Fresh off the back of her second single ‘Wallflower’ being released, we threw some questions to Martha Hill, and were happily introduced to her excellent playlist ‘Women Are Mint‘, which we have firmly on repeat!
Welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about how you got started as an artist?
Thanks for having me! I just kind of stumbled into it. First as a hobby, but then it became a lifestyle – I was travelling around quite a bit and busking was how I got by.
You are originally from Scotland but left at 17 to travel across Europe busking. That must have been quite an eye-opening experience at 17?!
It was great to mission about and do loads of different things. I also got to play in different countries with a wide variety of musicians like Italian jazz flutists or old Spanish drummers – it definitely shaped me and the way I approach music.
And you are now living in Newcastle, what were your reasons for moving there? What’s the music scene like there?
My cousins are from there; my cousin Wilf (Dansi) is a musician, and I’d grown up having wee jams with them. They seemed to have this lifestyle that was a million miles away from what I knew, so I moved to be closer to them. The Newcastle music scene is incredible! It’s proper underground – you hear about Manchester’s scene a lot, or even Leeds, but rarely Newcastle’s. I feel like we all look out for each other a lot and support each other. Check out my Spotify playlist ‘Women Are Mint‘. It showcases female musicians based in the North East.
We’re loving your latest single ‘Wallflower’, which we’ve played on the radio show, can you tell us a bit more about what inspired this?
My inspiration for this track came when a friend jokingly called me a wallflower (I’m not the quietest on a night out). I remember thinking that just because I’m loud, it doesn’t mean I’m unobservant, and sparked off a want to explore the different characters people wear. ‘Wallflower’ is a tongue-in-cheek song about the introvert hidden within every extrovert, exploring the different characters that each of us invent for ourselves. It also touches on subjects such as conformity and social anxiety.
Your first single ‘Spiders’ was received really well getting played on BBC 6 Music – that must have been pretty great?
Yeah it was surreal! Massive thanks to Tom Robinson for playing it.
How has your year been on the festival front?
Amazing. I had a really great show on Solfest mainstage, also at Camper Calling and Big Feastival. I always love wee Lindisfarne Festival – just a bunch of geordies in a field! I used to play trombone in a few festival bands, and my girlfriend runs a stall called the Canny Bonny Boudoir, so festivals are home turf for me haha.
You’re about to embark on a tour all over the UK including the Hope & Anchor in Islington on 2nd November? Are you looking forward to playing London again and how would you describe your live shows?
Yeah I love playing live. I’m a live musician before a recording artist definitely. I particularly love playing in smaller, more intimate venues where I can engage with the audience on a personal level.
What’s 2019 got in store for Martha Hill?
I recently got granted some funding from PRS Foundations Women Make Music, so I’m going to use that to get back into the studio. Definitely more live shows! Who knows really. I’m gonna keep creating music and seeing where it takes me.
Finally as we’re a new music focused site, are there any other new/upcoming bands or artists you’d suggest we check out?
Dansi are well worth a listen to. Also I know Me Lost Me is about to release her debut album and she’s incredible! As I said – check out my Spotify playlist ‘Women Are Mint‘ – a lot of hidden gems in there.
Huge thanks to Martha for answering our questions!
Check out Martha Hill live at the Hope & Anchor on Friday 2nd November!