What is your name?
What is your genre of music?
Singer-songwriter / Acoustic / Folk-pop
Give us a little bio about you.
I’m a singer-songwriter from Edinburgh who has toured successfully throughout the UK, Europe, US and Australia. I started out singing and performing in musical theatre, earning a degree in drama and performance. I also studied popular music as a vocalist at Edinburgh College and love many genres of music. I’m very proud of my roots in theatre, it helped me develop my voice and it got me interested in music from a young age. Since then I’ve made one album, two EP’s and released three singles. I recently supported the wonderful Joshua Radin at the Queens Hall in Edinburgh and have been fortunate to land several performance features on Scotland’s STV channel and BBC Radio Scotland, including a live studio session with Janice Forsyth (BBC The Janice Forsyth Show).
What made you go in to music?
Nothing makes me happier than singing. I genuinely feel ‘zen’ when I perform and it’s a beautiful feeling, I loved it as a child and I still love it – even more so today.
Are you a signed?
Your set to release your new single ‘Perfect’, tell us more behind the track title and meaning.
It’s a simple reminder to see the good in ourselves and be proud of our achievements, through all the challenges we face. I’d like us all to be able to appreciate things in the moment more and I worry about how easy it is to fall down the social media rabbit hole… clicks, likes, data – why should that be what defines us and what we create and share? I wrote this song to cheer myself up and feel good about life.
Describe ‘Perfect’ in two words.
What was the writing process like?
For this song, it was straight forward. There was no struggle, I found the melody and chorus quickly. I knew before I started that I wanted to write from this perspective and I played around with the lyrics and tempo until I was happy with it. I was determined to make it sound more ‘pop’ thank folk, and I think I achieved that. It would have been easy to write a ballad around this idea, so, avoiding that was the main challenge! Creating a hook and a vibe.
What was the recording process like?
Recording with Garry Boyle at Slate Room Studio in Pentcaitland is always wonderful. I’m fortunate to work with him and Thilo Pfander (my partner) – in such a beautiful space.
We did a guide vocal/acoustic guitar to a click – and then added everything around it. The intention was to over dub more of a pop sounding vocal at the end, to give it more of a compressed, slick feel, but, in end, we thought the original vocal sounded great and had such a nice feel that we went with that instead.
That’s what I love about recording, you can create something unintentionally. It can bring an array of surprises if you allow yourself to be in the moment and flexible with the outcomes. I tend to let things happen organically, so this was probably the most structured project I’ve ever worked on.
Will we see a video for the single?
Yes! We are half way through the filming… however, I took a tumble recently and am nursing a fractured ankle. Plan B is fully in action but we’ll see how fast I heal and/or how creative we can be with our concept.
Will we see an EP or Album at the end of the year?
I am working on a bigger project for 2018, but I’ll release another one or two singles early next year. I always put out a free download – direct from my website – in December for my supporters too, and look forward to it every year.
if so what can we expect?
The next song is quite exciting… it’s more electronic… dark but with some cool beats. It’s got a folk sentiment, with an ambient tone around it. It’ll be different – I like to mix it up.
Do you have any gigs or tours coming up?
Yes, my gigs are schedule from mid-October – February. However, I need to make sure my ankle is fully healed before announcing them! Just in case…
If so where will you be heading?
I am touring UK and Europe, I’m planning on spending more time in Germany – so I’ll try and reach out to more EU countries for a change. I’m also chatting with a promoter in Iceland, which will be amazing.
Do you play any instruments?
Voice, guitar, piano and clarinet
Who are your influences?
Joni Mitchell, Nick Drake, Ron Sexsmith, Kate Bush, Leonard Cohen, KT Tunstall, Regina Spektor, Barbara Streisand, John Martyn, Barbara Dickson, Bette Midler, Eva Cassidy… so many
How do you get inspiration to write songs?
It can vary, but mostly if I keep up my practice of writing ‘morning pages’ and creating some space to approach creative projects later in the day, I find that I can tap in to inspiration fairly easily. I believe it’s up to us as creators to find the inspiration – we shouldn’t be complacent and expect ideas to show up and hang around. It’s work ethic and practice, a muscle like any other that needs exercised regularly.
Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years?
Working on blending all my influences and experience together and touring an interesting, eclectic mix of songs. I’m keen to work on more theatrical pieces too, working with visual and movement elements – I’d love to produce an Edinburgh Fringe show. I heard Barbara Dickson in conversation this year and to be able to build a stellar career like hers would be amazing. Folk, pop, theatre, acting – she has done it all and continues to perform and create. It’s so inspiring.
When you’re not doing music, what do you do?
I geek out with books and writing, and I have a solid Ashtanga yoga practice (when I’m not injured!) and I love to travel as much as possible. Downtime is also largely about hanging out with family or in our local pub, with Thilo and my mates – it’s the best.
What was the song you listened to most that influenced you to go more in to the music scene?
Black Eyed Dog (Nick Drake) – it was on the sound track to ‘Practical Magic’ and it got me to listen to songs away from musical theatre. That, and ‘A Case of You’ by Joni Mitchell.
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
Believe in yourself and your talent. It doesn’t matter if people tell you that you’re good at something, if you can’t feel it and don’t believe it yourself, then you’ll not be able to move forwards with it.
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians not about the industry and just as an artist?
Write and create because you love it and because you can’t imagine your life without creating music. It’s not supposed to be chased to feed the ego or fill up your bank account. It’s a vocation and a practice, a way of life. It’s important to share it with your community and to support and encourage those around you who are working hard at it too. Make a pact to provide for your art, don’t ask it to provide for you…
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
It’s from the serenity prayer – and I think it’s powerful, in any context:
“grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.”
Where in your hometown is a must go to visit?
The Royal Mile, that way you get to experience the beauty of the Old Town, see the castle and soak up the atmosphere. Edinburgh is a genuinely beautiful city.
Your straight off tour;
1/ where do you go?
Straight home to my bed…
2/ who do you see?
Bar Brig! We love them in there. Also, my nieces and nephew who live in Portobello.
3/what do you eat?
Pizza at Oregano in Leith – it’s the best.
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
Jewellery that belonged to my late mother.
My pedal tuner.
Thilo (he plays piano for me!)
Lyrics, although, sometimes I do forget them …
If you had to give your younger self advice, what would it be?
Stop worrying so much! It will be ok, having freckles (including one on your lip) is not the end of the world.
Do you have social media accounts so your fans can follow you?