BIRD is back and flying with her latest single, Hurricane.
She has been branded an ‘Electro-Pop’ artist but is more Trans-Genre. Hurricane boasts epic string passages and pumping drums: a confident lead performance and whoosing pads. It is the latest release from the album, Inside Out, and documents the storm one can experience in a relationship – where the parties who live in an unhappy relationship and want something more. I ask her about the song – which has been remixed by Ash Howes, Tin Tin Out and Philip Larsen (in different versions) – and what more we can expect from Inside Out. Previous albums have revolved around the voice (Girl and a Cello) and computers (Figments of Our Imagination) – I am fascinated by the evolution and diversity of a promising and fantastic young songwriter.
Bird discusses whether we will see more remixes from Inside Out; how she fuses genres together and what kind of music upbringing she had. I ask about her favourite musical memory to date and whether there will be any tour dates coming – and the three albums that mean the most to her.
Hi, Bird. How are you? How has your week been?
I’m in the middle of working on a chill-out remix of my own single – with remixer LA Son.
For those new to your work, can you introduce yourself, please?
I’m Bird. I’m a singer-songwriter making alternative Electro/Pop music (although I prefer to be described as ‘Trans-Genre’).
I’m a multi-instrumentalist. I also write and produce for other artists.
Did you catch Glastonbury? What was your opinion? Any performances stand out to you?
Sadly not yet – been too busy in the studio.
The new single, Hurricane, is out on 11th August. What can you tell us about its themes and background?
It’s about a fictional affair – two people looking for more but know, that in getting what they want, they may create a terrible storm.
I don’t like to write directly about anyone in particular so I make songs out of all the little stories and things I hear or experience.
It is the second single from the album, Inside Out. What more can you reveal about the album and the sort of songs we can expect?
I am trying to co-write as much as possible.
The last album I did pretty much alone – including playing everything – so I wanted to be more sociable this time round!
I was also inspired by an album I worked on last year – that was entirely created by a series of collaborations – and thought I’d like to try doing something similar.
In terms of composition and producing, you are one of those people who take care of everything and does not need many other bodies. Is it quite hard tackling it all or do you prefer that approach?
It’s not been a conscious choice really – it’s just the way it’s happened.
I like working alone, but equally, when I am not being ‘Bird’, I write and work with other artists – so I love the collaborative process too.
Apparently, genres as far-flung as Trip-Hop and Soul will make their way into the album. Is it quite hard recording one song in a particular headspace and stepping somewhere different for another track?
It’s actually a lot easier in some ways – you have more freedom to create whatever you fancy.
In the past, you have given your music to D.J.s and producers to remix. Will this happen with Inside Out, do you think?
How early did music hit you? I know you picked up the cello at a young age. Were you always driven to be a musician?
I was six when I started playing the cello. I never thought about it as a ‘job’ because it is not work; it’s part of me – so I never grew up thinking one day I’ll be a professional musician.
I grew up knowing I’d always make music…
Can you remember the artists you grew up to that sparked that ambition and passion?
Playing sparked that ambition: listening to other people just confirmed it.
What have been your favourite memories in music so far? Is there a live date or achievement that you would single out?
I co-wrote and sung a song last year – that was the title track on an album that went to number one in Belgium last year.
That was my first number one and that was cool.
Playing Glastonbury was great but the coolest gigs are the little intimate ones.
Can we expect any tour dates in the coming months?
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
Perfect Plush are doing a really interesting project – they’re from Copenhagen.
If you had to select three albums that have meant the most to you; which would they be and why?
Michael Jackson – Off the Wall
I got given it by the man who owned the bar I was dancing in. I was about seven, on holiday in Holland, I think.
Apparently, I did a great spin to Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough.
The Police – Zenyatta Mondatta
I’d just started playing the drums – and hearing the drumming on this album blew my mind.
Elliot Smith – Figure 8
Simply beautiful songwriting – inspires me endlessly.
What advice would you give to any new artists starting out right now?
Make music because you can’t imagine not doing it. Play because you can’t stop – and only listen to people if they have something constructive to tell you.
NEVER let anyone tell you you’re too old, too young – too whatever.
Music has no boundaries – only societies have those.
Finally, and for being a good sport, you can name a song and I’ll play it here (not one of yours as I’ll do that). Let’s get your audience spinning too…
Michael Jackson – Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough