With Independant Venue Week on the approach, and with signs of snow in the air, we got to catch up with Alice on the importance of grass root venues and new music.
Making an appearance in 2016 with her debut single ‘Liquorice’, Alice Jemima went on to release an EP later the same year, and in the following 2017, released the beautifully written self-titled debut album ‘Alice Jemima’. Now two years later, we caught up with Alice after a busy year of festivals and recording on the approach to Independant Venue Week:
Welcome Alice! To give our readers some background, where are you from and how did you make your move into music?
Hello! I’m from Devon. I started playing guitar at a young age and then eventually moved on to writing songs, singing and producing music. I’ve always been surrounded by music as my mum played the violin in a Tango band whilst I was growing up, so I used to go to a lot of festivals and gigs as a kid – and fall asleep on the hay bales!
Who have your inspirations been growing up, from the beginning to now? How (if at all) have they changed?
When I was younger my mum played a lot of Sade, Macy Grey, Norah Jones and M People. I love to listen to all of those artists still, but in my teens I fell in love with bands like the XX, and slowly moved on to loving dance music, hip-hop, disco… Anything with a good beat.
Independent venue week is coming up, how important are grass root venues for yourself and other musicians? Very important. I’ve had a lot of support from independent music venues over the years, in many ways, not just to play in front of an audience to but to also meet other musicians, sound engineers, bar staff, etc! There’s a great community. The local venues that I’ve grown up playing in and seeing other bands include The Barrel House in Totnes and the Cavern & the Phoenix in Exeter. I have fond memories playing most of the venues on the IVW list, though! I think they’re so important for everyone.
Talking about IVW week, you’ll be performing at the Hoxton SBK (square bar & kitchen) on the 30thof January hosted by CloseUp, how much are you prepping and have you performed there before?
Yes, I’ve performed at Hoxton SBK before, but it was about 6 years ago, so it’s definitely time to come back! I’ve been prepping for this show quite a bit, as I was in the studio for most of last year; so have needed to refresh my mind a little! But it’s meant that I’ve got some new songs to play, which I’m looking forward to playing.
If you could work with another artist, who would be on the top of your list?
I do love working with producers / beat makers and Jamie XX has always been high on that list, Bonobo and Flume would also be right up there.
Your self-titled debut album ‘Alice Jemima’ came out in 2017. Which would be your favourite song and what’s the meaning behind it for you?
I don’t really have a favourite as such (they’re all my babies!), but I think I’ll go with ‘Electric’ as it’s a very positive song, and about the realisation that you can do amazing things, if only you can see yourself the way others do. It’s also fun to play live.
In the spirit of gigs, do you think the demand has grown for live performance? And what do you think are the highlights?
I suppose it has, I mean there’s a fair few festivals these days with so much choice of music! Also, with Spotify and other platforms, people are discovering lots of new music and then wanting to see these artists live. I don’t know if the demands grown as such, people have been going to gigs for years, but it’s still definitely there.
Can we expect new music coming into 2019?
You’ve reached over 17 million plays on Spotify, where in the world if you haven’t already travelled, would you love to go and play for your fans?
Gosh! I still can’t get my head around that.
I see Mexico pop up quite a bit for where my music is most played, I haven’t been and I definitely would love to.
What message would you give your fans to encourage them for the new year?
Keep dancing, and going to Independent venues to see lots of live music!!