Introducing Interview: Soia

In the run up to her new release, Where Magnolia Grows, we caught up with Viennese Soia to get to know her a bit better.

Welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about how you got started as an artist?
Thanks! I started my first band when I was 18 with my ex-boyfriend who got me into hip hop, before I was mainly into 60s and 70s fusion jazz and klezmer. When I met the producer Mez years later we started working on the Soia project. It was all accidental.

Are you currently based in Vienna? How do you find the music scene there – is there much collaboration?
Yes, I have been living in Vienna for almost 20 years now. There are a lot of high quality musicians in Austria, a lot of highly skilled jazz musicians that wonder off to NYC one at a time. I recommend artists like Lylit, Schmieds Puls, Ruff pack, Jahson the Scientist, Esches, Oliclusive and more.

We’re loving your latest single ‘Run With Wolves’, can you tell us a bit more about what inspired this?
The song’s lyrics are about not minding so much what other people think of you and not letting yourself be categorised by others. For the video, we collaborated with the performance artist Mirabella Paidamwoyo Dziruni, as the lyrics reminded me of her unapologetic approach to queer and anti racist activism.

It’s taken from your upcoming album Where Magnolia Grows, out on 29th March – how was the making of the album and how best would you describe it in one sentence?
The album was a lot of work and somewhat challenging for everybody involved. I hope it all pays off with the quality we were aiming to provide. Once everything is finished you can reflect and appreciate it again, but in the process it can be wonderful and painful at the same time.

What can fans expect from your live shows, and more importantly are you planning on coming to the UK anytime soon??
I might come to the UK sooner than expected. Our live show is very intimate, and different every time. I love being on stage with the band! We try to make it a whole new experience so it sounds different than the production.

Finally, as we’re a new music focused site, are there any other new/upcoming bands or artists you’d suggest we check out?
I’m not the hippest up to date music digger, but I love listening to Allysha Joy, Solange, Mac Miller and Georgia Anne Muldrow at the moment. Also always the NYC fam like Black Spade, P.U.D.G.E. or Cavalier. I’m super excited for Kiefer’s new album coming up. The rest of my current music mood is mostly gems like Curtis Mayfield and Donny Hathaway.

Thanks Soia! You can check out more from Soia via Instagram and Soundcloud

 

Photo Credit: Ina Aydogan

Introducing Interview: Helga

What better way to jump into Spring, than getting to know Swedish artist Helga, who’s told us about the reasons for going solo, her latest EP Nebulous and a new favourite sweet treat she’s discovered called bananinha!

Welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about how Helga started?
Thank you! Back in late 2016 I decided to go solo after having played in a rock band and an indie folk duo. It just felt natural to go solo, I enjoy working alone and I am more effective this way. Also, I think it was a time when I was starting to explore the dark side of my heart and mind. It felt very exciting.

You are described as an artist, activist and songwriter- do you feel you identify more strongly with one particular creative arm, or do all these aspects of your life influence the other?
I wouldn’t call myself an activist. I just have strong opinions about things sometimes. I’m just a human being who happens to create stuff, write songs. Writings songs is one of the best things in the world.

Can you tell us a bit about where you are from in Sweden? Is there a strong music community over there?
I’m from the region of Dalarna. There is indeed a strong folk music tradition here that I hope we can preserve. I appreciate it very much.

We’re loving your single ‘In The Wilderness’, which we’ve played on the radio show – in it you reflect on the state of the natural world from the perspective of someone that spends their life close to nature. Can you expand on this for us?
I’m glad you’re enjoying the song. I wrote it when I was hanging out by myself in the forest nearby. It was just so tranquil and peaceful there. It moved me, so I thought I should write a song about this forest. I wish it knew that I wrote a song for it. I love writing songs about nature, sometimes it’s even easier than writing songs about people. All my music doesn’t have to have a message. Sometimes I just want to feel the music, the melodies. That’s enough. Sometimes there are no words to be said. You just sit there in silence and feel things.

‘In the Wilderness’ features on your recently released EP Nebulous. We’re totally mesmerised by the reverb heavy, drawl of this EP and its dark, damp forest music. How did you go about creating this record?
You’re too kind. Thank you. I played and recorded some of the guitars and vocals here in Sweden, while the rest was recorded in a land far away called Brazil! They have this candy that you should try called “bananinha”. You will like it if you’re a banana fan. I hope you’ll find some in the UK. Anyway, the musicians I worked with were beyond amazing, I can’t thank them enough. I’m not a drummer nor a bassist, but I have a decent idea on how these instruments work, and obviously that helps a lot when producing your own music. Luan is such a groovy bassist. Pedro is also a groovy drummer, even if he can do furious blast beats as well. Luiz is a groovy guitarist, who also happened to be good at producing and mixing. These are versatile and groovy musicians! I loved our team work.

What’s 2019 got in store for Helga?
Hopefully being crazy on stage! There are some exciting things happening, some that I’ll probably talk about later. I’m working on new music as well. Liking it a lot so far, some really cool sounds we’ve managed to create! I need to shut up. I won’t say more… Let’s see how it all goes!

Have you got any plans to tour over the next couple of months?
Maaaaaybe!

Finally as we’re a new music focused site, are there any other new/upcoming bands or artists you’d suggest we check out?
I haven’t been listening to music much these past few years, especially not the new ones. But in the beginning of 2017 I stumbled upon this American artist while reading stuff on a Swedish digital music magazine called HYMN. I listened to one song and it impressed me, so I listened to more of her stuff. Really enjoyed it. The artist is called Haley Heynderickx.

 

Nebulous, the latest EP from Helga, is out now.

Introducing Interview: RUNAH

Having received support from the likes of Clash, as well as wowing crowds at Sofar Sounds sessions, Irish artist RUNAH creates truly dreamy, emotion-strewn offerings, with shades of the majestic splendour of Laura Marling.

Ahead of the release of her debut album in May, we caught up with RUNAH to find out more…

Hi RUNAH, welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Hello! I am a musician originally from Manchester, now spending my life between Manchester and Dublin. I have an alter with herbs and offerings on it and my favourite place is anywhere outside.

How did you initially start creating music?
I was originally a dancer and for various reasons could not continue. It was a strange experience, and a necessary one – I had placed all of my perceived identity onto that being who I was and then I wasn’t. I wrote a lot, and my brother offered me his guitar to borrow, and here we are. I couldn’t stop.

Your new single ‘Ground’ is out now – can you tell us what it’s all about?
It is the story of a woman caught between the physical realm and the spiritual realm. She longs to fully experience the liveliness of the living, but sees their recognition that she is not from this realm. But equally she cannot rest with the spirits as she is in body. The song is about power, frustration and all that she wishes to know. It is also a nod to our growing gap between understanding the world we live in and its cycles, and our tech fuelled society, which I don’t think my spirit was made for.

 

You’ve been compared to the likes of Lana Del Rey and Cat Power, but who would you say are your main musical influences?
Lisa Hannigan and Laura Marling are two of my favourite artists, I’m not sure how my influences come out in my work, but I know they do. I’m just not overly conscious of those choices. But I love the way they both tell stories in their music.

How is your local music scene? Do you go to see lots of live music?
I do! I try to see more, but I also teach Yoga so sometimes my evenings are full. But I love live music. Both in Manchester and Dublin there is so much magic to be heard. I am new to the Dublin scene but it’s been fun so far.

And what can fans expect from your live shows?
A lot of stories about wild women, interesting creatures and how much I love crystals. But they are mainly stripped back at the moment, it all tends to be quite mystical and dreamy, whilst I take you with me to the realms in my head.

As we’re a new music focused site, are there any new/upcoming bands or artists you’d recommend we check out?
Oh, I LOVE this question. Izzie Walsh, Megan Dixon-Hood, Lindsay Munroe and Chloe Eleanor are just a few of my favourites. But there are so many fantastic musicians, it’s magical.

And how do you feel the music industry is for new bands at the moment – would you say it’s difficult to get noticed?
It is difficult but I just love making music and if a few individuals feel like dancing around or listening to my stories then that’s the magic, isn’t it? It’s wonderful to have people write or come up to you and say “wow, this made me feel this” or “I felt like I’d been to a different place”. I love music for this reason – it’s an offering, so if anything comes that is wonderful.

Finally, what does the rest of 2019 have in store for RUNAH?
Magic, and my debut album Strange, out May 5th – it’s all about the wild woman archetype and my journey with her. In love, loss, sexuality, vulnerability, anger, passion and all the magical changeability, that what is women are. It is a love letter to all who identify as women but also the divine feminine that is in us all. May there always be magic with you.

Huge thanks to Runah for answering our questions! 

Strange, the debut album from RUNAH, is out 5th May via Beardfire.

 

Introducing Interview: Hana Piranha

Having performed at a number of prestigious venues including Wembley Arena, The O2, and Koko, as well as having supported the likes of Anna Calvi, goth-rockers Hana Piranha create a unique blend of dark, tantalising sounds.

With the release of their new album, Waiting To Burn, set for release next month, we caught up with front-woman Hana Maria to find out more…

Hi Hana Piranha, welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about the band?
Hana Piranha is a four piece goth rock band with violin as a feature. We’re loud and very dark.

How did you initially all get together and start creating music?
I was working on the project for a few years before I met Jim in a pub and he joined the band. I had just finished our first full-length album Cold Comfort and was working on our second album Fishing with Dynamite, while Jim and I got to know each other and got comfortable writing together. Waiting to Burn is the first songwriting collaboration between the two of us and it’s all the better for it. Dan and Andy joined the band about two years ago and we’ve all been working hard together ever since. After years of lineup changes, it’s wonderful to have a band that is growing together.

Your new album Waiting To Burn is out very soon – can you tell us what it’s all about? Are there any themes running throughout the album?
Waiting to Burn follows themes of a witch being burned at the stake. My songs all serve to exorcise my personal demons and as such, explore my role as both victim and architect of my own destruction.

 

You’ve been compared to the likes of Juliette Lewis and Shirley Manson, but who would you say are your main musical influences?
I have listened to a lot of Garbage actually, but my biggest influence is probably Nine Inch Nails – in sound, vibe and lyrics. I’m also really into Lana del Rey at the moment – I started playing the harp recently and began by arranging Lana del Rey covers before working on my own material.

How is your local music scene? Do you go to see lots of live music?
I also play violin for a band called Birdeatsbaby which is fronted by the queen that is Mishkin Fitzgerald. We spark off each other a lot and also tour together with the two bands. We meet a lot of great bands along the way. I’m based in Brighton and Watford, which both have thriving music scenes and a lot of talent.

And what can fans expect from your live shows?
We bring an energetic and compelling set to the stage and have a good rapport as a band. Our live sound is less produced and more “punk” than the record, with a no-frills style that showcases our musicianship.

As we’re a new music focused site, are there any new/upcoming bands or artists you’d recommend we check out?
Some of the memorable artists we’ve played with recently include Emberhoney, Unwoman, Jason Achilles, Sit Kitty Sit, Oli Spleen, Ailen and Death Ingloria, to name a few. And of course Birdeatsbaby!

And how do you feel the music industry is for new bands at the moment – would you say it’s difficult to get noticed?
The internet provides an equal platform for anyone who wants to be heard, which is a great thing but also makes it difficult to stand out. We try to tour as much as possible to entice new fans to the dark side.

Finally, what does the rest of 2019 have in store for Hana Piranha?
We are releasing Waiting to Burn next month which is hugely exciting as it’s been over three years in the making, so we’ll be supporting that with shows over the UK and hopefully Europe. We have two videos to release alongside it (‘Naked Flame’ and ‘Waiting to Burn’), and are working on two more. I also recently did a Kickstarter campaign for my solo harp album Wednesday’s Child, so I am finishing that at the moment, for exclusive release to my backers next month and then a wider release later in the year. We have also almost finished writing our fourth album, with the aim to record it later in the year.

Huge thanks to Hana Piranha for answering our questions! 

Waiting To Burn, the upcoming album from Hana Piranha, is out 22nd March via Fourglove Records.

 

Introducing Interview: Alice Phoebe Lou

Having recently released her deeply poignant single ‘Skin Crawl’, South African artist Alice Phoebe Lou is about to embark on an extensive North American and European tour. 

We caught up with Alice Phoebe Lou to find out more about her plans, and the inspirations behind her sweeping, crystalline sound…

Hi Alice Phoebe Lou, welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about what you do and how you initially got started creating music?
Thanks for having me! I got into music pretty late in life; I’d always been into performing, but it was more about dancing & theatre. When I started travelling around Europe fresh out of high school, I was doing street performance as my ‘job’ and at first it was dancing & throwing balls of fire around. Eventually I started singing cover songs & writing my own. So initially, music making was something I did to get some change & continue my lifestyle in Berlin. The city became my fresh start, where I realised that music would be my direction.

Your poignant new single ‘Skin Crawl’ is said to be inspired by your negative experiences at the hands of men, can you tell us a bit more about the inspiration behind it?
The meaning behind the song comes from a culmination of events & circumstances all too familiar for women, over my entire lifetime really. It starts with the innocence that was taken from me bit by bit as a teenager, as my body was sexualised and all the negative and traumatic experiences at the hands of men. And then coming into womanhood where so much sexually aggressive and violent behaviour is taken for granted and seen as a ‘part of the territory’ of going out or being social. After my drink was spiked in New York and I experienced one of my lowest lows in this regard, I kept going out alone, rejecting the idea that I needed to be afraid or change what I enjoy doing because of the behaviour of a few. But as many women know, there are so few ‘safe’ spaces where one can dance & not be touched, harassed, made to feel uncomfortable. So this song tries to bring attention to that in the hopes that we can strive towards more of these safe spaces.

And your upcoming album Paper Castles is out next month. Are you able to tell us about the writing process that went into creating it, and are there any ongoing themes running throughout?
Very excited to release Paper Castles! It’s been the most beautiful process. The writing of it was done between tours and travels, and the songs have been written all over the world. There’s definitely an overall theme of coming into womanhood, coming into myself and owning my body and my sexuality and getting to the other side of traumas and personal hardships. The recording process was a full on dream, with the best musicians and friends I could possibly ask for, and the most smooth and stress free process imaginable. Didn’t know it was possible! Noah Georgeson was an incredible producer and friend to have guiding us and I’m so happy and humbled by the result.

We’re big fans of your dreamy, captivating sound, but who or what would you cite as your main influences?
Mostly my friends really. I’ve got an incredible community of musicians & creatives spanning the globe, but especially in Berlin and my home town Cape Town. We do a lot together, throwing parties and dreaming big about the future of what we could achieve together, trying hard to create an environment of support rather than competition. They really inspire me and cheer me on, and I feel extremely fortunate.

You’re about to embark on a big North America and European tour in support of the album, but are there any shows you’ve played in the past that stand out as a particular highlight?
Definitely playing in Ramallah & Bayt Sahur in Palestine. To be able to bring international music to a place that is so cut off from the world, to people that so appreciate that you’ve come there and that you’ve brought them music & catharsis; it was a very special experience. I’ll be going back there soon.

You’re originally from South Africa, how did you find the music scene over there?
It’s bubbling right now. It’s hard to survive as an artist in South Africa, because there’s not enough money, not enough support. But there are incredible people doing amazing things – throwing wonderful festivals, doing everything they can to get the scene off the ground and I’m in awe and inspired to watch it happen.

And how do you feel the music industry is for new artists at the moment – would you say it’s difficult to get noticed?
I definitely think it’s difficult for new artists, as there are so many new musicians trying to get their work out there, and often such a limiting and rigid industry that favours commercial potential over value. But I think if one is innovative; works fucking hard and tries to mould their own little corner of the music industry, learning as much as they can, finding the way to release that works for them, anything is possible.

As we’re a new music focused site, are there any other new/upcoming bands or artists that you’d recommend we check out?
Amy Ayanda, Thor Rixon, Hyroine, Young Yosef, Hush Moss, RAS, Loving, Good Morning, LA Salami.

Finally, what else does 2019 have in store for Alice Phoebe Lou?
Organising a festival for 2020. Been my big dream for a while.

Huge thanks to Alice for answering our questions! 

Paper Castles, the upcoming album from Alice Phoebe Lou, is out 8th March. Catch her live in the UK in April:

15th April – Thekla, Bristol
16th April – Deaf Institute, Manchester
17th April – Earth, London
18th April – Bodega, Nottingham

Photo Credit: Elliott McKee

Introducing Interview: Saga Back

We caught up with Sweden’s Saga Back in the wake of her debut single release ‘There You Go…Again’ to talk about her writing process, musical influences and how it all began.

Welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about how Saga Back’s music career began?
Thank you! Well, I don’t know if I would call it a “career” yet, but I think it was almost exactly two years ago that I started recording my own songs. It was for an examination project in school and although I didn’t take any music classes I somehow managed to “write, record and perform five original songs” around the topic of the project. So, that was when I started working with Mattias Nyberg (who’s produced ‘There You Go… Again’), but at the time I didn’t take it very seriously. We just recorded three or four of my songs – they were very acoustic and I didn’t even use a metronome, so the beat was completely off in some parts. And then I uploaded them onto Spotify. As for songwriting, that started a bit earlier but the songs I wrote back then luckily will be forever unheard… Except for one song that me and my best friend made when we were ten. We wrote it in Swedish, asked my mom to translate it to English, and then we sang it at our school’s talent show.

Then, few months back I decided I wanted to do something to learn more about the music industry and so I started an internship at a record label in Gothenburg called Kning Disk. I’ve learnt, and I still am learning, so much from my boss, Louise Hammar, who runs the label. That’s also where I met Markus and Jesper from Something Beautiful, the record label that I’m working with now. So, although I wouldn’t call it a career yet, only four months back I never would’ve guessed that so many people would be listening to my song!

We’re loving your latest single ‘There You Go…Again’, which we’ve played on the radio show, can you tell us a bit more about this song?
I’m so happy to hear that! It feels surreal that it’s been played on a radio show in London. Wow. I was in a pretty destructive relationship, without really realising how much it hurt me. It’s strange how you can abandon all your beliefs just to make someone else happy. That’s why I wrote the song. Actually, I started writing it as a way of putting into words what he did. That way it was harder for me to ignore my feelings and continue making excuses for letting him do those things. But now the song is more of a reminder to not let anyone make me feel less than I am. I hope that’s what people feel when they listen to it.

Can you tell us a bit about Gothenburg, and what the music scene is like there?
Actually, I live in a smaller town twenty minutes from Gothenburg, but I’d say typical “Gothenburg music” is a lot of indie – Swedish music that you either love or you hate. But we do have Way Out West festival, which is the best weekend of all summer. Does that count even though the majority of the acts aren’t Swedish? I really hope it does.

How do you go about writing your music – can you give us an insight to your process?
Lyrics and music at the same time, always. I’ve tried to write lyrics to an already finished instrumental when someone’s asked me, but so far I’ve had no luck with that. My phone is filled with random words and sentences that I’ve heard or come up with. It could be from a newspaper, a movie or a conversation. Usually, I have an idea of what I want to write about and a phrase that I really like and then it goes from there. I always write about my own experiences in one way or another. It makes it a little scary to put it out for everyone to hear, but I don’t think about that while writing. It’s only when I record the song that I start realising that other people will hear it.

Who or what would you say are your inspiration and influences?
Recently I’ve been listening to a lot with Jorja Smith, H.E.R, Billie Eilish and Dua Lipa. All women as you can tell. I listen to male artists as well of course, I just find female musicians more inspiring and relatable. And last but not least, Adele. Although I don’t listen to her music every day, that’s the type of music that I always go back to. I love the songwriting, her vocal range and the way she builds her songs. She played in Sweden a couple of years ago and I didn’t manage to get any tickets, which I’m still sad about.

As we’re a new music-focused site, are there any other new/upcoming bands or artists you’d suggest we check out?
Maple & Rye! You might have heard of them but I think they deserve a lot more attention.

Finally, what’s 2019 got in store for Saga Back?
To be honest, I don’t really know. I’ll be going to Paris for two months, which I planned way before all of this started, and my goal there is to finish writing enough songs for a first album. There’ll be some more singles, I’ll spend time in the studio recording, and then we’ll see. I don’t wanna jinx anything…

Huge thanks to Saga Back for answering our questions! 

Introducing Interview: LUNIR

Having received acclaim from the likes of BBC Radio Scotland’s Vic Galloway and Amazing Radio’s Jim Gellatly, Scottish duo LUNIR create luscious, soul-strewn creations, fusing together glitchy electronics and silky-smooth, soaring vocals.

With their new single ‘Wadidi’ released at the end of last year, we caught up with LUNIR to find out more…

Hi LUNIR, welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about the band?
Thank you! So, there’s two of us: Becky and David. We make music.

Your new single ‘Wadidi’ is out now – can you tell us what it’s all about?
It’s a soulful but very playful track about independence and self-actualisation.

You’ve been compared to the likes of Solange and LION BABE, but who would you say are your main musical influences?
Yes, Solange is definitely up there, and not even just for her music but the way she approaches art and style and performance in general, so those comparisons are definitely flattering. Other artists we’re really into are Emily King, Kimbra, Glass Animals, Royal Canoe, Queen, Lianne La Havas, Hiatus Kaiyote… The list is endless and constantly grows!

How is your local music scene? Do you go to see lots of live music?
At the moment it feels like we don’t have ONE local music scene. Our current place is Cologne and we’re still exploring what’s what and who’s who, which is really fun. But there is also Edinburgh, where we’re from as a band, and which never ceases to amaze us with an abundance of cool new artists and a compact yet vibrant live music scene.

And what can fans expect from your live shows?
We approach music in a very detail-oriented, maximalist way but at the moment keep the number of people involved in the process rather minimal. David generally looks like an octopus on stage, doing a million things at once – singing whilst playing drums with one hand and synth keys and bass with the other. The fact that there’s only us, however, means that rather than worrying about communicating what’s happening with lots of other people, we can be really spontaneous and just have fun on stage.

As we’re a new music focused site, are there any new/upcoming bands or artists you’d recommend we check out?
Yes! Garth, JEFFE, St. Martiins, Scarlett Randle, VanIves.

And how do you feel the music industry is for new bands at the moment – would you say it’s difficult to get noticed?
It’s probably both easier and more difficult for bands now. It’s so much easier to produce music yourself, to self-publish, self-release etc. But it can also be tricky to cut through all of that and reach the people you want to reach without going bankrupt in the process.

Finally, what does 2019 have in store for LUNIR?
Plenty of new music!

Huge thanks to LUNIR for answering our questions!

‘Wadidi’ is out now.