1) What's something about yourself that fans may not know.
A: Before I got into acting I was training to be a part of the 2012 olympics as a gymnast and won gold for the best in London and came 3rd in the uk finals for my age group when I was 8-12! I was probably in the best shape of my life when I was that young! When I was in school I was known as the back flip kid and as a side hustle I would do a Backflip if you paid me a pound! That way I could buy extra sweets at lunch!
2) How has London had an impact on your music style, if at all?
A: It will always be part of me and the place I call home but I think in terms of music inspiration unless we are talking about 'Paul Weller and The Style Council' & 'Tom Misch' not that much. I would probably be writing the same music where ever I was in the world. funk and soul was what I fell in love with first. I think my music taste is a lot more in tune with are friends across the pond. People like Prince, Pharrell & Nile Rodgers. They are all master of blending funk, soul and pop which is what I set out to achieve when recording my music. America was the birth place of the genes I fell for. America is such a force of nature in the world of entertainment. Especially when I was a kid, I soak up so much of their music and culture. I still remember waking up early in the morning to watch MTV and copy the dance moves and sing a along to Justin Timberlakes "like i love you."
3) What's the inspiration behind your single 'This Other Girl?'
A: At the time I wrote this song I was dating someone, it wasn't serious but, I was seeing them for a few weeks. While I was dating them I could not get ‘This Other Girl’ out of my head. So much so that when I was with the person I was dating, I couldn’t concentrate on my partner at all as I was too distracted by thoughts of this other girl. They had me in a total daze and I could not focus on anything else. I became infatuated by this person. It quickly became very clear that I had to end things with the person I was seeing, as it would have been unfair to them and to my feelings. What made things more complicated is that the person I was falling for was already in a relationship. So there was no happy ending to be had, just hurt feelings and missed chances. In relationships I often have the tendency to think that “the grass is always greener” and get distracted. Sometimes that can be a positive and hopeful thing as you aspire for something greater. But sometimes really you should wake up, smell the roses and get this other girl off your mind.
A lot of people will think this song is about the physical act of cheating, but it's not. It's about the emotional side of cheating. Which in my opinion is more dangerous. I’m far from perfect in my relationships and have been on both sides of cheating and being cheated on. If someone sleeps with your partner you might be able to work through it, but if you fall head-over-heels in love with another person (like I did), well my dudes that's what we call being caught between a rock and a hard place. It’s a Kobayashi Maru, a dead-end, a no-win scenario. Obviously it differs from relationship to relationship and, no matter what, still causes a whole heap of mess. But I have always found in my personal experience that the connection two people have emotionally is more deadly than the act of sex itsself (although that usually doesn’t help either).
4) What's your process like when going into the studio to make a new track?
A: The recording took place largely in Nick’s home studio When I work with Nick Burns, we usually start by layering the guitar first and then moving onto tracking the drums, after that we layer the vocals and follow that with the bass. Nick is also my bass player in the band when we play live. This means we have experience performing these songs together already, so, by the time we roll around to the studio all the elements of the song start to really gel together. Suddenly we have the structure that we will base the song around. Nick and I usually think of this as the skeleton on the song, after that we move on to the meat, adding further instrumentation, tweaking things and taking inspiration as we go.
Part of what makes Nick and I such a great team is we have an excellent relationship not only as producer and artist but also as friends and musicians. Every time we work on a track we find ourselves getting drawn into it one way or another, Nick is always quick to interpret what I want in regards to my music, and he works to create something that we can both see as a polished piece. Something with a high production value and real flair but still with the flavour and charm of my original composition. Whether this takes 2 hours to put together or 200 we always have a great time, share laughs and generally don’t take ourselves too seriously.
5) How did your role as Billy Elliot help lead you into your musical career?
A: Billy Elliot gave me a strong foundation for everything i wanted to be, the show taught me how to dance sing and act. It set me on the path that I always wanted to be on. I love preforming growing up and had some skill but the show nurtured the talents I had and made them to something more. As a 12 year old to already be on stage, that was the best experience I could ever ask for. I learnt so much, mainly how to milk the audience for more applause.. which is the most important lesson of all.
6) If you could have one collaboration for the rest of your career, who would it be?
A: At the moment I think I would pick Tyler, The Creator. We like a lot of the same music and I love how innovative his production style is. He always is doing something new, ever track he puts out is different from the last. He is also, like me, a Pharrell fan boy. I like how each album he puts out lives in a world of its own stylistically. From the sounds, visuals and design he never misses a beat. I hope one day to have my fingers in as many pies as Tyler does.
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