CREATIVE DIRECTORS - Derrick Odafi, Diego Martinez Chacon
CREATIVE PRODUCER - Jessica Rushforth
PHOTOGRAPHER - Diego Martinez Chacon
VISUAL DIRECTOR - John Serunjogi
STYLIST - Clea Brockes
STYLIST ASSISTANT - Adena Gordon
SET DESIGNER - Jessica Rushforth
GAFFER - Derrick Odafi
MUA - Aoife Hipkin
HAIR STYLIST - Amanda Toto
STUDIO Take More Photos Studio
Hi, How are you?
I am good just adjusting to lockdown.
We can imagine, are you recording during this time?
Yeah, I am going to the studio on Monday, so that makes it a bit better this time around.
What is the earliest musical memory you have?
Ohhh my god. There are two that are really close together. The earliest, when my mum and her three best friends formed an acapella quarter. I was really small, like before school so around 4. They would just get together in our living room every weekend and just sing arrangements of harmonies over popular songs and originals. And I would just lie on the floor looking up at them building songs from their voices alone. It was always such a magical feeling.
Do you think having that around you so early had an influence on your path.
Definitely, it was never pushed on me. But it was around me in all aspects, both vocally, and instrumental wise - with my dad being a sound engineer. It definitely gave me a natural education for songwriting and music production. It's hard to know what else I would've done had I not been around music all my life, because I grew up quite shy, especially when it came to singing, and still I get nerves. But i have always loved performing and being an entertainer, so i definitely would have done something creative regardless.
You used to do backing vocals for the likes of Cee Lo Green,what was it like transitioning from behind someone else's vision, to stepping into your own?
I joined Cee Lo for a show at Wembley and it was so surreal. I had such a delayed reaction to taking part in that as well. He was someone that I admired and looked up too for so long and the whole thing, to do such a big show, was such a massive learning experience and confidence builder. But it was almost too big that it didn't feel real at the time and one day months later i just sat up and was like “wow i really did that.” Everyone just looked like little dots at the time and it just didn’t feel real.
“ It's just about being as honest as possible in each scenario. That's something I have found comfort in and people relating to it as well just encourages me and reminds me to keep going with making the music I do.”
How did moving to London so young impact you as a person, or did you always have a sense of knowing and independence?
I have always been independent, I am an only child and used to being in my own company. I was so determined and hungry, to just expand on what I wanted to do that the initial move was very exciting. Meeting people and immersing myself with new people was really positive. Obviously, you grow and learn a lot being independent outside of home. Everyone I have met here has really accepted me and taken me under their wing, so it's just home away from home.
In your opening line of “I Wanna Know”, you say “step outside yourself, you will find it helps,” can you speak a little on what inspired that lyric?
Have you ever wanted to be a fly on the wall? Like just sit on the wall and gain a better perspective on things. I love the whole fly on the wall concept, but I think especially during lockdown, I was by myself and constantly creating. Living, working and breathing in the same space after a point, it got quite hard to see the bigger picture at times. And the only way I could explain it to myself was to step outside of myself quite literally and look up what it was from the outside to sort of gain a perspective without having anyone there to guide.
How has this period and the pandemic impacted your approach to your work and general life?
I am an introvert-extrovert….. She explains, I enjoy being around people and bouncing off others, but equally I relish being alone and in my own company. So at first, it was like, this is great not much has changed. But having the choice of either or, taken away is psychologically different, well for my psyche anyway ... knowing that I didn't have the choice to be free after the first few months started to take its toll. By the 4th month, I started getting over it, it was a bittersweet feeling especially because it was during summer.