What is your name?
– Alices Night Circus
What is your genre of music?
– It’s a curious journey down a musical rabbit hole, featuring a blend of apocalyptic fairy-tale Steampop with a touch of the circus.
Give us a little bio about you.
– I am classically trained and started my journey in classical music and the musicals before venturing into my own style of music, which encompasses influences from a wide range of musical genres and literature. I now only perform my own songs. I started singing professionally in my late teens whilst running my own business as a designer of fashion and jewellery. It was however following a meeting with Eliot Kennedy – songwriter and producer that I ventured into Steelwork Studios to “find” my own sound through the writing of my own songs. ‘From day one I realized we were working with a real artist in Alice’s Night Circus. Not only a designer of fashion and jewellery but also a real visionary regarding her music. It was a fab project to be a part of and I am really proud of what we have done together. I wish every success possible’!!! – Eliot Kennedy – Songwriter / Producer. I have had ME since the age of 17 and the life experiences this has brought me have strongly influenced my music, which concentrates on the positive outcomes that can be achieved by overcoming life’s difficulties. I have developed a fan base within the Steampunk community and am now moving into a more mainstream audience recently performing at Liverpool Sound City, Whitby Pavillion and Lincoln Engine Shed.
What made you go in to music?
I was successful at school and was studying art in relation to costume design when my tutor said to me “you know you are far more passionate when you talk about your music than any other subject”. It made me realize that my passion was for music and I wanted to make my own style and write original music.
Are you a signed?
Not to a major label, I am working with Alya records at present.
Tell us more about the lead track ‘Stand Up’ off for brand new album.
Stand up is a triumphant song based around overcoming the struggles life may throw into our paths. I didn’t want to linger on the negative aspects of the many trials and tribulations that we all go through whether they are health struggles, relationship problems or otherwise, I wanted to grasp onto the idea of there being a light at the end of the tunnel and that our experiences in life make us into who we are. That it’s okay to come out the other side changed but stronger for our experiences.
Who did you work with on the single?
I worked with Philippa Hannah and James Jawawardena at Steelworks Studios in Sheffield.
You released your brand new album ’Metamorphose’, tell us more about it.
The title of the album is Metamorphose, a word I thought highly appropriate as this album and all the songs on it were very much about me finding who I was, the message I wanted to send out into the world and then becoming that person. There are a lot of themes across the album ranging from very personal stories regarding my experiences with M.E and learning to cope with an invisible disability, influences from some of my favourite literary sources such as George Orwell, Aldous Huxley and H.G Wells, through to more light-hearted themes regarding being comfortable in your own skin and expressing yourself as well as the odd spooky tale of a character called Mr Strange under the title of Penny Dreadful.
Who did you work with on the Album?
In addition to co-writing songs with Philippa and James, 2 of my songs were co-written with Eliot Kennedy the Ivor Novello award winner and Grammy nominated songwriter and producer who owns Steelworks Studios
Describe each track in three words.
Curious World – Welcoming. Curious. Promising.
The Machine – Rebellious. Non-conforming. Industrial.
War of the Worlds – Funky. Upbeat. Thoughtful.
Medusa – Mournful. Somber. Wistful.
Stand Up – Triumphant. Overcoming. Powerful
Never Enough – Fantastical. Dreamy. Whimsical.
Dark Water – Meditation. Relaxation. Calmness.
Illuminate – Uplifting. Anthemic. Strong.
Penny Dreadful – Quirky. Fun. Dark.
The Show Must Go On – Melancholy. Introspective. Encouraging.
Will you be doing a tour or any live dates?
I love performing live and would love to do a tour sometime soon.
If so where will you be heading and where can more information be found.
All my gigs are advertised on my website www.alicesnightcircus.com I have gigs this month in Hastings, LLangollen and Gosport as well as going to South Korea in early October to perform at the Zandari Festa music Festival.
What else can we expect from you?
More music, I already have 1 track written and will be looking to write more over the coming months.
Do you play any instruments?
I used to play Piano, guitar and keyboard but my M.E. has meant that I now concentrate on my main instrument – my voice.
Who are your influences?
I am hugely inspired by Florence and the Machine, the energy she brings to her live performances has always made me strive to do my best, I also really enjoy the honesty she brings to her sound as well. I’ve always loved musicals and I’ve always had quite a big voice, for a while I did consider heading to the West End before I worked on my original music so I think some of that snuck into my sound as well, purely because it seems to suit my natural voice so much. I’ve also been inspired by musicians like IAMX, Muse, Oingo Boingo and Kate Bush.
How do you get inspiration to write songs?
Mainly from my life experiences but also from the highly creative steampunk culture I love.
Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years?
I would like to be recognized as a serious and credible artist and be able to earn my living from my music.
When you’re not doing music, what do you do?
I design and create my own costumes and I am an active steampunk and cosplayer so I like to attend steampunk and cosplay events when I have the time.
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
Someone once told me that the only opinion that really matters are the opinions of people you care about. I find this can really help you work out whose advice means something to you and whose advice you can take with a pinch of salt. It’s also helped me with any negativity I have come across. People are allowed their opinions, but their opinions only have power over me if I allow them to, those that are important to me I accept and those that are not I brush off and continue on!
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians not about the industry and just as an artist?
To keep doing what you love and make sure you stay true to yourself no matter what offers may come by or those who may try to push you in a direction you are uncomfortable with. If you stay true to yourself you’ll remain happy with what you have done, if you allow yourself to be pushed somewhere you don’t want to go you may regret the path you end up going down.
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
I have always been a huge fan of the late Sir Terry Pratchett. One of his quotes is ‘Fantasy is an exercise bicycle for the mind. It might not take you anywhere, but it tones up the muscles that can.’ I particularly love the sentiment behind this idea, that a little fantasy and escape is good and healthy for the mind! It’s absolutely the spirit behind my music too, a little escape from reality to give you the strength to carry on when it all comes rushing back.
Where in your hometown is the best place to Visit?
I was born in Sheffield and now live near Lincoln. The best place to visit in the Sheffield area is the Peak District near Hathersage (Stanage Edge) and in Lincolnshire I would recommend a visit to Lincoln Castle – they have a copy of the Magna Carta and a great Victorian prison within their walls. It’s also next to the Cathedral.
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
1). The pre-gig excitement.
2).That first moment when I step out onto the stage and the audience reacts.
3).Often at Steampunk gigs the audience is dressed very creatively, I love spotting some of the really eye-catching outfits from up front!
4). Lately I have noticed the audience I have performed to all know my songs loud enough to sing along with them, hearing them singing over the top of the music is an incredible feeling!
5).The buzz afterwards and getting to chat with fans!