Hello Rosie how are you?
I am well ! How are you ??
I’m great! Thanks for asking!
Congratulations on the release of “Better Days (Kaidi Tatham Remix) how does it feel?
It feels awesome. I could envision quite clearly that there would be a synergy between Kaidi’s sound and my own so he was a really obvious choice for me and he was very into ‘Better Days’. It was my pleasure to have him work on some of my music, I’m a big fan.
The new record ‘Bloom’ is very DIY and very much my sound, brain and heart on display ! I wanted to incorporate some different flavours into songs as they are and present them to new audiences and remixing was an obvious way to do this, in fact we’ve got a few different flavours / remixes on the way. The remix retains that live feeling and that realness but with something new which I love
How did the remix come about?
I discovered Broken Beat fairly recently if I’m being honest, I’m a huge fan of Rob Mullarkey and Anna Stubbes’ band Brotherly – I found them via Jacob Collier actually ! I love covering their songs and that album One Sweet Life has been on repeat for months. I know Mullarkey is a big fan of Kaidi. I just sent the song his way and he was super into it ! My manager is also big into broken beat, he said it was on his music industry bucket list to commission a remix by Kaidi so I was happy to help.
How did you feel hearing the playback of the complete mix?
It was both shocking and satisfying in a good way. I love Kaidi’s sound so was immediately into it and the complex things he was doing with the chorus of the track. At the same time it was so different from the original in a lot of ways but that’s exactly what I wanted
You are a singer songwriter and guitarist from London how did it all begin for you?
My introduction to music was actually learning the drums very young and exploring my parents’ (who are musicians) eclectic record collection. People like Lewis Taylor, Zero 7, Pat Metheny, Tania Maria. My ear has always been in niche jazz and world music honestly !
I got very obsessed with playing guitar and then later with jazz in my teens. I went to places like the Roundhouse, Tomorrow’s Warriors, Junior Jazz before doing the jazz degree course at the Royal Academy of Music (I’ve just graduated). The voice has always been integral to every instrument I play, I remember often finding a way to combine the two when I was kid whether that was songwriting or scatting my solos. It seemed strange to me to approach music in any other way.
What did you listen to growing up?
A lot ! From Avril Lavigne to Steely Dan ! To narrow it down a little, some important influences for me in terms of songwriting were Ben Howard, I fell in love with his writing and fingerstyle guitar and then when I started making my first record it was really NYC based songwriter / guitarist Becca Stevens. She helped give me a vision for my own sound, blurring the lines between all of my influences – folk, pop, songwriting & jazz. I saw her live at the Globe theatre once when I was 16 which was an incredibly pivotal gig for me.
You have some really impressive (I’m sorry, I spelled incredible wrong!) guitar skills, what guitarists do you look up to?
Thank you ! As I said above, I learnt all of Ben Howard’s songs on guitar, figuring out the finger picking. I think I really underestimated how much this sets me apart from other electric / jazz guitarists who find that technique kinda foreign honestly ! In terms of improvisation, I take a lot from the legend George Benson of course and Pat Metheny.
You’ve even got kudos from guitar legend Jimmy Page, how did that connection come about?
I was playing a show at the Troubadour when I was 15/16, just my songs with guitar and percussion. It was interval music for a poetry night and he was there with his (quite young) poet girlfriend. He was very nice about the music and my playing. Honestly, my dad had to tell me who he was at the time ! But, I look back on it as a bit of an honour now
You studied at the Royal Academy Of Music amongst other places, what would you say is the biggest lesson that you’ve learned musically?
I’d say and adaptability to most musical situations. I played so much music in my time at the Academy and a lot of it was HARD. It’s not really similar to the kind of music I’m writing (or even playing) these days at all but in terms of my ability to feel confident playing pretty much any piece of music it was really great and I enjoyed the challenge. It means I’m not so limited in my writing and palettes I think.
COVID impacted the creative industry in a big way, what kept you motivated?
Releasing my new album ‘Bloom’ ! I was fortunate enough to meet Eric my manager last year who shares my passion for a ‘ground up’ / DIY approach to making and releasing music. We share the same values for putting the music first ! It was a crazy album campaign for ‘Bloom’, the two of us planned and released 5 singles in 8 months over lockdown if I remember correctly. Me and Eric make a real strong team which I feel is one of the most important things to hone as an artist. It was a very fulfilling way to release music and kept me very motivated last year
2020 was a time to reflect, what did you learn about yourself?
I think I learnt that it’s okay to be picky about who you work, collaborate and spend time with AND more than anything it’s okay to spend time on your own and we should all feel okay about doing that. I think it’s benefitted my relationships with others ironically.
Did you pick up any new skills?
Well through the process of releasing the album and working with a manager this past year and a bit I’ve learnt a lot about the music industry. I even wrote my dissertation on self-releasing music I’m so passionate about it !
What are you listening to at the moment?
MADISON CUNNINGHAM. It’s my dream to work with her in some capacity. I truly believe she is the real deal ! Songwriting, guitar playing, singing, vibe. She’s got it all. Check out her album ‘Who Are You Now’
What’s next for you?
Plentyyyyy, I’ve got shows lined up for next year which I’m super excited about, it’s so amazing to be on stage and meeting the people behind the numbers. I’ve got some trips to NYC, Paris, Berlin planned for shows among others. I’m enjoying writing new music and getting a glimpse of what the new album might sound like.
In terms of solid plans, there’ll be some more remixes coming early next year and some tracks with my favourite drumming Kiwi Myele Manzanza which I’m very proud of..