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Blog interview: Flo Perlin

Hello Flo how are you?

That’s a BIG question. I’m feeling excited. 

Congratulations on the release of “Clay”, how does it feel? 

Thank you very much! It feels surreal. It’s called a ‘release’ for a reason as that’s literally what it feels like. 

It’s a ten track project, what was the inspiration behind it?

This album was inspired by my reflections on belonging and growth. Just like clay, we mould and change shapes. Shining a light on and accepting my flaws, mistakes, patterns and imperfections is what inspired this album. 

What was the easiest and most challenging part of recording it?

The easiest part of recording was I just felt so compelled to get my thoughts out so I dedicated myself to the project, plus, the musicians/artists and producer I recorded with all work in synergy with me.

The most challenging part of recording was battling with my perfectionist side. When I’m in the studio for a long period of time I can sometimes go down rabbit holes in my mind. Luckily my co-producer Duncan Thornley is very patient and also knows when I’m hungry!

What’s your favourite track? 

I feel a special connection to every song on my new album. My favourite track on my new album is called ‘Clay’ as I feel like it came from a really raw and honest place. I also love playing ‘Part Of Me’ that Kaidi Akinnibi Joins me as a vocalist on, as saxophone as it shines a light on the musical direction I’m moving in. 

This is your third album, what have you learned since the first one?

I learnt that I record best in the first half of the day as I’m a morning person. I also discovered that developing musically doesn’t always feel comfortable. 

Has your writing process changed in that time? 

Yes, I feel it shifted focus towards how I was feeling rather than what I felt was intellectually interesting. 

You’re a singer songwriter from London how did it all begin for you? 

I learnt to play cello at the age of 5. The guitar put a spell on me when my teacher, Cesar Rodriguez-Duran, from Columbia, who also taught Michael Kiwanuka, introduced me to the world of Boss Nova, which greatly influenced the music I make. From the age of about 10 I started singing and writing music on piano and guitar. After a period of going mute as a child, music helped me to find my voice again and channel my emotions. I’ve been writing music ever since. 

What did you listen to growing up? 

I grew up listening to a huge variety of music. To name a few, Stevie Wonder, Suzanne Vega, Nickel Creek, Zero 7, Dar Williams, Buena Vista Social Club, Santana…

Most Fridays I watched Later With Jools Holland with my dad. Every week we’d discover a new artist. 

Since I was a child it’s been my dream to perform on the show. 

You grew up surrounded by music, was there any particular song that had a profound effect on you? 

My first ever memory is of my dad cradling me as ‘Isn’t She Lovely’ by Stevie Wonder was playing. Much of music I associate with memory and that is a memory I often come back to. 

You play a variety of instruments what’s your go to when writing? 

My new bespoke guitar! In 2023 I was selected as Taran Guitar’s Young Player of The Year Bursary Recipient and they spent a year making me my very own guitar. I spent a day with them in their workshop in Fife describing the sound I wanted and they have created me my own Taran Mhor model, crfted out of lots of different types of wood. I can’t put the guitar down. 

What are you listening to at the moment? 

At the moment I’m listening to an artist called Maro (Portuguese artist). I’m glued to her vocals and songwriting style. There’s something about her that I find incredibly relatable. 

What are you looking forward to next? 

Too many things. I’m so excited about my album launch gig with my full band on 4th July at St Pancras Old Church, London. I’m looking forward to touring around the country after the London show, writing new music on my new guitar, collaborating with other artists and seeing where music takes me!

 

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