Sunday, July 15, 2012

Queen Of Hearts Interview

Last month I featured the latest music video from UK singer 'Queen Of Hearts'. Her latest EP was released to critical claim from both fans and critics alike. I caught up with the Queen herself to chat music, fashion and future plans.

1 - Congrats on the new EP ... the tracks are great. What was the inspiration for the songs?

Thank you :) I'm inspired by the idea of love, so all my songs focus on that in some form, whether it be the good or the bad. I take ideas from what's going on in my own life and that of the people around me. I've always been a bit of an eavesdropper, the tube is a great place to pick up lyric ideas! :)

2 - You seem to have grown quite quickly since early tracks like 'Freestyle' and really seem to of come into your own with the new EP .. Do you feel like you have honed in on your image and sound over the last year or do you like to constantly evolve?

I think so, I've always known what I want to create musically and what sort of artist I would be stylistically, but I think it's so important to grow and working with new people constantly pushes me and takes me to places I never thought I could go, and I love that. My life has changed so much in the last year on a personal level as well, so I think a lot of that comes out in my writing and the sound of "Neon/Tears" EP compared to "The Arrival" EP.

3 - Over the last year or two the music critics (PopJustice,Q etc) have really backed you. As a young artist how does it feel to have such     strong support from important music heads?

I feel incredibly lucky! I'm a country girl, I wrote a lot of my songs in my bedroom and wasn't sure whether anyone would ever hear any of them, but now people are actually supporting me, buying the records and asking for an album. As an artist you constantly doubt yourself, so to have support from people who don't have to back you is incredibly overwhelming, sometimes you have to pinch yourself. 

4 - You have worked with some fantastic producers over the last year including the Sound of Arrows, how important is it for you when choosing producers to work with and are you eyeing up any for the future?

Massively important, I'm a bit of a perfectionist and have an exact idea of how I want the album to sound, so to work with artists that I actually admire like Monarchy, Bright Light Bright Light and The Sound of Arrows is amazing. AlunaGeorge and Mark Reeder also did remixes of my singles, which felt a bit like Christmas, Easter and my birthday all at once, like I said, I'm a very lucky girl. I'm a big fan of Richard X and Patrick Berger, so I'm going to try and bribe them with cake to work with me in the future! At the end of summer (not that we've had one) I'm also heading out to work with Frankmusik, so this is becoming an incredibly exciting year for me and the QOH album.

5 - The new EP has just been released, and is going down quite well with critics and fans. What are you plans from here ... will you be focused on gigs or are you planning a full LP?

A bit of both really, I want to put out a couple more EP's before a full album, but I'm also planning to spread my wings and venture out of London for a mini tour.

6 - Gr
owing up who and what inspired you? Music/Fashion etc

I was a massive Michael Jackson and Madonna fan. I used to go through my mum's CD collection, there was a lot of 80s electro like Howard Jones, Wham, The Thompson Twins, The Human League, so I was drawn to that synthetic electronic sound from a young age. I was a kid of the nineties so, that whole dance/techno sound was pretty big, even though I wasn't old enough to go out and rave. I do remember doing karaoke at about age 11 to Ace of base, so that's where the Swedish obsession came from. I'm a magpie and I've always been attracted to the weird and wonderful style wise, I remember when I saw the pictures of Bjork in the swan dress at the Oscars and thought, "That's a pop star"

7 -  Your image is very strong, do you play a strong part in the art direction for your shoots and videos?

Yes, I have an amazing team that make my ideas possible, I'm a bit left of centre and my lyrics can be quite dark, so I want everything I do visually to reflect that. I'm also a bit colourblind when it comes to style, I pretty much only wear black and my style is very classic, I like long dresses, lace, leather, high neck lines and accessories.

8 - You have performed at various fashion shows and events, is there any designers or artists out there that you would like to collaborate with?

I've been very lucky to have worn some wonderful pieces from the likes of Inbar Spector, Lako Bukia, Charlie Le Mindu and Hasan Hejazi. I also love working with up and coming designers straight out of fashion college, because they take risks and put so much love into their creations, I've worn pieces by Lucy Kenney and Emily Sowden. I love clothes that are different from the norm and make you feel incredible when you put them on. I guess in a dream world, I'd love to wear some Marc Jacobs, Alexander McQueen or Vivienne Westwood.

9 -  Today, record labels seem very unwilling to get behind a new artist, they seem to wait for them to make themselves successes on Youtube etc before signing ... Have you found it difficult at any stage to really get yourself across to companies?

It's a double-edged sword at the moment. Labels have less money to spend on new artists because less people are buying music, so we all have our part to play. I do think majors could take more risks with who they sign, but the great thing about the internet is that it makes the industry a level playing field - it's become much easier to make your music accessible to the public. There are people all over the world listening to my songs, that's pretty incredible. The internet is a powerful tool, use it wisely.

10 - Looking forward, what are your plans and goals for the next year?

I like the element of surprise, life doesn't care about your plans, so why make them? A year and a half ago, I didn't have any songs, this summer I'm playing Wireless Festival in Hyde Park, that's pretty incredible. Ultimately, I want to put out the album and tour, everything else that comes along the way is a bonus. I'm very grateful to have a supportive fan base and to be making music, I plan to enjoy every minute of that.

Queen Of Hearts new EP 'Neon/Tears In The Rain' is available now!