• Blessing Borode

Providing A Fresh Sound To UK R&B, We Catch Up With South-East London Artist Lovelle:[interview]

Lovelle talks about being present in the moment, the importance of collaboration and how she practices self care.

In preparation for her forthcoming EP ‘Therapy’ R&B singer-songwriter Lovelle teases us with her new single ‘Beggin’ - mirroring the sounds to come in her new project. 

Lovelle obtains a transparent and relatable approach to her songwriting where listeners are instantly drawn to the topics she explores. She says: “‘Beggin’ is about staying in a relationship because you think it’s the right thing to do; the constant complaints and arguing and sacrificing the things that make you happy, because of someone else. The partner isn’t happy either but begs to stay with you, creating a mess no one really wanted.”

Entering the scene in 2019 with an original and intransigent sound, she has already earned the support from key tastemakers like Complex, NME, LINKUP and radio support from the likes of BBCR 1Xtra’s DJ Ace, Trevor Nelson, Twin B, DJ Target and BBCR1’s Annie Mac. 

We had the chance to catch up with Lovelle where she spoke about self-care in relation to her new EP and about the importance of collaboration as this single is a result of her teaming up with well-known songwriters Math Time Joy and J Warner. 

Where did you grow up? 

I grew up in one of the most hard working and talent filled areas, South East London.

What was your first experience with music?

It was seeing Kurt Cobain on TV with his band Nirvana performing In Bloom. I fell in love. It was the first time I was able to understand music relating to feelings. 

When did you realise you wanted it to be a career?

I don’t think I sat there and said to myself ‘today is the day I’m taking this seriously’, it gradually happened. 

Congrats on your new single ‘Beggin’ - how much of your songs are drawn from your real life experiences? 

Thank you very much, I appreciate it.  I find it hard to not write from my experiences if I’m honest.  I want to be able to connect with my songs and people at all times, so most of them.

You have collaborated with some well known names in the R&B scene, what was that process and experience like for you?

It was beautiful and I’m grateful for every moment that is presented to me.  Maths was introduced to me by an A&R a few years ago who was helping me at the time, finding producers that fit my music. We quickly became friends and made music well together.  I’ve had the pleasure of knowing J Warner for most of my life as we came from the same area, so it’s quite special being able to work with people you’ve seen grow up with you.  

What tips would you give to songwriters about collaborating with other artists? 

I think it’s the best thing you could do. I used to feel insecure about collaborating with others because I thought maybe it meant I wasn’t good enough.  As much as I write a lot of songs alone, being able to create with others allows you to create new experiences, understand unfamiliar topics and connect in general. 

What is your songwriting process?

I freestyle a lot and I like to write to loops where the production is quite empty. I like space. I usually write my ideas beforehand and then bring them to the studio. 

Have you ever found yourself in a creative block, if so, how did you overcome it?

Oh many times, but I don’t like to call it a block anymore. I used to force myself to create but now I let myself have that moment to chill. My brain can only handle so much, so if it needs some space, I’ll give it time and come back when I feel ready. I find I make better music that way.

How has your sound changed since your first release?

The music I made before was surface level and the music I make now has substance.  I wasn’t sure of the sound I was creating before whereas now I’m very aware that I am predominantly an RnB artist. 

How do you want people to feel when they hear your music?

I want them to feel like they belong.  I write my songs so people can relate and feel comfortable in hearing someone else talk about things that they might find difficult.  I’m a very in your feelings type artist and I don’t think that’s going to change, so as long as I’m able to have people hear me and find some peace or understanding, I’ve done my job.  

If you could be anywhere right now, where would you be and what would you be doing? 

I want to be in St Lucia, eating some plantain and meditating on the beach. 

What is your favourite photo of yourself and why?

I have a polaroid of myself from one of my house parties I throw every year and this one was 90’s themed.  I’m wearing a pink wig shaped like a bob, a vintage Giants jersey, cycling shorts and tanned timbs.  I love this picture because I was so happy that day and when it was developed the first thing I thought of was ‘I can’t wait for my future kids to see how loved they will be’. I keep this in my purse now. 

What can we expect from your new EP ‘Therapy’?

Everything on this project has been worked on so delicately over the past couple years, so you’re going to experience a lot of feelings and a lot of real shit.  

How are you practicing self-care during this time? 

100.. I’m meditating, having my therapy sessions, I’m doing my bath rituals with Himalayan salts and candles, I’m working out, eating well and moisturising like there’s no tomorrow, because I will not come out of quarantine ashy. 

When are you most at peace?

When I’m by water or under the stars and in an art gallery

Do you have any mantras that you live by?

Be present, trust in your gut and do not fear as fear is an illusion

If you weren’t a musician what would you be?

Probably a therapist. I love guiding people into their own light

I read that you also attended the Sylvia Young Theatre School - if you could act in any film, what would it be? 

This is a banging question. I’ve never thought about this wow. I’m going to go with Neytiri from Avatar, such a beautiful character. 

What would you like to experiment with in your music?

Because I grew up listening to Rock/Punk/Emo music I would love to dive into that one day. Kinda like how Pink switched it up. 

What’s the first thing you’d like to do when lockdown is lifted?

Hug my brother, eat food at E&O and feel another person’s body.

You can stream 'Beggin' now on all platforms and keep up to date with Lovelle on instagram @love_lovelle

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