Music Q&A:
Rider

The American dream pop songstress tells us she has a sensible rider. Her album is released on 15 Sept

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What informs your music and songwriting?
My music and songwriting come from so many different places in my head and heart. I always have finished songs and soundscapes floating around in my head and sometimes I can quite simply be driving and suddenly the harmonics the car is making can trigger an idea – which has happened a couple of times. I do find watching films, the music and songs that accompany them really do inspire me. There’s something so strong about music and visuals together. In fact, I don’t think there’s anything stronger. Of course I have my favourite artists and songs over the years that have inspired me too – be it just the melodies, a chord structure or the timbre of instruments used. There’s definitely not just one or two things that help me. It’s almost too complex to explain!

How have you evolved as an artist over the years?
I grew up in a musical family and so composing, performing and practising were an everyday occurrence. It was natural. Hearing my dad’s music that he’d compose and produce in his studio really inspired me and how he and my brother would improvise so beautifully on the piano. I learned to play the piano from a young age too, which helped. Eventually I started to make my own songs whilst sat at the piano and I used to cry because what was happening and what I was creating in the moment were so powerful to me – even if it was just two chords and a simple melody. As I grew older my dad let me use his studio equipment and “boom” – I was producing my own songs and I used to stay up till crazy o’clock working on them.

What are you up to at the moment artistically?
I’m producing and writing new material. It’s never-ending. I don’t think I could ever run out of ideas so whenever I have some spare time that’s what I’m doing. I literally live and breath my music. I have about four new songs on the go right now that I’m super-excited about and then there’s hundreds of other ideas that have been quickly recorded or tracks half produced. Sometimes it’s overwhelming to go through the files and listen to everything I’ve started or just abandoned. You’ve just got to follow how you feel with certain ones though and concentrate on only the best.

What’s on your rider?
I prefer not to eat too much right before a show but if I need a quick boost of energy I find fruit is a good source and it doesn’t clog the throat too much. Stuff like raspberries, blueberries, bananas and pineapple. Also drinking room temperature water or warm water is great too, because it relaxes the throat. I do love a good tea though too! After a show I might have a beer or maybe a sneaky gin and tonic on the occasional night. Food wise, I’ll probably have a wholemeal chicken wrap of some kind. I’m into fitness so I think it’s important not to eat too heavily before bed but save that for earlier in the day. In general, whilst being on tour as an artist it’s imperative that I try and stay healthy. There’s long hours, not enough sleep and loads of traveling, which really takes it out of me. Good food and plenty of water always helps though.

What are your most embarrassing or surreal experiences?
Perhaps I’ve blocked a load from my memory because either they were way too bad to remember or I’m actually really boring! Ha! In all honesty, the most surreal experiences I’ve had have been my dreams at night (which are another big source for my inspiration). Every night, it seems, I’m catapulted to various other worlds that are so unbelievably real I have a hard time making sense of life and adjusting when I wake up sometimes in the morning. I was once shown how the universe works by the most beautiful white glowing woman I’ve ever seen. She wasn’t human but angelic. I tried to paint a scene from it but it was too perfect in my head so that, in the end, no painting or drawing could ever give it justice. I think that experience has changed me for the better, forever! I’ve also had past life regression therapy before. I came home once needing to write out in detail, using diagrams, how the universe works. It was amazing! I thought I had momentarily become a genius. I wish!

What song do you wish you’d written?
Ooo, there’s loads! Here’s a few that spring to mind. Angel by Sarah Mclachlan, Fields Of Gold by Sting and Destiny by Zero 7. There’s so many more though and many upbeat songs too!

What’s your worst lyric?
That’s easy. Once I was messing around with my brother making up songs like we always did around the piano. While he was playing I used to sing along and come up with random stuff. My parents still remember me singing about a “dog in the corner”. Apparently I repeated that over and over but to this day we all still laugh about that lyric – “There’s a dog in the corner. Dog in the corner…la la laa.” Like why? But hey, why not? I was only eight years old. I think sometimes actually the best lyrics come about when you’re not thinking and so, by singing random stuff, the odd gem does pop out – just not “there’s a dog in the corner”.

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