The record is an incredible collage of genres and sounds, how important was for you to create an eclectic record that represents you?
Very important. I grew up listening to a lot of a different genres of music and still do actually, so I guess I wanted to reflect that through my record. Like every person I have a lot of different sides to me and sometimes I like to think each song represents a different part of my personality; Lost and Found for my mysterious side, Lust for my naughty side!
Lost and Found was released last year, what has the reception to the debut been?
It’s been fantastic really. It’s always touch and go with a new artist and a debut album because it could go either way, but I think I just got lucky! I can safely say I didn’t think it would go this well so early on but everyone has given so many positive reviews…so I’ve obviously done something right!
What inspires you creatively and how are the lyrics and sonics put together in this process? Is creative control something that is very important to your artistry ?
Life experiences mainly inspire me. I always try to write about something that’s happened to me in my short 21 years because it’s easier to connect with when singing live. Inspiration though can come from anywhere – some of my best lyrics have been written on a train on the way to a gig or even hungover after a heavy night! I’m lucky though because lyrics seem to come easily to me. Creative control is very important and the team I have behind me able me to have that which is great; they know that how I am is how I want to stay and the fact that they respect that is amazing.
The record has a very mature sound, lyrically and for a debut: was the material a collection?
My Mum always jokes that I’ve lived this life before; a wise head on young shoulders if you will, so that’s probably where that came from! Some of the songs, though, you could say came from a collection. I wrote a lot of diaries when growing up as I felt, at the time, that was the only way to express myself. I was a very emotional kid! So when I started to write the record I re-visited the diaries and pieced together lyrics and experiences from them.
How important is playing live to you as an artist and how do you convey this sound in a live setting?
It’s extremely important to me because performing makes me feel alive. It’s all well and good writing a record but if you can’t perform it well live, then whats the point? For me it’s obviously the most important part of being an artist, it’s the thing that fans most want to see; your songs coming alive in front of them. We have two different setups when performing live though; acoustically and full band. I like to think it covers the ‘something for everyone’ box. Sometimes people want to chill, sometimes they want to go a bit crazy.
What are your thoughts on the blogging culture at present? Does excite you that music can be spread and shared on such a wide scope?
Absolutely, how can the world getting to know your music be a bad thing?! When A Little More Love hit YouTube we had people in Miami blogging about it and I couldn’t believe it had reached that far in 24 hours. Bloggers actually make my life easier, it’s like they’re doing my social media work for me! This whole YouTube/blogging culture is so fantastic for artists like me, anyone in the world can hear you music and just them talking about it can start a huge ripple of success.
Have you experienced the pressure of ‘hype’ and acclaim or do you feel quite contained within what you create as opposed to the musical industry competitiveness?
As I said before, I’m very lucky in the fact that my team around me are very understanding to the fact I want to do things under my own steam and in my own way, so the label side of things is very relaxed. Being a new artist though, there’s always going to be expectations and people saying you’re going to be ‘the next best thing’, but in the end I knew that from the beginning I wasn’t doing this for anyone but myself. At the moment I feel balanced and comfortable and I try to block out what’s going on around me with other artists, if I didn’t I think I would loose sight of what i’m trying to do, which is ultimately being my own person and expressing myself through my music.
Who and what inspires you?
Literature played a big part i think. If music hadn’t worked out I probably would have gone to uni to study English or to do drama. Apart from the performing arts side, plays and books became a big part of my school life, so that’s probably why lyrics come to me easily; because I submerged myself in words from an early age.
Was being Brighton-based an influence on you as a musician?
It was an amazing year I spent there for sure, I met some incredible people and did some great things. That place really is infectious, you feel like you’re in a big musical bubble most of the time because there’s always something going on. Being there definitely helped me as I found my band there and also wrote the hook to Lost And Found on the floor in my first flat! I moved to Brighton on my own, not knowing anyone, so I think I did a lot of growing up too and really found my feet. I am glad I got out when i did though; I feel like Brighton can really suck you in, you can kind of forget there’s anything else outside its walls; I think they call it the Brighton bubble syndrome!
And what is next for you in terms of new material and live shows?
Well I’m on tour at the moment supporting Andy Burrows which is brilliant, I’m loving every minute of it! Hopefully there will be another tour in the pipeline before festival season kicks in. As for new material, I’m back in the studio writing more songs on my days off so don’t worry there’s much more to come from little old me!
Words: Lauren Bridgeman