- WHERE WERE YOU BORN & RAISED?
I'm a true North London girl from Southgate.
- HAS YOUR CHILDHOOD ENVIRONMENT SHAPED YOU AS AN ARTIST?
'MY ART- DRAWING/PAINTING': Growing up all I ever did was draw, as early as I can remember putting pencil to paper.. I was hooked! From what I remember my father was a pretty good artist, as is my mum. They would show me how to draw horses, being one of my favorite animals, I got in to the swing of it pretty quickly and couldn't stop.. Drawing on walls, postcards from my teachers draw.. I used to take a handful when she popped out and A4 sheets of paper and took them home.. Drew all types of animals, fairytale characters to mermaids, I had books with images that I would copy from, then repeat a few times over till I could do it off by heart.. I started portrait drawing aged 10 years old. My first oil painting at 15.
'MY MUSIC' - I remember watching 'Later with Jools Holland' and being sucked in to it, I never registered the programs title till my late teens, I knew that I had to watch the next one. From Pop, Jazz, Soul, R&B, Folk, Lovers Rock and so much more, the show was showcasing musicians from around the world. I knew then that it was a world I wanted to be apart of! I went to theater school 'Graystons Theater', danced, acted, sang and took part in yearly musicals for 8 years. This awakened a new love to music, a world where being a character whom that could tell a story, was natural to me.
'MEMORY AT SCHOOL' - When I was in a school play we sang 'Memory' By Cats. As I was singing probably being 9 or 10, I started to cry.. I couldn't stop it, I understood the lyrics, the melody was ghostly and it touched me some how.. My class mates didn't realize, but that's when I also understood that music is about bringing out your emotions. Being surrounded by music from theater, TV, school plays, radio and my mother introducing me to music was the start of my carrier as a singer/songwriter.
POETRY: Studying the 'Anthology' in English. Forced in other words :) in better terms 'Taught' about poetry being a story. Within that story are 100 reasons, meanings, feelings, and explanations to why the poet wrote what they did. 'Hurricane Hits England' By Grace Nichols is one of my favorites!.. Once I got in to it, I figured out a formula.. Poetry, had 1000 meanings in a small number of words! I started to do the same, I would write to rhyme with words, feelings and letting out all that was in my head at the time to paper. This stuck till today, that's how I write my music.. '1000 meanings in one song' I have written a poetry book, this is yet to be published..
- WHATS YOUR EARLIEST MUSICAL MEMORY?
'MY MUSIC' - I love Disney, I remember watching the 'Little Mermaid' for the first time, I wanted to be just like her.. Fins being a bonus! I was transfixed on her voice, so I started to copy her, soon to realize that I was mimicking her. I began to understand tone, learning lyrics, melodies and the expression of emotions she would have in her voice 'Part Of Your World' Being the most influential as a kid. I'd sing it everyday, at school and home in front of my family relatives. I loved the story too. Followed by 'Aladdin' 'Mulan' 'Lion King' 'Pocahontas' and even 'Beauty and the beast'. DRAWING/ILLUSTRATING - I used to trace the characters and keep a book of my drawings.
'REMEMBER A MEMORY' - I even remember trying to explain to my family friend, how to sing, what I did to sound like 'ARIEL' 'The Little Mermaid'.. Saying 'Push from here', pointing to my throat and 'Just sing'..Just thinking about it cracks me up! My mother introduced, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Whitney Houston, to many others. I remember singing in the bathroom with her as she coached me on singing Whitney's ' I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU', From 'The Body Guard'. I again realized that music is endless! I do remember my discovery of dancing too. I sat watching 'Moonwalker' for the first time 'Michael Jackson's Movie', in my grandmothers living room. My eyes didn't leave the screen.. I understood that music was about visuals, a magic, a story, and being creative in telling a story in so many ways brought my imagination to life. That's how the art tied in with the music. An unmistakeable relation to music/art being one..
- DO YOU PLAY ANY INSTRUMENTS?
I can play the piano, chords mainly. Learning the guitar.
- WHATS YOUR SONGWRITING PROCESS?
I would write in my writing pad, I keep this by my bed.. Usually sketch late at night sometimes, I tend to think more, reflect on the day, what happened, by drawing out a few images. Piece together ideas, writing about how I feel and think about what my friends even go through.. These would be poems, and I'd read them over at times. I would think of 'A WORD' just pops in to my head, get my iPad out and record ideas on Garage Band. I would play in some chords from my keyboard, or guitar and then write the melody of the song. Then the lyrics would follow, adding harmonies too. Sometimes I would go through my writing book if I cant sleep with a melody Idea, and see if any of the poems fit.. I sketched illustrations of 'JACK AND THE BEANSTALK' ill share this soon.
'DREAMING OF SONGS' - Sometimes I'd dream of a whole song, verse, bridge chorus, I would get my mobile out being half asleep and begin singing the melody and the lyrics would flow... I've done this a few times, I keep those mumbled recordings to remind myself of how mad I am sometimes!
'COLLABORATING' - I love writing with other people, If my producer or guitarist has a melody, I find that the songs can flow. Writing for me is a playground of songs, melodies and harmonies that paint pictures in words, come to life to share with the world.
- WORDS OR MUSIC, WHICH COMES FIRST?
"I usually hear the melody first, then the words come after, sometimes it’s the other way round”
- WHERE WAS YOUR FIRST GIG?
At a wedding! My family friend who's also a musician (Pianist) asked me if I wanted to sing a song for the bride and groom for the entrance of their ceremony, whilst the bride walked down the isle! They wanted 'Des'ree' - KISSING YOU' Also featured in the movie 'Romeo & Juliet'. The day came and the nerves were running through me, they slowly eased off as the piano came in and I could see the bride together with her father.. I took a breath and sang it, without losing my voice or forgetting the words.. A memory I could never forget.. :)
- FAVORITE ARTIST/INFLUENCES?
- Joni Mitchell - Her perky, quirky up beat melodies and imaginative lyrics that gift a song a charm, I find inspiring as well as timeless.
The Carpenters - Heart felt songs, multi talented instrumentalist and duo that shaped music of their time.
Sting - Creative, experimental and songs that I love! Also helped me go through some hard times.
Michael Jackson - Visually artistic, musical inspiration and a man whom gifted us all, not to mention 'Quincy Jones' and 'ToTo' Steve Porcaro and John Bettis (Writers of Human Nature) bringing some of the magic in some of his work.
Stevie Wonder - Melodies, and vocal arrangements that made me really listen to music. How it's constructed, and the different sounds he used to create each track.
Diana Ross - Her tone and music had a Motown pop that I liked, found it playful and really influenced this aspect of writing for me. My mum used to sing 'Cant hurry love' and play me the song.. Her stage presence and charisma also ooze a charm. I was also a fan of OZ, saw the movie randomly when I was at home sick, when there she was starring as Dorothy.. The movie was visually captivating for me, creative, and dark in some areas but her voice in the song 'Home' was what I felt was what a singer should be like.. Giving her heart in that one moment.
James Blunt, Eva Cassidy, Bill Withers, Ella Fitzgerald, Lionel Richie, Tracey Chapman (Fast Car) Love the song! Bob Dylan, and Gotye. Thank you all for inspiring me..