PATHS could be our new favourite solo alt-pop act that’s going about at the moment. With a powerful debut single, her new career shows no signs of naivety but only infectious and intrinsic pop music. GIGsoup’s Christian Graham caught up with the lady herself to chat all about her latest single, the creative process behind her music and what next lies for the songstress.
What inspired you to first start writing music?
I picked up my dad’s acoustic guitar at around 13 years old, and self-taught myself the indie-brit-pop music of the 90s, but I really found myself creating my own music as a form of expressing teenage angst I guess! Skunk Anansie was a huge influence for me, playing fierce exciting rock music with a female front woman crowd surfing and bouncing round the stage ferociously. They’re still gigging and Skin still crowd surfs!! I’ve got tickets to their London show, I cant wait!!!
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Where are you from? And had your local scene impacted on your music influences and song writing?
I’m from Belfast, it’s got a thriving scene of a diverse range of music from acoustic folk, to dreamy electropop, to full on rock! I wouldn’t say they influenced my music, but they certainly drive my motivation and determination for doing what I’ve always loved. It also has few real breakthrough bands such as And So I Watch You From Afar. It was through their tour manager Graham Smith, that I met my now producer, Rory Friers who produced my full body of work under his electronic alias Thrash hat. I can’t thank both of them enough for pushing me to do my solo thang!
Tell us a little about your debut single ‘Neoprene’, what are the lyrics about?
The meaning behind the song, is a relationship on the edge of breakdown, where each wants to just make excuses and leave, but they hold on in the hope that one day they’ll ‘meet in the middle’ i.e. see eye to eye or both be on the same page.
Your sound seems to incorporate big electronic parts while maintaining some clearly real guitar hooks. How do you go about creating this in ‘Neoprene’?
I’m predominantly a guitarist playing a really lovely Fretking Corona DBR guitar. The original demo of the song, as with most of my songs, started their life as layers of clean guitars with some analogue delay using the Fretking at different settings to provide a range of diverse guitar sounds.
Rory then took the guitar tracks and actually chopped them up to create samples that could then be played like a piano through a midi synth, which meant we could play really fast sounding hooks, that you can hear at the start of the song. A simliar effect was used with my vocals to give them a more electronic feel and making my vocal into its own synth instrument.
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What instrument did you pick up first and how did this develop into making more electronic-pop music?
I’d been demo-ing songs for years using Logic on my Macbook and a guitar. There’s just such a massive range of instruments, synths and sounds, you can’t help but experiment with it, and it was through that experimenting that I found an electronic sound emerging. I’ve always enjoyed dance/trance music as well, so bringing in looped synths and samples felt natural to the sounds I listen too.
Writing and performing as a solo artist, do you think in the future you would take to work on collaborations with other artists for future releases?
I’ve been in bands my whole musical career, but always wanted to do a solo project where I was in full control of all aspects of the music. So I’m really looking forward to the experience of being a solo artist. However I’m always open for any opportunities that may come about. I’d be more than happy to collaborate with similar minded musicians. Anything that brings new experiences and creativity!!
How would you describe your live show performance to someone who was considering coming to a show?
I’m a bit of a computer geek and really wanted a light show with my music, so my show now consists of LED Light tubes that I have personally programmed to dance along with my music. I really believe that lights combined with audio, create a really exciting vibe to help you connect with the music. When the music is at its loudest and fastest, the lights are bright and frantically dancing.
At the moment, I’m glued to the mic stand and my gadgets a lot of the time, but every so often I like to let loose on the guitar riffs!
Can we expect new songs to be released soon? Maybe an EP or an album?
Yeh, I’m really geared up to release my songs in quite quick succession. I really love playing gigs and festivals, and really want people to have heard a lot of the songs before they see me, so they can really enjoy the show!
I’ll have new music coming out as soon as next month…although I cant say much more than that, my lips are sealed!