Every Monday we will be bringing you interviews with unsigned UK or Ireland artists for Independent Music Monday. Recently we caught up with unsigned London based singer GEISTE to find out more…
Where are you from and how did you first get into music?
I am from a little village in South of France but I now live in London. I have always been surrounded by music - but I was mostly writing stories and poems when I was a child. I started learning Violin and music theory at 7 and picked up a guitar later to be able to sing and write - and I self-taught myself piano. I moved to Paris and discovered techno music as well as production years later. I started playing cover gigs in south of France during summer and formed a trip-hop electronica duo with my boyfriend at the time. But it didn't last long. We moved to London to meet and work with other artists and I started working on my own project.
Who were your musical influences when you were growing up and who are your influences now?
My parents could not have more different tastes in music. My mom was a really good piano player and played Chopin and Beethoven when my Dad was more into AC/DC, Queen and Tina Turner. I remember listening a lot to soundtracks from Hans Zimmer or Yann Tiersen as well as musicals. I have always loved music with a story or so much emotions it could bring me to tears watching a movie. I kept the same approach to music for my songwriting today. Now my main influences are still composers and movie directors (Guillermo Del Toro - Lars Von Trier...) Musically I would say Lana Del Rey, Aurora, Florence + the Machine, Grimes, Woodkid, and producers like Flume had a huge impact on my songwriting, composing and visuals. I am also inspired a lot by nature and sounds from nature.
How would you describe your sound?
I would say Dark - Electronic Alternative Pop - quite fierce and empowering (but maybe it's just to me) - emotional and cinematic.
What is your latest release called and what was the influence behind it?
My latest release (at the time you will receive this) is called Anthems. It is my second single - part of an album/chapter/project called UTOPIA. I released my first single in June and it is the opening song from GEISTE - a song to myself where to part of me "fight" and the darkest - fiercest one "win". (cf OCEAN music video) Anthems is the first song performed by the darker character which is GEISTE.
Anthems is about femininity, self empowerment and the power in nature. I want to remind myself how strong and powerful I can be when I forget sometimes. I want women to know how powerful they can be. That our words and work can remain through generations. I like writing fierce and empowering lyrics so every time I perform them I can bring myself back to that state.
I wrote the song in my bedroom - where I write most of my songs really. It took me a day to write verses and another one to come up with the chorus. I was really inspired by Aurora - Churchyard and drums by Florence + the Machine that are always so epic. The lead through the track was inspired by “Wall Fuck” by Flume. I sent it to a few producer friends for opinions and ended up clearing and finishing the production with Loelash. Simone, Fabio and Lucien from Exilence Collective added a few production bits in their studio and mixed the song.
What’s your local music scene like?
I live in London now so the music scene is quite big and eclectic. The beauty of this city is that you can end up discovering so many new artists and meet amazing creatives. It gets quite tough sometimes and lonely but it is also very inspiring - there are so many of us here - we are all so driven and motivated by our art and the art of others. I am so lucky to be surrounded by amazing and talented friends in so many different creative areas. It pushes me really hard to give as much as I can and support them as much as I can too. We all know what we are in for and it's beautiful to see each other grow at the same pace more or less.
What do you have planned for the next 12 months? Any albums or festivals?
I will have more music coming out - I am quite productive in terms of songwriting :) so I might release more unreleased live videos and demo mixtapes. But officially I will have a third single coming out in November. The music video of Anthems will be released at the end of October too followed by Utopia music video at the beginning of next year. I have a few shows and release party coming up. On October 3rd we are doing an Anthems Party at St. Margaret's House in Bethnal Green. For next year I have more singles ready and / or an album release hopefully it really depends - we work with the current here and it is unpredictable. I would love to play festivals this summer it would be so lovely to dance in the woods and it is something we are definitely working on.
Is there anyone you’d love to collaborate with?
So many... I feel like featuring and collaborations are two worlds colliding in slow motion and beautifully. I would love collaborating with film composers - Bjork, Sigur Ros - but I think I would die in the process - death by awesomeness. I like challenging myself to new genre when I do featuring and it is so interesting to see the results and what we are able to create together.
Any funny stories surrounding your live performances?
Just watching me bringing all my gear at every show is a good laugh.
Then my body hates me.
But it is a good laugh.
What is the one thing that you want readers to know about you?
I have a lot of secrets. I own a secret jar. It's pretty and I put all my many secrets inside.
One day they won't be secrets anymore.