Introducing Interview: St. Blue

Following the release of her latest single ‘I’m Not Your Baby’, St. Blue has proven that making the leap from cover artist to singer-songwriter in her own right was a risk worth taking. We caught up with the South London based singer to find out more.

Hi St Blue, welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about your sound?
Thank you for having me. The sound I set out to achieve for this first collection of songs was dreamlike and uplifting. I grew up listening to indie and ’80s music, so I’ve always loved finding hooks outside of the vocal melody, with the guitar and bass lines having just as much of a catchy input. 

When did you decide to pursue a career in music?
I’ve been in and out of music for about fifteen years. It was always something that I kept going back to but more as an escape from whatever else was going on in my life. In terms of putting original music out there, I guess I never really had the confidence to think about it seriously until two years ago. The records I have today are created by piecing together years of song writing material – it felt like the right time.

Your new single ‘I’m Not Your Baby’ is out now – can you tell us what it’s all about?
‘I’m Not Your Baby’ is about a girl I was dating after a major relationship ended. There was so much about the two of us together that we knew would never work but I think that’s why it was right at the time. I wanted to get across that sometimes we are able to act out of habit rather than feeling.

Who would you say are your main musical influences?
So many artists have inspired my music, whether directly or indirectly. I’d say my older influences include Dusty Springfield and Dionne Warwick. More recent artists include Banks, Lykke Li and Jessie Ware.

How is your local music scene? Which venues did you enjoy going to before lockdown?
The North/East London music scene is great! Favourite venues have got to be The Old Queen’s Head, The Victoria, Oslo, EartH and The Roundhouse.

As we’re a new music focused site, are there any new/upcoming bands or artists you’d recommend to us?
My favourite finds of 2020 are The Big Moon, an indie band called Palace, and Arlo Parks is an absolute inspiration.

How do you feel the music industry is for new artists at the moment?
I think it can be really tricky for new artists at the moment, especially as audiences have become more focussed on social media rather than live experiences. I think it can be harder for people with more of an old soul approach as well; this notion that they may not be heard if they’re not promoting online. I’ve learnt so many things since I first released music in November. I think it’s important for us to focus more on our art and not necessarily the amount of attention it’s getting. Your audience will follow in time if you are true to yourself.

Despite the lockdown, what are you hoping to have achieved by the end of 2020?
I’ve been writing brand new material and I’m planning on releasing an EP by the end of 2020. The sound will be more of a relaxed, off beat vibe and more vocally lead. I’ll still be adding some catchy bass lines and guitar parts, as I will be concentrating on a sound that is more organic and live. I have an amazing relationship with my producer and he manages to capture exactly what it is I’m going for.

Huge thanks to St. Blue for answering our questions!

 

‘I’m Not Your Baby’ is out now.

Introducing Interview: The Frisbys

Having received praise from the likes of Amazing Radio, Gigwise and For Folk’s Sake, South London folk collective The Frisbys create twinkling, emotion-strewn offerings, oozing a sweeping musicality and celestial splendour.

With a new EP set for release this week, we caught up with Nicola Frisby from the band to find out more…

Hi, welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about The Frisbys? 
Hi! We are an alternative folk/country band from South London. Our band consists of myself (Helen – vocals, flute), my twin sister Nicola (vocals – guitar), my husband Sam Keer (electric guitar) and three of our friends from university/college – Sal Palekar (piano and violin), Will Cattermole  (bass) and Tom Finigan (dums). We will be releasing our third EP, My Wicked Mind this week and we’re looking forward to hopefully playing live again as soon as we possibly can!  

How did you initially all get together and start creating music?
Although Nicola and I have been writing music together since we were teenagers, our line up as a band has changed massively over the last few years. When Nicola and I started creating music, we were an acoustic duo playing locally around South London with just harmonies, guitar and a flute. Gradually as the years have gone by, we’ve recruited some amazing musicians who also happen to be some of our best friends. Every member of our band is a friend that we’ve met through studying music at college or university. The most wonderful thing is that making music together has helped to reunite us again and I know that both Nicola and I feel incredibly lucky for that.

Your new EP My Wicked Mind is out on Friday – can you tell us what it’s all about? Are there any themes running throughout the EP?
The title of My Wicked Mind stems from the idea that the human mind is just bonkers. I suppose I just find it strange how the mind can create such wonder and beauty, whilst at the same time be capable of causing so much anxiety and suffering. I wouldn’t say that this EP is thematic in its concept, but it is a collection of songs that explore both the inner turmoil and the resolute strength of the human mind. So, for example, the songs ‘I Heard’ and ‘Print’ are almost opposite viewpoints based on the same theme. ‘I Heard’ is a fighting song about pushing through even when everyone is telling you what you are trying to achieve is impossible, whereas ‘Print’ highlights the insecurity that lies beneath. Even if you believe in yourself and the path you’ve chosen, it can be very hard not to let those doubts overwhelm you. Everybody wants to be accepted. 

You’ve been compared to the likes of First Aid Kit and The Lumineers, but who would you say are your main musical influences?
Unsurprisingly, Nicola and I have very similar musical influences. Our early days listening to my mum’s Simon and Garfunkel records or my brother’s Nirvana collection has meant that we have a pretty varied taste in music; which would maybe explain why our music can be so hard to fit into one genre. We like everything. As individuals, we all have quite different musical tastes. I recently asked the band to compile some of their favourite artists for a Spotify playlist and it was pretty amazing how diverse some of the artists were. Nonetheless,  there are always points where our influences cross. I would say that, collectively, we are inspired by artists such as Carole King, Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Bruce Springsteen and The Beatles. 

How is your local music scene (in ‘normal’ times!)? Do you go to see lots of live music?
I actually moved very recently and so Covid has prevented me from getting out and about and testing out the local music scene, but before that we gigged a lot in the Croydon and South London area. Some of our very first gigs were gigging in South Croydon and we have a real soft spot for it in our hearts. What we’ve noticed as the years have gone by is that more and more of the venues that we used to play in have closed down and so now it can be quite difficult to find a venue that has a capacity for a band of our size. The good news is that there are some local musicians and venues who are constantly fighting this and putting on some excellent nights of music. I adore seeing live music and I try to see as much of it as I can. I prefer more intimate gigs to big arenas as I sometimes feel a little stifled by the environment. I need to move around and hate being restricted to a seat! One of the best gigs I’ve been to recently was watching Skunk Anansie in Brighton. The energy they created was just incredible and Skin’s stage presence is second to none.

And what can fans expect from your live shows?
I think our aim as a band is to make you feel something. Tom (our drummer) has a particular talent for creating set-lists and he always puts a lot of thought into making the set into a bit of a journey. We definitely don’t just have one style that we sit with, we try to mix it up. I love the fact that we can build the crowd’s energy with songs like our recent single ‘I Heard’, only to drop them back down again and make them almost silent with songs like ‘Give in to the Dark’. As horrible as it sounds, I quite like it when people tell me we made them cry! For me it means that we connected with them.

As we’re a new music focused site, are there any new/upcoming bands or artists you’d recommend we check out?
One of my favourite bands I have found over the last few years is an American band called Joseph. They are a band of three sisters who create the most incredible live sound I’ve ever heard. Other upcoming bands we’d recommend are Theo Katzman (a multi-instrumentalist from California) and FlagTwister, John Lovell, Scott McFarnon, Chloe Ray and Dave Sears who are all local musicians we love to listen to.

And how do you feel the music industry is for new bands at the moment – would you say it’s difficult to get noticed?
I think there are lots of really wonderful opportunities for new bands at the moments. For example, anyone can submit their music to be played on BBC Introducing and there are some fantastic blogs (like yourself) who are out there promoting new music. More affordable music software has meant that it is cheaper for people to create music themselves which is so wonderful, but it does mean that the music industry is very over-saturated. Most bands now realise that they can make music without record companies funding them and so that has meant that it is a much more level playing field. I think it has meant that bands have to work harder to get their music heard and maybe they have to be more creative about how they promote their music, but I don’t think that is necessarily a bad thing!

Finally, what does the rest of 2020 have in store for The Frisbys?
We recorded a live lock-down version of our new single, ‘I Heard’, in May and we are currently in the process of creating some more videos for our fans. We were hoping to be playing an EP release party this year and some festivals, but who knows what will be happening on the ‘live’ music front. Hopefully, we will find a way of playing an ‘online’ gig to help celebrate the release, so fingers crossed we can make something happen!

Massive thanks to Helen for answering our questions!

 

My Wicked Mind, the upcoming EP from The Frisbys, is out this Friday 26th June.

Introducing Interview: Koza

Having made the move from Istanbul to London in order to follow in the footsteps of her musical idols, emerging pop artist Koza recently released her second, dreamy single ‘Hold My Breath’.

We caught up with Koza to find out about her journey so far… 

Hi Koza, welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about when you initially decided to start making music?
Hi, thank you for having me! My passion for music and writing goes a long way back. If I had to pinpoint a defining moment, I would say definitely my high school years when I first joined a band and performed on stage. It was the scariest moment of my life, but also the most amazing experience. I had already been writing songs, but there was something about being able to perform them and connect with an audience. That became the dream. 

What inspired you to make the move from Istanbul to London in order to pursue a career in music?
After graduating from high school, I really didn’t know how to proceed to a career in music. All I knew then was that I wouldn’t be satisfied with doing gigs with function bands at weekends, or just singing covers. I wanted to write and sing my own songs, about things that mattered to me – I wanted to sing my own truths. I started writing in English, which came naturally to me because of all my influences growing up. This was part of the reason why I wanted to move to London, so I could explore music in a specific language. The music industry in Turkey didn’t have many established artists writing original songs, and nothing in English, so it didn’t make much sense to me. London, on the other hand, had everything that I was after; the writers, the venues and the culture which I had grown up listening to and loving. The decision to leave my studies in Istanbul and move to London was a tough one but I’m so glad I did it. It’s been tough trying to adapt to a new culture, but it’s helped me grow in ways which I would have never imagined.

Which bands or artists would you consider to be your biggest musical influences?
Growing up I found myself drawn to songs which gave me new perspectives on storytelling or song structure; I really loved Alanis Morissette for this reason. She is an amazing lyricist and her songs are so powerful in their vulnerability. Madonna is another big influence – I mean, I think we can all agree that she is one of the ultimate pop-stars. Then of course Kate Bush – she’s my number 1! I think she’s so eccentric, effortlessly cool and such a talented musician and poet. Her musical language is unique to her and that makes her an amazing artist. My other favourites growing up included Fleetwood Mac, Alicia Keys, Duman, Teoman, No Doubt, Prince, Depeche Mode and The Cure. 

You recently released your dreamy second single, ‘Hold My Breath’. Can you tell us a bit about the inspiration behind the lyrics?
The inspiration was the feeling which I got every time that I thought I was maybe falling in love. I mean, maybe I did fall in love every time… “there are all kinds of love in this world, but never the same love twice.” I don’t know if that makes sense, but every moment of love feels so magical. It’s like that feeling you get when you meet someone and think “maybe?”. These lyrics might be my rawest ones yet, I didn’t change them at all after I wrote them. They were written in a very authentic and joyous moment, and I wanted to write down that feeling and make a song which reflected that.

In ‘normal’ times, how is your local music scene? Do you have a favourite local venue?
I live in Notting Hill and yes, we have a small but very satisfying music scene. Notting Hill Arts Club has always been a favourite. Another place that’s been around for a couple of years now is Laylow, our cool neighbourhood hangout; it’s introduced me to many new artists.

Although it is rather difficult to be making plans at the moment, what are you hoping to have achieved by the end of 2020?
Like you mentioned, it’s a bit tricky right now! My plan was to release two more singles before the year ends. However, quarantine has been very fruitful for me and I am now considering finishing an EP in the same time frame. Either way, I will continue to release music and hopefully start doing live shows from late September. I am very excited to sing my new songs because they’re really special in a way that they will allow me to connect with more people than I ever have done before as an artist. It will hopefully lead to some collaborations with musicians/writers I have not yet had the chance to work with.

Thanks so much to Koza for answering our questions! 

‘Hold My Breath’ is out now. Listen here:


 

Introducing Interview: MeMe Detroit

Having received acclaim from the likes of Clash, Louder Than War and BBC Introducing, as well as wowing us more than once with her energy-fuelled live show at The Finsbury, Birmingham’s MeMe Detroit creates emotion-fuelled rock ‘n’ roll propelled by sweeping melodic hooks and front woman Maria Rodriguez’s gravelly snarl.

Following the release of their gritty latest single, ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Mind’, we caught up with Maria to find out more…

Hi MeMe Detroit, welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about the band?
I’d describe it as a big fat raging ball of uplifting angst fuelled by positivity with a shot of melodic tenderness thrown in… Sounds like a banging cocktail that, I’d drink it!

How did you initially decide to start creating music?
Starting out as a solo artist, I’ve been lucky to work with a number of great musicians but I’ve always aimed to have a stable band around me. I love being a solo artist as there’s more of a sense of control, but I also know it’s important and a great thing to collaborate with other musicians. So that’s why I opted to get full-time band members in over sessioners for the long run. This year via the wonders of social media, I met drummer Kallum McEwen and bassist Steve Hildebrand. It definitely feels different now, like all the pieces fit together as a proper unit. We’ve started writing for the next album and it’s already sounding immense, so I’m really looking forward to seeing what comes out in the near future.

Your new single ‘Can’t Get You Out of My Mind’ is out now – can you tell us what it’s all about?
This is kind of my ode to all those hurting right now, as well as a slight fuck you to all those heartbreakers who I’ve now left for dust. The song tells of the journey we go through when we get our hearts broken from a relationship break up. At the time, it’s devastating, that awful, constant and unrelenting heavy chested, sunken feeling; you almost feel like you can’t get through, but eventually do and, woah, when you finally do, it’s empowering as fuck. You come out so much stronger and more resilient.

 

You’ve been compared to the likes of Foo Fighters and Wolf Alice, but who would you say are your main musical influences?
I take inspiration from so many different artists and styles. I love Foos, so I can see why that comparison comes in, but I’m also a massive fan of house, old skool ska and hip hop. I love good rhythms and catchy moving melodies. I guess my main influence growing up however was probably Radiohead… The first time a mini MeMe heard a Jonny Greenwood guitar line, it was love at first hear.

How is your local music scene? Do you go to see lots of live music?
There’s something happening in Birmingham right now that is really really cool. There seems to be a real sense of community with all artists and across different genres, everyone’s there to support each other. I believe a big reason for that is the new introduction of the Birmingham Music Awards and the awesome inspiring spirit of radio personalities such as Tim Senna (Switch Radio/BBC Introducing) and Alex Noble (BBC Introducing). There’s so much fresh and exciting talent coming out right now, it’s hard to not go to shows for FOMO!

And what can fans expect from your live shows?
The audience are as big a part of our live shows, so I definitely aim to make them feel that way. Expect an insanely high octane whirlwind of raucous passion with a generous slice of audience participation, and a fat slab of heart gripping noise.

As we’re a new music focused site, are there any new/upcoming bands or artists you’d recommend we check out?
Definitely! There’s so many to choose from, but definitely check out Blue Nation, Nuns of Tundra, Hey Jester, Jemma Freeman and the Cosmic Something, Lady Sanity, Flares, Chloe Mogg and The Pagans S.O.H.

And how do you feel the music industry is for new bands at the moment – would you say it’s difficult to get noticed?
I believe it’s only as difficult as you think it to be. As long as you’ve got good songs, you believe in your brand/product and you’re driven enough to put the work in and commit to it, then you’ll do good. We have this amazing tool and direct personal access to fans with social media platforms nowadays and you don’t need a humungous budget to self release via online distribution companies. I’ve recently checked our Apple Music and Spotify stats and we had a spike of listens in Australia and Sweden. Imagine being in the olden days where the only way that was possible was through big dog record labels?! Now it’s a piece of piss in comparison. 

Finally, what does the rest of 2019 have in store for MeMe Detroit?
We have one more show left in Birmingham at The Flapper on the 28th December with the awesome Templeton Pek, but aside from that we’re taking time out now to write more for the next album. It’s been so manic lately, I personally cant wait for the chill time! That is until the the freight train starts up again next year. It’s definitely important to look after yourself mentally and physically by taking regular time out when it’s needed, especially in the music industry!

Massive thanks to Maria for answering our questions!

‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Mind’ is out now.