Hello. In your own words, how would you describe your sound and style?
I always struggle with this question. I think it’s difficult to identify your sound when your influences come from all different genres, styles and eras, although, I guess you could describe my sound as pop with country and folk nuances.
My style, however, is heavily dominated by my passions. Aware of injustices of all types (particularly gender-based) which exist within our society, I have always tried to use my music to explore the emotions I feel for these issues.
You recently released your debut EP “Long Live The Woman”. What is the story behind the EP, its title, and the songs it consists of?
The EP was actually initially part of my final year studying Music at Newcastle University. After receiving such good feedback and, most of all, after falling in love with the project, I decided to record it. Two of my lecturers, Fred Hollingsworth and David de la Haye, produced everything and really brought my dream to life. I wanted to keep the project acoustic and authentic, with an untouched and live feel to the music.
I have always been fortunate to be surrounded by strong and independent women. Together with my own experiences, their stories of womanhood along with the heartbreaking stories of violence against women that have flooded the media in recent years inspired me to write a composition which sought to both empower and educate.
I spent some time trying to think of an EP title which would capture the themes and ideas within the project. “Long Live The Woman” felt right for two reasons. Firstly, as the words have strong connotations of protest, I thought that the title would associate my EP to a protest against the injustices faced everyday by women all around the world. Secondly, no matter how much we try to fight for gender equality, there will always be people who try to prevent it. I want to inspire people, even if only a few, to not give up with the fight.
What themes and ideas influence your music and writing?
As you can probably infer, I am mostly driven by my passion for equality and justice. However, I have always been in awe of how music has the power to move people and give relief to emotions and feelings. I try to write from a personal and honest perspective and hope that my music is able to connect with people, no matter how few.
Do you have any plans for the year ahead that you would like to share with us? Also, what would you like to achieve in the upcoming year?
So, I am currently studying for a PGCE in Primary Education at Newcastle University. I know that music will help me throughout my career as I hope to foster a love for music in the children with whom I will be working. I think it is extremely important for young children to have opportunities to see and be involved with music. It has many benefits on the development and growth of children and, most of all, it is a wonderful thing to experience. During my undergraduate degree, I came across an article which emphasised the importance of “music for music’s sake”. Sometimes children don’t need a reason to learn and practice music; they should just be free to explore and have fun.
Aside from my studies, I have a few headline gigs lined up in Newcastle where I’ll be supported by some wonderful musicians. After growing up in The Lake District and establishing a strong musical presence over there, I am eager to expand my brand into the North East. There are some wonderful venues in which I would love to perform.
In terms of releasing music, there are a few songs that I would love to release as singles (and perhaps with a band) but maybe that’s a project for the summer holidays!
I feel so lucky to be able to embrace my two main passions in life: music and teaching.
What advice do you have specifically for other north east artists? And what advice do you have for artists in general?
I think it is so easy to get caught up in the ‘big goals’ for a musician in life that you can forget to appreciate the smaller wins. For me, I have started to take pride in knowing that my music has touched a few people, rather than feeling deflated if it has not reached a certain number of streams.
The ability to write or perform music that resonates and connects with people is an incredible privilege. It is one that shouldn’t be taken for granted, nor should it be ignored.
Lastly, what artists are on your radar that you would recommend others listen to & see live?
I was recently at a gig watching Newton Faulkner at Wylam Brewery and had the pleasure of seeing his support act, Sam Richardson. I would highly recommend him (and Newton Faulkner, for that matter) to anyone!
On a more global scale, the New York based sibling trip, Bailen, are a group I am eager to see when they tour the UK.
Aside from that, I would urge people to seek out any local musicians performing at small venues in Newcastle. You have no idea how much it means to them!