Q&A with the remarkable redbook

Swiss-born pop-lover Soraya Grosso brings rich, soulful vocals and a mastery of Italian classics to mould around British-born guitarist Jake Tweddle, a self-diagnosed coffee addict raised on a steady diet of Punk and Folk. All it took was a chance meeting outside the local cinema…

redbook craft a connection between their lyrics and music and, with natural musicality, share their stories and heartfelt expressions through an ever-evolving sound. Ever-growing in both their music and their reputation, they have just dropped new single ‘little friend’ and it’s beautiful.

Hey! Thanks so much for chatting to us today.

Soraya: Of course! Thanks for having us.

Please tell us about your most recent release ‘little friend’

Jake: Little friend is pretty different direction for us as a duo. It’s our first entirely self-produced track, all written and recorded this year, and we learnt a lot from it. We always like to use the phrase ‘grass is greener syndrome’ when describing it because it came from trying to remember what we have in our lives before feeling envy for others. We framed the whole track as a conversation with a bird, wishing to have that freedom and simplicity in life without releasing that the warmth and security the bird works for is exactly what we take for granted.

Where did you guys meet? We heard it was outside a cinema…

Soraya: Yes, we actually met on the first day of uni. We had our induction at a cinema and met there. We pretty much started working on music straight away and 4 years later here we are!

Jake: Soraya was the weirdo who hugged a stranger – me! That’s all I remember from when we met – an involuntary hug.

What’s your local music scene like?

Jake: Right now, pretty poor for obvious reasons. Over the course of a year we’ve lived in Switzerland, got locked down in Worthing, and are now in Sussex. But it’s been lovely to shift our attention online and have managed to discover so many new artists and communities there.

Soraya: Yeah, we didn’t really get the chance to settle down somewhere as we were actually in the midst of moving before lockdown. We’re hoping to be able to enjoy and delve into the music scene in our areas in the new year much more.

How would you describe your musical style?

Soraya: That’s always a tricky one for us. We never really know how to sum up our musical style as we love taking influences from so many different artists and genres. We just love experimenting and just don’t want to limit ourselves. We know some people really hear the Folk and Pop influence, so we’ve gone with that for the time being.

Jake: We always start with and acoustic guitar and a voice, and that’s how most of our songs are grown. But from there – who the heck knows. This new track certainly sounds more James Bay-esque which we didn’t see coming.

Who were your musical influences growing up?

Jake: I grew up on bands like My Chemical Romance, Biffy Clyro and Guns ’N Roses in between mum playing Whitney Houston and dad playing Iron Maiden.

Soraya: I grew up in Switzerland with a Serbian mother and an Italian dad, so I was fed a lot of traditional Italian classics and Serbian folk music. Mixed up with German pop and some French rap, so pretty bizarre.

Is there a certain mood you have to be in to write music?

Soraya: I don’t really need to be in a certain mood to songwriter. We try and write our songs from feelings, thoughts or conversations we had. So inspiration can usually strike at any given time.

Jake: Yeah, it’s often really spontaneous or follows a couple of hours of conversation. But never the same.

What’s the best gig you’ve ever been to?

Jake: Frank Turner, hands down. He came and did a masterclass whilst I was at uni and my friend and I managed to convince his tour manager to give us free tickets to his show that night. The control, energy and commitment to the crowd from the whole band was beyond words. Best show I’ve ever seen.

Soraya: I saw the band Anteros live about 2 years ago in a venue underneath Waterloo train station and it was the coolest performance ever. I loved how free and colourful it was and really inspired me to want to add a bit of that flavour to our live shows.

What are your plans moving into 2021?

Soraya: Honestly, we’re not 100% sure. We know we want to bring out much more music as we were only able to release two tracks this year, but we’ve got a lot in the pipeline that we’ve been working on for a while now. So maybe an EP?

Jake: For us it’s really important to only look to compete with ourselves and push ourselves to create better music and connect with more amazing people. So with that in mind, 2021 will be more collaboration, self-produced work, and really starting to push the boat out sonically. We really want to experiment around a bit.

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