Every Monday we will be bringing you an unsigned singer or band as part of our Independent Music Monday feature. This week, we caught up with SuRie find out more about her…
Where are you from and how did you first get into music?
I'm from Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire. Fortunately, although neither of them played it, my parents had an upright piano and that drew me in instantly. The town also offered an amazing amount of musical opportunities and I wanted to do them all - Choirs, Orchestras, Dance Schools, Performing Arts Productions, Acoustic Clubs, Open Mic nights - it was busy and incredible.
Who were your musical influences when you were growing up and who are your influences now?
Growing up I was blown away by the big, soulful voices of Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey and also singer-songwriters like Joni Mitchell, Carole King, Tori Amos and Emiliana Torrini. Now I also adore artists such as Agnes Obel and Ry X.
How would you describe your sound?
Piano led storytelling pop... that sounds like I've just picked genres out of a scrabble bag and chucked them on the table...
What is your latest single called and what was the influence behind it?
Not a single exactly, but I independently released a 10 track LP called 'Something Beginning With...' which was influenced by a couple of years of travelling all over the world - exploring, writing and recording. I'd been working in theatre in London for quite a few years, a world and community which I still have a huge passion for, but I needed some time out of playing characters - professionally and personally. This is just the start; the start of something. I spied, with my little eye, 'Something Beginning With...'
What's your local music scene like?
I travel a lot and performing live, wherever, is still my very favourite thing. That is home for me, completely and utterly. Still, I can't help but feel like the local music scene for us all is now the tinternet!! It's an ever evolving, scary, exciting, challenging, frustrating, inspiring world of opportunities and viral cat videos.
What do you have planned for the next 12 months? Any albums or festivals?
More gigs, more writing, more stories, more recording, more creating! I'm looking forward to sharing music videos for tracks on 'Something Beginning With...' that I've been collaborating with some stunning visual artists and designers on. Also have a few more exciting, musical projects and EPs/LPs in the pipeline, so if I could just have as many hours in the day as Beyoncé I'll get those out! I'd also really like my tomato plants to do better next year. Come on, guys...
Is there anyone you'd love to collaborate with?
Gregory Porter. That instrument. That soul. One day. * drools *
Any funny stories surrounding your live performances?
A few highlights spring to mind: almost choking on fake snow whilst singing backing vocals for Chris Martin at a Christmas gig at the Hammersmith Apollo. Another BV memory - with Loic Nottet at the 2015 ESC and part of the choreo was for me to place my foot strongly on Loic's chest. We never managed to hit our marks onstage and my foot strongly hit his crotch every time. Every time. Lastly, at a recent SuRie gig, there was a brilliantly loud heckle during the most intimate, acapella moment in the set. The crowd was so silent until this beautifully motivating voice hollered "YES VOICE, DO WHAT IT DO, DO WHAT IT DOOOOO!" I don't know who it was, but I'd love to employ them as official SuRie HypePerson from here on in.
What is the one thing that you want readers to know about you?
I really love battenburg.