Talk us through your creative process when writing.
I don’t usually go into a session with a specific idea in mind. I know a lot of people often have concepts or titles or lyrics before they go into a session, and every now and then I do do that and it can work out amazingly, but for the most part I just go in with a blank page and wait to see what sort of mood we get into and what kinda vibe the track starts to take on. My melodies will be totally prompted by whatever the producer begins to create, and my lyrics just come out alongside that. I have to write chronologically as well! Verse, then pre, then chorus. Otherwise my head gets all over the place and I don’t understand the progression of the story. I always write from my own personal experiences as well (usually about boys/romance!); that’s why my lyrics are always so specific – they have to be about stuff that’s actually happened to me, otherwise i can never find the words.
You don’t come from a musical background – what made you decide to pursue music as a career, was there a defining moment?
I think it was just the moment I realised I could sing, however old I was then.. maybe 6 or 7? – from then on there was no stopping me. I was listening to every pop diva/pop group out there and trying to emulate them and fantasising about being them when I grew up. I started writing really young too, all sorts of poems and short stories and songs. Honestly, I’ve wanted to be a ‘pop star’ for as long as I can remember. There’s never been any plan B!
We know you’re a dedicated 90’s baby music wise, did you go to many gigs growing up? Best one you’ve ever been to?
Oooof that’s hard. I went to see the Spice Girls with my mum and my friends and their mums and it was obviously bloody brilliant. I can’t wait to re-live it all over again next summer! I’m going with exactly the same group again, all the gals and all the mums. And everyone’s got their assigned Spice – me being Sporty again of course. Destiny’s Child were also amazing. Christina Aguilera – she was always my number one. Her vocals…. damnnn.
Do you remember the first song you wrote that you felt really proud of?
Yeah I wrote one which I sang in my school talent show with three of my best friends when we were like 14… we sang it acapella and had these really vague dance movements (more just arm movements really) that went with it. I was so proud when I wrote that, it was called ‘I Don’t Know Why’… looking back now it was really really horrendous lol but I loved it at the time! More recently, probably about 5 years ago, I wrote a song called ‘All Her Gold’ which I still love now. Think it tells a really dark but beautiful story. Who knows if I’ll ever re-work it!
2018’s clearly been a great year for you, with Give ‘n’ Take reaching 12 million streams, your first London headline and recently releasing the ‘Cut & Run’ video (which is incredible). What’s on the agenda for 2019?
Yeah GnT is nearly on 13 mil now, I can’t believe it! I’m so glad you love the Cut & Run video; it wasn’t the obvious route to go down concept-wise, but we were really pleased we chose the story that we did. And yeah, I had my first headliner in January and then my second last Friday which was honestly one of the best nights of my life! Having everyone sing back the lyrics to so many of my songs at the top of their lungs was just such a pinch-me moment. I’ve actually got another single called Business, which is out now! It shows a slightly more vulnerable side of me, which I think is due after 3 fairly sassy songs. In early 2019 I’ve got an EP coming which i’m so so proud of. I love every single song on it. There’s a few feature songs coming out too, then hopefully a mad summer of festivals!
You played a couple of festivals this Summer, Rize festival, The Great Escape, Belfast Vital festival.. how were they for you?
I love playing live so much, there’s literally no other feeling like it. Belfast Vital was HUGE and was my biggest show so far by a long way. 20,000 people… Madness. I can’t wait to do it all over again next summer.
Most memorable gig you’ve played?
Probably my headline gig in London recently. It was the most loving amazing crowd I’ve ever performed to. So intimate and packed out, and everyone knew all the words and wanted to hang out after and it was just the most amazing energy all round. Belfast is a very very close second though cos I mean, 20,000 people… That was unforgettable.
4 singles this year….. any chance of an album on the horizon?
All I ever want to be doing is releasing music. I always get so impatient when we have to take our time. No album just yet, but a 5 track EP will be coming early 2019, which is so exciting. I just want everyone to be able to hear more music all the time!
Who’s on the dream list of collabs?
Ariana Grande! Rihanna! Halsey, Charli xcx, Nina Nesbitt, Drake, Rosalía, Eminem and Tyler The Creator. The list goes on and on.
Any albums/tracks you’re loving right now?
Rosalía’s ‘El Mal Querer’, Maisie Peter’s new EP and ‘thank u, next’ obvs
Biggest guilty pleasure?
Song-wise? None are guilty pleasures! If I love it then I love it, no guilt about it ha.