Your new single Grey Skies EP has just been released and comprises of four tracks numbering in different styles. Can you describe the influences that are behind each of the tracks?
Well, for Grey Skies…..Leo came to me with the blue print of the song and I instantly fell in love and we actually wrote it very quickly. The influence/inspiration was really just me trying not to commit suicide. I mean I was in such a dark place and really needed something hopeful, one golden thread to hang on to. For me when I hear it, the song has this Bruce Springsteen Americana influence that I was brought up with, so it has this nostalgic feel, something that reminded me of home which I desperately needed at the time. A contemporary of mine said how much he loved this song because it was so simple, which is hard to do these days, to just write a beautiful pop song that is heartfelt and completely unpretentious. I had no idea that this is what we did but in retrospect I totally agree.
Talking to Yourself, is a really spÃ©cial track for me. I mean, it is funny because I wrote it on the guitar, two chords I think A and G,I don’t even remember, about a person I had not even met yet, sort of a song about a ghost lover, my sweetheart twin, true mirror. Then I put it in the hands of Leo and Mike and they turned it into this glorious monster of an out of this dimension dance track.
Big Shot was written by Mike and I think the sentiment of this song is about how quickly the business we work in can turn on you. One day you are on the top, it is all champagne and gold chains and everybody wants a piece of you, to the complete opposite where suddenly everything you produce as an artist is questionably bad, where you are walking down the street and nobody gives a shit about who you are or that you are an actual person, I mean aside from being an artist and that like everyone else you need to eat, and sleep and pick out great outfit for the day and get on with it and not feel like a complete waste of space. It really is a fuck you to all that, a real cheeky way of saying nope, not gonna play that game.
For losers…..Oh well that song was really influenced by just always feeling like an outsider my whole life, especially in Paris where let’s face it, everyone is so fucking cool, or everyone thinks they are so fucking cool. You know I don’t exactly fit in. I never feel thin enough or rich enough or fashionable enough. So I guess it is about that, and in a weird way it is a love song about two people who are tired of each other and only see the “loserâ€ in the other person where they once saw a winner or champion. It is sort of a desperate cry to get back to a place where they can believe in each other again. Give me black leather tonight is a way of me saying what can I do to save us?
Can you tell us about the making of the video to accompany Grey Skies?
No fucking idea. I woke up one day with this lovely vidÃ©o made by parallell in my email and I was like cool. This is beautiful.
Why did you make the move from America to Paris in 2008, how would you describe the city in 2014?
Oh like every fairy tale, I fell in love. I fell in love with a man and the city. I came here on tour with some friends and never left! I never thought I would end up in a place like Paris. Being from Mississippi, as a young girl I never thought about making a life in another country. New York, yes, California for sure, but living abroad just seemed like too big a dream so….. Just imagine, a girl like me with nothing but a guitar and a few silk dresses all the way from Mississippi! Sometimes I don’t believe it myself. It really is a fairy tale. Where do I begin about Paris? I love it just as much as I did when I arrived, if not more so now. When I came here I really did not know anyone or about the culture or history of the city so I got to expÃ©rience it like a newborn. I spent the first three years going to a lot of parties not being known really as a singer, just as so and so’s weird drunk American girlfriend. I basically stayed inside with the curtains drawn watching a lot of movies, creeping around Bellville, playing my guitar and getting stoned. I think Paris is the same as it was when I arrived, the only difference is that I have changed.
You first joined Slove and released the single Flash. How did you join the band and what made you decide on doing this solo project?
I met Leo Hellden at a party one night through a friend. I told him I was a singer and that I was having a show and that he should come. So he came to my little folk show, you know just me and my guitar on stage, and thank god I was not wasted or nervous because he really saw something in me. He said he was working on this project with a friend, Julien Barth (plasir de France) and he thought my voice would be perfect. So just another case of being in the right place and the right time with the right person. And really ,the whole reason there is a solo project is because of Leo. He just felt the world needed to hear more than a guest spot on an album and offered to produce this project. Voila! And that my friend is how the cornbread crumbles!
Can you tell us about your relationship with your record label Her Majesty’s Ship?
Harmonious, organic, and pleasurable.
I am really lucky to work with them. Charlotte and David are the other reason there is a solo project! They have believed in me from the beginning and stayed with me during hard times when I was an impossible person to be around. So,yeah it is cool. They are giving me more than a fair shake.
How would you describe playing your music â€˜live’ to people?
The completion of a song for me is being able to perform it live. This is when I feel least alone and most loved, by strangers, friends, and myself so obviously I enjoy performing live as often as possible. It is a brilliant exchange of energy. Suddenly I am a vessel and so many intangible magical things pass through me and I hope I transmutate all that heartache and joy to the audience. If I fail at this then I am in the wrong business.
What’s the balance like between the House/Techno clubs in Paris and the live clubs/ bars?
Oh well let’s see, I don’t get out much unless I have a show….So…I am kind of clueless about the techno or bar scene here and really could care less. Is that bad? If you had asked me this a few years ago I could answer in confidence, but now……This question doesn’t have much significance to me, and I feel kind of uncool that I can’t answer it adequately.
Which artists/ musicians are you biggest influences? What is your favourite Gallery in the city?
From the formative teenage years I would say Tori Amos, P J Harvey, The Smiths, Dead Can Dance,This mortal Coil, Pale Saints, Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell. Who influences me now? Owen Pallett, Lloyd Cole, Yesway. The list is long. As far as art galleries in Paris, Air de Paris is grand, CrÃ¨ve Coeur, Kamel Mennour…….I really admire all these places. Totally fresh, what they are doing.
What are your plans for the future?
Well, I am looking in my crystal ball right now and I see a lot more collaborations with artists I admire, releasing my first full length album, touring America, taking piano lessons and French lessons, getting a personal trainer and maybe a big beautiful shaggy dog named Bosun? Visit my momma on the Gulf of Mexico and drink beer and eat a bucket of fried chicken on the beach?
Sounds good non?
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