your music?
Honest and sexy.
Who are your influences?
Carole King, Leonard Cohen, Marvin Gaye, Laura Marling, Florence and the Machine.
When did you first get interested in writing music?
I don’t know how it began, and it was never a conscious decision. But when I was six, I started playing the piano at home. A year later, I asked for a guitar for Christmas, and I’ve just never stopped. Every night, I used to make my mum come into the living room and listen to my ‘new song’. Sometimes I miss that time because I feel like I wrote so often and so freely; I would love to get back to writing as much as I did when I was younger.
What’s your creative process today?
It’s always different. Recently, I have been writing very autobiographically. And I’ve been sitting down with [producer/songwriter] Robin Hannibal and just talking for hours. He writes down bits of what I say, and by the end of the day we pretty much have all the lyrics for the song. At the moment, this is my favourite way to write.
The themes in your songs seem very personal; based on your own experience. How important is that to your writing process?
Right now, it’s vital. I’m aware that it might change, but I’m at a time in my life where a lot is changing, and I’ve only just built up the confidence to be fully honest and open, so I want to continue doing that. I also think that someone somewhere must relate to me, and that makes me feel less alone.
And love and relationships feature quite a lot in your records. Why do you think you tend to write about those things?
My relationship is a big part of my life. I think that love, in whatever form, is one of the most magical things about being a human being. So it would be a shame not to put it into my music.
Your partner is an artist. How have you guys found living and working together in the past few months?
It’s been amazing! I think that for both of us, having the time and space to focus on creation has been a blessing.
You’re still relatively young. You released your first track last year. How did you go from writing songs in your bedroom to releasing your records?
Good question. I have no idea. I still feel like I’m just writing songs in my bedroom, to be honest; not much has changed!
And you’ve recently signed to Columbia Records, home to the likes of Adele, Pharrell Williams and Bob Dylan. Congratulations. That sounds like a really big deal. What does it mean to you to be signed to a major record label?
I love the team I work with at Columbia. Ferdy, my A&R, is one of my favourite people and so I feel lucky to have him. And the rest of the team are angels. I would hang out with them regardless of whether I worked with them or not, which I think is a pretty ideal situation.
The Covid crisis is impacting us all in ways we could never have foreseen. And the music industry has been hit especially hard, particularly live music. How has it been affecting you? Any positives in any of it?
For me, there have been positives because I am writing an album at the moment, so I’ve really been able to focus on being creative.
How do you think gigs and entertainment will evolve in the post-Covid world?
I don’t know. But I really miss gigs 🙁
What is it with the colour orange?
Orange makes me feel like I am at home; it makes me feel so safe. I’ve actually just painted my entire corridor bright orange. It’s pretty amazing.
Music and fashion have always gone hand-in-hand. How important are clothes to you?
Super important. I’ve only just started appreciating how important they are. Fashion is such an amazing way to express your own personality.
What advice would you give to any aspiring writers?
KEEP WRITING. DO NOT STOP.
Another single! I’m so excited about this one and am currently working very hard on the video for it. It’s out soon. I can’t wait to share it 🙂