Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
N: I am the serious artist, the type who is not likely to write a happy-go-lucky bubblegum pop song no matter how many times my parents tell me “just write a happy song, people will love that”.
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
N: Born and raised in the welsh hills, I was surrounded by music growing up as my dad was a musician. I fell in love with music after joining the local choir in my teens and becoming immersed in the world of vocal harmonies and endless reverbs. I spent the past five years in Manchester and London, treasuring the opportunity of meeting all forms of people and their stories. In my final year of university, I finally discovered my sound acknowledging my roots in choral and folk music while embracing the sounds of the city with vocoders and electronic synth elements.
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
N: My music is heavily influenced by Aurora and Billie Eilish in their mutual use of eclectic vocal harmonies and fascinating soundscapes melding together the worlds of chamber pop and electronic music. Non musically, I find thriller and dystopian fiction films provide a strong influence within my music. I love the intricate plots of psychological thrillers where the ending of the story is never truly an ending merely a revelation or further understanding. Both genres have the ‘low’ points in the plot where the character experiences their worst moments and these moments are the fundamental inspirations behind many of my songs. Thriller soundtracks can be particularly fascinating as well with ‘Sinister’s use of harrowing soundscapes and theme tunes for specific repetitive scenes throughout the movie or David Lynch’s outstanding use of silence within his cinematography – ‘Twin Peaks’ being a brilliant example of this.
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
N:One of my major dreams is to play the Royal Albert Hall, the beauty of choral harmonies within circular venues is an ethereal experience – even being able to perform alone in the venue would be a blessing. Another dream would be to have one of my songs be featured within a major motion picture – something like the next ‘Hunger Games’ or ‘James Bond’ – due to the movies being such a major influence for my project, it would be eutrophic to hear my music on the big screen. Hearing my song in a supermarket or a taxi radio, just so I can turn to whoever is next to me and say “that is me!” I would love to meet the minds behind some of my favourite music, to sit down and actually get to know the people that create the environments and worlds in music that brought me through the highs and lows in my life.
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
N: I have two co-writers but the majority of music written for this project was written by myself. The major themes throughout my music surround mental health and my relationship with the character ‘LVCIE’. LVCIE is the personification of everything I hate and fear about myself. She is the voice I try to ignore, the devil on my shoulder but this project taught me that she is still me and throughout the project, I found that no matter how much I try to write about someone else – a break up, a boy, an enemy, a lover, a parent or friend – I always just end up writing about me and her. So this project is about me and LVCIE, hence why the project starts with ‘LVCIE’.
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
N: I try to be active on all forms of social media so that no matter where my fans are, they will have get a different experience on each platform based on the strengths of the platform. On my Instagram I actively post updates, ‘live’ style videos, teasers and promo as well as artworks and digital paintings I like to do in my spare time. On Facebook, I host a weekly livestream series called CANVAS Sessions every Sunday at 6pm where my community can come together every week for half an hour. On YouTube, I post produced videos of new covers and originals every week and will be looking to expand that to becoming the hub for my music videos as well as loop based medley style videos. I like to be active and always around so that my community knows I am always there and in return I get to practice what I love and share every part of my journey as it happens.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
N: The topic of streaming and online music revenue has been the cause for controversy within the music industry since Napster back in the early 2000s – I nearly wrote my dissertation on this topic so it is definitely a big one. In my opinion, I love the effect these developments have had on the music industry. Yes, it broke the music industry and completely destroyed many of the fundamental revenue streams and business practices that kept the majority of musicians and industry practitioners afloat but it has also provided so much more opportunity for the independent musician from construction of new deals with labels to specifically tailored independent businesses – such as label services like AWAL and Horus Music. Musicians can now keep hold of their intellectual ownership rights under the new rules of the music industry and the success of the average musician is a lot higher and a lot more diversified since the introduction of music downloads and online music streaming.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
N: This is a constantly changing answer for me. The obvious answers would be ‘the Friends theme tune’ or anything by Max Martin but I personally would love to have written ‘The Seed’ – Aurora, her use of syncopated melodies and the monolithic feel to the chorus is something I constantly strive for within my music. But check back with me in a month and I will most likely have found another song I wish I’d written.
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
N: Toxicity and prejudice within the music industry is a relatively major one for me. I try to support musicians and artists with pure hearts as this world does not need anymore poison in the spotlight. Coming from a songwriting degree, it is a difficult environment as – in order to be a better songwriter – you cannot just write off a genre as ‘bad’. It hurts when I hear people say “*insert name* is just horrible, their music is trash”, especially from other musicians as they know better than anyone the amount of love, work and soul put into every single song we hear, even if the person singing it may not have written it or even cared about singing it, to someone, somewhere that song is their baby sent out into the universe.
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
N: Hearing my song played on BBC Radio Wales is probably my proudest moment so far. When I listened to the broadcast live, I sat in bed giggling like a madman for an hour as it was the first time someone who has no idea who I am show that they actually believe in me and like what I do.
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
N: I am currently working on the release of my debut single ‘LVCIE’ which will be out December 11th.
PD: What music have you available online and where can we buy it from?
N: ‘LVCIE’ is my debut single and will be out December 11th on all major streaming platforms but you can pre-save ‘LVCIE’ on Spotify here: https://show.co/eLCMyvD