When did you begin making music, and did you ever ponder a different career?
Music was a life line for me growing up and something I have always done. I started workings as a youth worker during my degree and then trained as a secondary school teacher in East London before managing a project for a national charity and doing a masters in human right. Pretty standard training for life as a singer and composer really. I was gigging part-time in London and last year I decided to make music my career.
How would you describe your music?
I see my music as both simple and complex. Whether it takes people away from reality and helps them unwind or whether it takes them to a safe place to explore the ideas on a deeper level, I want the music to bring something positive to the listener. Musically speaking, both my albums Tempvs and Florilegium have intricate instrumental arrangements which I have written for myself to play on cello, piano and guitar so they suit my style of playing. And they both have soaring vocal lines which I love to sing. From the shape of each song to the instrumentation and arrangements I feel the songs have their own style which is different from anything I have heard.
What have you been up to so far and what can we expect over the coming months?
My first album Tempvs was released last October, in 2011 and since then I have been on two UK tours. Florilegium is my second album and it will be released on 8th September, kickstarting a three month UK tour. I will be visiting venues I have never played before and returning to familiar ones. It will be a fantastic experience and I can’t wait!
If you could duet with anybody who would it be and why?
I was very fortunate to share a stage with my father when I was younger and that is a very treasured memory, particularly since we both started by singing different songs. I don’t know who was more nervous! Also, I taught my husband to play the right hand to one of the hymns at our wedding so we could play the organ together in the church. The audience was really surprised when we disappeared half way through the service and I came back bare foot! So I’d have to say one of these because it’s fun sharing something I love with my favourite people.
What’s your desert island disc and why would you take this one album?
Tapestry by Carol King. I’ve had my copy since I was 16 years old. It conveys such a range of emotion and it is very symbolic for me in so many ways. And I can’t help toe tapping whenever I hear Smackwater Jack!