Hi Nicolah, thanks for taking the time for a chat with Clunk.
Could you tell us about your time growing up in Cumbria and when you realised that you wanted to be a singer/songwriter.
I can’t say I knew I wanted to be a singer/songwriter when I was growing up in Cumbria. I have fond memories of the Cumbrian landscape, walks up the lakes and days by the beach but looking back my time growing up in Cumbria was definitely conflicted. I felt both at home & alone. It was as much fear and excitement that drove me to London. In terms of music, my parents weren’t serious muso’s but they did both play and we went to church most Sundays where my favourite part was always the music. So music was often around me, and I enjoyed playing tapes in the car or C.D’s from the limited collection we had. I remember starting a band in junior school and writing some weird songs that were never recorded. Thank God! I wrote a lot of songs on the piano around the beginning of senior school. My Dad was into recording and he had a programme called Cakewalk which he eventually taught me how to use. From then on I kept writing and recording. Still I never really considered what a singer/songwriter was, and I just followed wherever my own music path which led to Kendal college and then down to Westminster University.
Can you remember your first completed song, how old were you, what was it about and do you still play it?
Yes, it was called ‘I love you’, and it was the first song I recorded on Cakewalk. I think the chords were C G Em D or something like that. It was obviously about love, but, I definitely don’t still play it!
How long have you been based in London? Do you get to see lots of gigs?
I can’t believe it but I’ve been here 10 years. Not as many and I recently missed seeing Jungle because I thought it was the day after the day it was. I’m still grieving about that as I had bought tickets!
You have recently released the single ‘holiday’ and been on tour around Cumbria. What was the highlight of the tour?
Oh that would have to be going back to my old school, St. Pauls, I took the idea behind ‘Holiday’ which was about having hope. And developed it into a workshop to write hope poems. Some of the poems the kids came up with melted my heart and I’m really excited to the share the finished piece sometime next year.
You spend some time working with young people, can you tell us what that entails.
Yes, I’ve just taken on a new role at Spotlight in East London working a to deliver sessions for young women wanting to get into music. We have a state-of-the-art studio with 4 separate writing rooms attached. It’s about creating a space the young women can use to explore their creativity, develop musical skills and share their experiences. I see my role as a curator, finding content, activities & tools to aid them on their journeys. I’m also hoping to bring in other professionals to inspire them.
Here at Clunk HQ we have recently been listening to Bilge Pump, Snapped Ankles, Working Men’s Club, and Beak to name a few, and the recently released Girl Band album The Talkies. What’s been floating your boat lately?
I’m obsessed with the new Bon Iver album, i,i I’ve pretty much had it on repeat. Kanye West’s Ye, Little Sims GREY Area and Jungle’s For Ever.
Have you plans for a further release soon?
Yes, I have my next single coming out at the end of November.
At the Vinyl Café you covered the Beyonce song ‘Crazy in Love’. Any other songs that you would like to cover and perhaps record?
I have recorded a few, I do a cover of ‘Nothing else matters’ that Metallica have seen and said they liked it. I’ll be releasing some more covers at the beginning for next year.
What are your plans for the next few months?
Since the tour I’ve taken a short break and now I’m putting the final pieces in place for my last release of the year, Eve, out at the beginning of December.
Thanks again for taking the time for Clunk Nicolah.
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