Described by Vogue.com as “Fashion’s Favourite New Pop Star” and by Annie Mac as a “one woman powerhouse”, FEMME is back with new single ‘Gold’. We caught up with her to talk musical influences, dream venues and her favourite musical decade.
Catch FEMME live at The Hope & Ruin in Brighton on November 19th and at KOKO, London on November 27th.
What inspired new single ‘Gold’?
Gold is a result of many days spent watching Abba and Shirley Bassey videos. It was inspired by Disco and glitter balls.
Who would you say are your biggest influences musically?
The Shangri-las, Madonna, Santigold and M.I.A. I love the melody and harmony that resonates throughout Phil Spector’s girl-group era and the balls Madonna had in the 80s. Santigold and M.I.A are masters of alternative pop and continue to be inspirational to me with every release.
You write and produce all your music. Do you feel that control over production makes your music stronger?
I can’t say it makes it stronger as I will never know what my songs might’ve sounded like if they had been put into other peoples hands, but I can say that it makes them authentic and true to me. I aim to make pop with personality. What you are hearing is one person’s set of creative decisions, start to finish. This happens very often in electronic music but very rarely in pop.
Being in the studio and programming beats and bass lines is as enjoyable to me as being on stage in blinding lights. I couldn’t chose between the two. My song writing process is so intertwined with producing the track around it that it would be very hard for me to hand that over to someone else. For future albums I hope to collaborate with another producer and build a lasting creative relationship which enhances and goes beyond what I normally do alone, but for my debut album I had no interest in being carted round several different writing groups and production teams – I have no intention of traipsing down an already well-trodden road trying to shoehorn myself into someone else’s sound. Why bother? I’d rather step out in another direction and see if anyone follows. It is important to me to introduce myself to the world honestly, and the only way of doing that was to control it myself.
If you could organise your own FEMME Music Festival, which three headliners would you choose? Any other bands/artists?
I think I’d have to put together a few (dead) supergroups because there are too many artists out there who I’d want to play. I’d have Madonna and Michael Jackson duetting whilst Prince plays guitar and the Shangri-las were holding down the BVs. I’d have Destiny’s Child appearing alongside Missy Elliot and TLC. The Spice Girls running rampage with Grimes and HAIM whilst the Weeknd waits in the wings to seduce everyone with his throbbing…bass.
What would be your ‘dream venue’ be to play at?
Every since moving to London I’ve had dreams of playing Brixton Academy. It’s on my bucket list.
If you had an unlimited budget, what would you love to do for your next music video?
I’d like to shoot at Lake Retba in Senegal – a naturally occurring pink lake. We could basically be swimming around in a strawberry milkshake. Synchronised swimming, tons of Bullet Girls – Busby Berkeley style. Let’s make it happen.
If you could only chose one, which decade of music would you chose to travel back to experience?
The 60s. I feel like it was an exciting and iconic era for all things popular culture, not just music. Everyone was pushing forwards. I’d like to travel back in time and experience a party at Andy Warhol’s Silver Factory, see the first Velvet Underground gig, snog one of the Beatles and sing Shout with Little Eva.
- Check out FEMME’s new single below.