Releasing her new single 'No Words' today, the South-London songstress speaks on the process of releasing her first singles of the year, finding inspiration in lockdown and her visually-charged sound.
You recently released your first single of the year 'Just One of Those Days', how does it feel to have this track out and how has the response been?
It felt good because I haven’t released anything in a while and it’s nice to finally get the ball rolling! I was really, really happy with the response - overwhelmed, as I’ve said I haven’t dropped anything in a while, so it was different but I’m happy.
What were your main inspirations going into writing this track?
I would definitely say the weather at the time. I think I started writing it around last May and it was nice and warm and I was just in good spirits, honestly. I think it’s definitely the weather, it always makes us happy.
What was the process of creating the single and how has working been throughout lockdown?
It has had it’s challenges because I like to use my experiences to write my songs and when you’re just locked in your house, it’s like what are you experiencing? It’s been a bit difficult but it’s allowed me to find different ways of coming up with certain lyrics and finding inspiration.
"Music for me isn’t just a listening experience, it’s very visual."
Have you found that your sound has changed or evolved from having to find inspiration in a new way because of the lockdown?
Yeah, definitely. I feel like it’s also given me a chance to try out loads of different things and realising that just because I’ve made a song, it doesn’t mean that I have to release it. I can keep on making different sounds and until you get to a song where you’re like ‘Oh, I really like this’, it’s allowed me to have a trial and error period.
You also released the visual, who did you work with and how was the process of creating it?
The person who directed it was Destiny and I had a stylist alongside myself and a girl called Cleo, who assisted me. It was really fun, I’m really interested in creative directing so I creatively directed that shoot. It was really fun to see what I had envisioned come to life and realising that when you’re doing video shoots, not everything is going to go your way but you just have to learn to compromise.
The day we decided to shoot it, it started to snow … so, half of the shots from that aren’t even included because it just wasn’t good [laughs]. It was a good experience but yeah I definitely enjoyed it.
How important is that visual aspect to your music?
It’s very important to me. Music for me isn’t just a listening experience, it’s very visual. I have Synesthesia, so I can see colours when I listen to music, so it’s important for me to get that visual aspect across as well. I think moving forward, there’s definitely going to be more visuals when it comes to my music.
"Every song has a colour and every colour has a mood ... I just kind of create the whole song around that ..."
Do you find having that approach to music helps you to build a more authentic sound?
Yeah, definitely. Every song has a colour and every colour has a mood. So, I just kind of create the whole song around that mood or colour, it definitely helps.
You released ‘Apple Bottom Jeans’ alongside Zino Vinci, how did your collaboration come about and how was the process of creating this track?
I got into contact with Zino Vinci around 2019 and we just became really good friends, he’s a lovely guy. So, we kept in contact and said that we’ll definitely work together, because he’s very talented as well. Then later on, I found this beat and did my verse and was just thinking that it would sound good with a rapper on it and my first thought was Zino Vinci, so I hit him up and he sent back his verse and it was great! Obviously, we couldn’t really link up to record at that time and then my friend Denzino, he’s a great engineer, he did it all for us. Hopefully, we have some stuff coming up soon!
You’ve also been working on your new EP ‘Profile 01’, how has that process been?
So, it’s funny because at the start of the year I had so many plans and now I’m just moving with the times! It’s definitely in the works and you’ll still hear some stuff, single wise, from me before it comes. So far, it’s going great - I’m definitely excited for people to hear what I’ve been working on. I’ve been working on it for a couple of years now.
"I just kind of used that to prove that I could do it and then going forward, it’s been about elevating my sound … it was a very vital piece."
How do you feel your sound or process has evolved since working on your debut compared to your upcoming EP?
Definitely, my debut EP isn’t out anywhere - I think it was on SoundCloud … I made it private because I don’t like it anymore! I feel like I’ve definitely progressed from that point.
How was the process of putting ‘Off The Record’ together and what did you want to explore within that project?
So, it was actually for my College project but I wanted to release it as well. I’m really glad I got the opportunity because it really pushed me to do this EP. That whole project was for myself, to prove to myself that I could do this, basically [laughs]. So, it had me singing, rapping and I did some mixing and production as well, on the last song where I’m doing spoken word, that was all produced by me. Honestly, I just kind of used that to prove that I could do it and then going forward, it’s been about elevating my sound … it was a very vital piece.
How does having the prior experience in producing and mixing for example, allow you to have more creative control?
It just allows me to know what I want. I’m very specific in what I want within my music. Before, I was very quiet and would let people do whatever but now I’m really trying to take charge. My engineer, Denzino, he’s also a really good friend of mine so I’m able to just tell him how I want it and he’ll just do it and whilst I watch him mix and master my stuff, it gives me more knowledge.
Hopefully, soon I can get to a point where I can just do it myself, so yeah, it definitely just helps you to have more control over how you want something to sound and not just like someone else is doing it for you.
Do you draw inspiration from mediums other than music e.g. film, fashion, art?
Definitely, I draw inspiration from the nineties era - I love the fashion. The fashion is just amazing, like 90-2000’s. Also, I guess music videos there’s so many amazing visuals out there. Also nineties films like 'Love Jones' and 'Boomarang' … they’re just like my favourite things, aesthetically.
Being from London, are there any local artists you would recommend?
Yeah, it really is just overflowing with talent! So, I guess Joe James, I’ve been banging him out he’s so cold. Ojerime, BINA., Denzino, Şifa, Zino Vinci and Jaydonclover, as well.
Which artists first inspired you to get into music and who is inspiring you today?
I guess I listened to a lot of Michael Jackson, when I was little. I remember in secondary school, we had a fancy dress party and everyone was dressed up as fairies and Beyonce and I was Michael Jackson [laughs] … you know from the ‘Rock My World’ video with the pink shirt, that was me! Back then, I was listening to a lot of Jill Scott, Erykah Badu and Lauryn Hill just in my house and a lot of old school Hip-Hop too like A Tribe Called Quest, I guess being brought up on all of that stuff definitely had an impact on me.
Now, definitely Solange, I would say she’s at the top for me. Just the way that she elevated her sound and her creative directing is just amazing. I feel like after her ‘When I Get Home’ visual there was a lot of people doing that whole synchronisation and nude colours … after that drop it was a reset. There’s a woman called Alexandria, she’s got a project called ‘Cut of Cloth’, she’s quite lowkey but that project for me was amazing, definitely one of my top inspirations.
If you had to recommend five artists to your listeners, who would you choose?
What’s coming up for 2021?
Definitely more visuals, more singles and a project!