Vivienne Chi is a breath of fresh air in an oversaturated electro-pop climate.
Favouring good ol’ guitars and drums over synths and beats, the London-based artist has been causing a stir with the stomping rock of her debut track ‘Vivienne’ since it debuted two months ago! Now Chi has just unveiled her second single ‘Junk’, eschewing the frustrated tones of her previous release for a more lighthearted, euphoric piano-driven pop. Ahead of ‘Junk’s release tomorrow, Chi chatted to us about her journey and what she has planned for 2017…
We loved your self-titled anthem ‘Vivienne’. What were you feelings when you wrote the song?
I remember feeling absolutely clear and focused…when it’s going well, writing a song is a meditative process, you’re not really thinking, the songs sort of appears.
The track is bold and carries a strong sense of self, almost as if you were challenging your anxieties with your lyrics. Did you feel a sense of catharsis when completing the track?
I felt a sense of cleansing yes… like channelling pent up frustration into a story, a piece of work to show for those feelings and experiences. I think its dangerous to turn those same feelings inwards, as they can manifest into something bigger and more painful. Always healthier to get it out in the open, whether that’s in the form of a conversation, a painting, or a piece of music.
In a climate of glitchy electro-pop, your indie rock sound is a breath of fresh air amongst your contemporaries. What drew you to that sound?
The rawness inspires me most at the moment, I’ve experimented a lot of with different sounds over the years, this feels natural and exciting to me. My producer and I go with what’s best for the song, we’re writing and try not be too strict with the sounds we use.
What can we expect from you in the near future? Have you any releases on the horizon?
Yes, my second release ‘JUNK’ is out tomorrow! It is a tune about a homeless lady in Camden. Then more releases planned towards the end of this year…
You have an impressively emotive vocal! When did you first start singing and why do you love it so much?
Thank you! I’ve always sang but I was incredibly shy as a child and suffered awful stage fright, I knew I had to overcome that fear to be able to get on stage so I learned to get inside the song and focus on trying to connect it emotionally with the crowd.
Did you grow up in a musical environment? Were your family supportive?
I started recording at twelve in my cousins’ garden shed, we wrote this song called ‘Are You Gonna Keep Me Waiting?’ I was experimenting with RnB licks at the time. My cousin was a couple of years older than me and he played amazing guitar, I was totally in awe and felt a huge pull towards making music. My Dad fronted a covers rock band, I used to get up and sing with him… My Dad has always encouraged me to pursue what I want to do and not sell out.
There is nostalgia to your music. What musicians did you love growing up and how did they have a lasting effect on you?
I grew up listening to Leftfield, Massive Attack, Kate Bush, Portishead, then later I discovered D’Angelo, Erykah Bahdu and Jeff Buckley… I guess I absorbed different things from each artist. The music you listen to as a kid leaves such a huge impression on you…I just want to make honest music.
You were born in Bristol, relocated to Spain as a child and returned to British shores at the age of 18. Why did you decide London was the right place for you as a musician and not Spain?
London is a massive melting pot of different cultures, people from all over the world living together creating things, there is so much to learn and see and it was the obvious choice for me. I knew I would meet the right people here to work with, though it took a while to find my feet.
Now that you’re sharing your own music, what can audiences expect from your live show?
I can’t wait to play live again, I’ll spend a couple of weeks with my band honing the show and experimenting with ideas and arrangements. I’m not sure what it will entail yet but I plan to make it the best thing I’ve ever done.
What else do you have planned for 2017?
I’m independent so I have a lot on my hands with visuals, more releases and putting together the show….I like to keep writing so I’m working with different artists and producers.
Vivienne Chi’s new single ‘Junk’ is out tomorrow.