The mysterious artist lets us into her world to talk cathartic songwriting and her plans for 2018…
Unfurling like a butterfly from her cocoon, London artist Paulaa has made a gracefully smooth ascent through the blogosphere with her beautifully ethereal sound. Her recent single ‘Commit’ was a classy ode to tumultuous push and pull of a relationship, underpinned with skittish, trip-hop echoing beats whilst ‘Know You’ incorporates synth pop to show a darker side to the songwriter.
However, it is Paulaa’s sultry and soaring vocal that sets her apart. We tracked her down to discover more…
Your recent single ‘Commit’ blew us away! Can you tell us a little about what the track means to you?
Thank you, I’m glad you like it! ‘Commit’ is a really special song for me. When Carolanne Busuttil, Eddie Serafica and I met for a writing session, it was actually with the intention to write for another artist, however, as soon as we’d started writing ‘Commit’, I felt connected to it both sonically and lyrically. I just couldn’t let the song go. It immediately felt personal and so familiar to me – it came from a real place.
The track is very honest and confessional. Is the process of songwriting cathartic for you?
On many levels, yes definitely. It’s hard to explain; in the process of writing I get into this space… space that feels real and honest. It’s like accessing your subconscious. I just let go… I love that feeling. It’s like you process what you have observed, experienced, collected over time and then it comes out in the form of a song.
The song channels an emotive sound that incorporates elements of RnB and 90s trip-hop. How do you feel that those sounds have influenced your own music?
I listen to loads of different genres. And when writing I love experimenting with different sounds, textures, harmonies, rhythmic patterns… I follow my musical instinct. R&B, 90s trip-hop, and pop have all definitely influenced my music. I feel like I connected with elements of these genres and processed them in my own way.
Your latest track ‘Know You’ arrived hot on the heels of ‘Commit’ and shows a darker and more experimental side to your music, with glitchy and throbbing electronics! Were you experimenting in the studio? How did that track come to life?
Yes, Eddie and I went into the studio and just started improvising and trying out different things, both with writing and production. It was very natural. We felt free in the creative space. I did, however, have an idea or feeling of what song I wanted to write that day, but it was only like a subconscious guide. We gave this song a lot of space to come to life and we ended up finishing it that day.
Your music has its own unique identity. How did you arrive upon your current sound?
It took years of exploring and experimenting. I would follow what felt right and what I identified with. I’m happy I’ve arrived at a point where I understand my musical identity, however, there is still so much more to explore.
What led you to songwriting and being a musician? Was there a pivotal moment where you thought, “I must make music”?
I’ve always been attracted to music, singing came first, instrument (piano) second, and writing came soon after. Music has always been a world that has fascinated and drawn me in.
What artist has had a lasting influence on your sound and approach to songwriting?
There are quite a few, but if I had to pick one… the first name that comes to mind is Nina Simone…
Is there an EP in the works?
Yessss … It will be released later this year. Excited!
What do you have in store for 2018?
I’ll be releasing my EP, writing and sharing new music, and some performances later on this year.
What is your favourite album of last year and why?
Mmm, there are many, it’s hard to pick one, ha.. but definitely Sza’s album Ctrl. Her music is so coooool. It sounds really fresh; I just really enjoy listening to it.
Paulaa’s singles ‘Commit’ and ‘Know You’ are available now.