When did you first get into music? What or who Inspired you?
- I was 13 when I bought my first proper record, which was Live Through This by Hole. I bought it whilst I was spending a couple of weeks at a friends house whilst my mum was away. We’d never heard anything like it before and I remember us just hanging out of her window feeling euphoric listening to Courtney Love singing ‘And the sky was made of amethysts…’ and shrieking looking up at the sky and down into the street.
- I first properly became interested in music at school when I met some like minded friends who were up for playing music together. We listened to all sorts of music to begin with, from psychedelic 60’s stuff to Grunge, hip-hop and funk and everything else in between. I had piano lessons since I was young which was extremely useful. I was able to apply my knowledge of classical piano to the jams that we were having which made everything quite experimental and exciting.
Who did you grow up listening to, and does that impact on what you create now?
- I grew up listening to everything, some of it was terrible! But the music that stayed with me is very important to me. Bands like Nirvana, The Fall and Joy Division. Since I was very young I’ve listened to the big 60’s stars like Hendrix, Nina Simone and James Brown. Massive Attack have always been a huge influence too, as it seems that you can’t escape it here in Bristol, their influence is everywhere and its amazing to witness that.
- It might sound weird, but I can’t see a definite link between much of what I grew up listening to and how it impacts me now. I’ve always enjoyed music, I started paying more attention to it as a teenager, but it wasn’t until I was an adult that I started making music, and even now at 29 years old after singing for the last seven or eight years, is it that I really am starting to feel a bit more like a musician who is really paying attention to the separate elements that make up a song.
How long have you been playing/writing?
- Since I started playing piano so 18 years.
- I’ve been writing since I was a child, but it wasn’t until I was about 21 that I started actually turning what I was writing into songs. I’ve been making music for about seven or eight years.
How often do you play live (include details and links for any upcoming gigs)?
- I play live sporadically. I gig quite a bit last year with a couple of different guitarists who learned songs I’d written on guitar or stuff I’ve written with James. It gave me some more freedom to keep doing shows even if James was busy with other bands that he’s in.
- Now that we’ve just made a record though, we are pretty on it with doing shows together as a whole band. Our album launch in Bristol is at a place called the old malt house and its this Friday, April 24. Then we have another London album launch on May 17 at a place called the magic garden in Battersea. We are also playing as a band at Farm Fest, and as a trio at Shambala, boomtown fair, how the light gets in Festival and Bestival.
- Usually about 3 times a week. I am a self employed musician and performing live is what I make most my money doing.
What has been your favourite moment in music?
- Today was pretty good! we’ve got a really great new bass player and we were in the rehearsal room arranging a new song together. It’s a really bonkers intense song, both lyrically and musically. I felt like I was kind of prowling around the room and then I pause and just watch the guys just smashing out these nuts and rhythms and melodies and James is just hammering the keys so fast. It’s those moments that as someone who feels like they only just qualify as a musician, just kind of blow your mind and make you feel super privileged to be able to be there amongst it all. I think we all felt it though, the room just felt like it was shaking and we were all just kind of buzzing and exhausted at the end as if we’ve been doing am kind of chaotic jazz workout. Working on new material when it’s going well is basically just the best feeling ever.
- I studied music at Leeds University, and they had a competition for young composers. The prize was getting one of your compositions scored for a 40 piece orchestra. I submitted a piano piece, and it got chosen to be scored. I’ll never forget watching the orchestra; it was amazing to hear 15 violins playing lines that I had only heard through playing it myself on the piano in my bedroom!
Where is the best place to find you online?