What is your name?
What is your genre of music?
I’ve heard it referred to as femme/ feral freak folk, chamber folk, baroque pop or weird;-)
Give us a little bio about you.
I grew up in a Mormon community, enjoyed hearing the piano and organ. I heard my first musical instrument at 4 years old and was mesmerized by it. Music is like magic to me. It alchemizes all the tough things in life, has this ability to celebrate darkness as well as light. I studied classical piano for my undergrad, found it constricting. Joined an African choir and drumming group. Found an anti-folk collective in London to join, started to write my own material. It came out increasingly feral with time…it definitely changed as I did, and also as I performed to an audience..
What made you get into music?
The mesmerizing experience of hearing a flute at age 4.
Are you signed?
Nope. I used to be…and I might be signing myself soon! I’m about to co-found a non profit record label for slightly weird unsigned musicians called ‘feral fusion records’. 🙂
You released your album Quenching.
The Kill, tell us more about it. ‘Quenching the Kill’ was written at a time when I was thinking about opposition in life and how to navigate it. A common theme running through is about the killer instinct that animals have, that’s in some ways quite innocent, it’s about survival- and vital. This album is about the importance of just and rightful anger and the right to freedom of expression and to speak out against injustices that I experience or see. And also has songs that celebrate the lightness and joyful moments of life.
Describe each track in two words.
Black Eyed Soup – Malignant love
Rounded Sound -joyful expression
The Good Shepherd 03:22 – abuse survival
Born Again 03:35 – Be reborn (dammit)
Golden Heart 02:39 – Death/ Rebirth
Bouncing Boots 03:34 – Giant stilts
God’s got bones 03:34 – Old Testament
Iron Shoes 03:39 – Love Quest
Freckled Agencies 01:37 – Love/ subatomic particles
Teardrop for Rosa 04:31 – my Grandma
What was the writing process like?
Most of the initial ideas for the songs came naturally, some took quite a long time to hone and craft the harmonic structure and arrangement. It helped to have a band with whom I could ask to experiment with certain ideas to see if I liked them, they were supportive of this project which was wonderful…
What was the recording process like?
The day during which the bulk of recordings was made, was actually incredibly stressful. I’d never recorded an album before, all my savings were at stake, so if it failed, if we failed to get takes of the songs that we needed, it would take me another year to save up again. As a result, I was so stressed my body was aching all over the day after and it took me a fair few days to recover! The next 1-2 recording days were just half days and much more relaxed. I think once I knew what it was like to be in that environment with that many musicians, I felt more at ease having done it once already.
What is the message you want listeners to take from the album?
That the full gamut of emotions are important to pay attention to and positively express…this is an offering of free honest expression exposing some vulnerable personal things, but transmuted, alchemized, celebrated and healed through music. I hope for anyone, that they can find a way to express what needs to be expressed in a constructive way, through whatever speaks to them as the best modality for their process. And I hope from hearing this album that maybe some things that others feel has been mirrored and acknowledged/ validated by expressing similar emotions that they might also feel..
What can we expect in 2019?
I am working on a second album and co-creating with my current bandmates in California. I also really hope to return to the UK and play there again. I’m also experimenting with looping and synths!
Do you have any collaborations coming up with any artists?
I may be collaborating with a hip hop producer in Oakland. I’m looking forward to that! I imagine writing some female and life positive songs over some big beats…I would like to express the opposite of the machismo misogynistic messages that have been coming out of modern rap…I love rap and hip hop and I get how important it is…but female empowered expression in sound matters too..
Would you be up for collaborations if other musicians wanted one with you?
And who would they have to contact?
They can contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you play any instruments?
Yes, piano, violin, voice, a little thumb piano, ukelele, synth and guitar. Piano is my first instrument, violin second. The others I hope will get stronger with practice:-)
Who are your influences?
Very early on in Regina Spektor’s career I heard her first recordings, very lo-fi- innocent, beautiful. They inspired me to first start writing. Other artists who really inspire me are Laura Mvula, Lianne LeHavas, Tank and the Bangas, Quintron and Miss Pussy Cat, Tune Yards, Tin Hat Trio, My Brightest Diamond, Jherek Bischoff, Dirty Projectors, Andrew Bird, The Onyx (amazing female group, like Destiny’s child with massive grit, just coming up in Oakland), Erykah Badu, Eska, Tanya Auclair, Bunty, Dr Striker (SF based), William Nein, Nina Simone, David Bowie, Prince, Stevie Wonder, Bobby Mc Ferrin, Laurie Anderson, The Slits, The Raincoats, Amanda Palmer, Coco Rosie, Joanna Newsom, Anna Calvi, Sylvan Esso, Aziza Mustafa Zadegh, August Green and Beyonce. That list is by no means no exhaustive, but it’s what’s come to mind just now!
How do you get inspiration to write songs?
Feelings and the urge to write tend to bubble up in a surge…calling to come out.
Where do you see yourself in 5 Years?
Hopefully, further on in my career than I am now, I hope I’ve been able to learn more musically and be able to share music with a wider audience…touring seems so hard right now financially…that’s a dream, to be able to tour..
When you’re not doing music, what do you do?
I am founding a non -profit in support of the arts and music in the SF bay area. Artistic flight impoverishes everyone living in the bay (and the world due to lack of lateral thinking in the tech world due to lack exposure to diverse expression and perspectives) and my aim is to get big tech to invest in their local community given the massive economic changes they’ve brought to the area. We have a number of activities related to that, one of which is a concert series to celebrate female identifying performers.
What was the song you listened to most that influenced you to get into the music scene?
Mmm….that’s a tough one….I guess it would n’t be one single song. There was an album simply called ‘songs’ by Regina Spektor, just her on piano and vocals that gave me the courage to write in the way I wanted to which didn’t quite fit into the normal trend of singing songs at the time…
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
Carpe Diem, seize the day. And: you deserve the very best, don’t settle for anything less. 🙂
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians not about the industry but just as an artist?
Listen to your body, self care comes first. Determine your boundaries, create a space and environment conducive to creation…and make time for it, and for free playing…allowing the cognitive mind to let go. The cognitive mind is useful for fashioning or sculpting and idea, but the ideas come from another place…deeper in the mind, or soul/ one mind if you believe in that..
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
Love is patient, love is kind
Where in your hometown is a must go to visit?
Hitchin is my hometown…a little market town north of London, with a lot of the old architecture still intact…I would suggest probably the old bookshops that have amazing antique books, if they’re still there and in business…otherwise the church is lovely, very old, picturesque with a weeping willow in front and the river Hiz, a little one;-)
You’re coming off tour;
1/ Where do you go first?
2/ Who do you see first?
Not sure, probably my cat or my partner
3/What do you eat first?
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
Lip balm. Does anyone else have lips that are forever chapped and now how to not depend on lip balm forever?? Water, snacks, my violin, myself.
Do you have social media accounts so your fans can follow you?
Yes I have all the normal ones;
However, my mailing list at my website is my preferred way to stay in touch. You can sign up here