London’s Loui Rose Allen dropped out of music college last year to start Foxes, a one woman project. The 22-year-old’s debut single, Home, is a kind of skewed, light-headed apprehension of the radio-friendly RNB mould, but no less intriguing and ethereal. Allen’s second song Youth, released this week on Neon Gold, boldly signifies her fascination with modern pop composition and where her album, set for release later this year, may be headed.
Tell us about the music you make.
It’s essentially experimental pop. I didn’t start out wanting it to be anything in particular though – I just sort of went into the studio and it just happened that way. I work with a producer called Johnny ‘Ghostwriter’ Harris. We sort of go a bit crazy and do things like put the mic out the window and record the sound of cars breaking – silly things like that. We found a broken broken music box one day, recorded it and played it backwards and it has a really weird sound which worked with the themes of Home: childhood and feeling nostalgic. I like the idea of having a different take on pop music.
When did you start recording?
I’ve always sang – but everyone says that. When I was 15 and finished school, I was going to go do a beauty course – before then I was studying performing arts, so I was sort of destined to get into either acting or singing. My sister said to me on the phone one day: “Don’t you dare get into beauty. You’re going to do music, I’m going to take you under my wing.” So I lived with her for a year on her sofa in Bethnal Green in London, out of a suitcase in her living room and eventually went to music school. It was really good, but I sort of learned more out of music school – from real experience. I ended up dropping out and not finishing the degree, because I thought the people there seemed to be coming out like robots. They didn’t seem to let anyone make up their own mind about what they wanted to do. I just wanted to run off and do some crazy music. It was very theory-based there as well, and I’m not very good with that sort of thing. It was a bit like learning Chinese, or something!
Which musicians inform your style the most?
I’ve always loved Patty Smith. I love Kate Bush too – but I have consciously tried to veer away from that kind of style. I love Bjork and Prince – I grew up with that sort of thing. I’ve been listening to Drake a lot, recently. For the Youth video, we were gonna project some of my baby videos on the wall – so I converted a lot of them to DVD for it and found that the music that was playing in the background of much of it is amazing. When he saw it, my boyfriend said he wasn’t surprised at all that I became a singer. What’s really weird is that the music that my mum played when I was little sounds quite a lot like my stuff now. It was really strange music, basically.
What’s planned for the rest of the year?
I’m getting my album together. I’ve got quite a lot of it done, but at the moment it’s a case of tweaking it and returning to it in the lab lots with John.
Words: Jack Mills