Getting to know a new summer sound.
(LEFT) Shirt SIMONE ROCHA, belt DSQUARED2, skirt MONCLER
(MIDDLE) Shirt JUST CAVALLI, jeans 7 FOR ALL MANKIND, coat CHANEL
(RIGHT) Dress RED VALENTINO
We’re in a pub in East London and organic-pop trio Paradisia (made up of long-time besties Sophie, Anna and Kristy) are about to tuck into a ‘Rockstar Margarita’ pizza (a topical name) following a long day of shooting.
With a strange start to their musical journey (they were originally part of a six-piece band, gaining enough prestige to have their music played during a Burberry runway show before separating and reforming as a trio), the girls are now ready to output their first full body of work, a 12-track record named “Sound of Freedom”.
As they bounce around beneath a drone following a full day’s shoot, it’s clear to see that Paradisia have all the ingredients of a girl gang on the rise: they’re fun but in a cool girl kinda way, they’re totally dedicated to their craft (evidenced by Sophie’s regular outbursts of song), they’re a dream to work with and ultimately, they’re the best of mates, which undeniably is the most essential ingredient in this mega-star mix.
As they prepare to drop their debut, we grabbed a chat with tomorrow’s biggest band.
Do you want to start by telling us a bit about how you guys met?
Sophie: We have been in musical projects for a few years, sort of dotted about. A year ago we decided to try and start making music together! Christie and I were at Vocal Tech together in Acton before we started. We went on to do some backing singing together for some punk bands around London.
Kristy: ‘Some punk bands’. One punk band! It was funny.
You’ve been friends for quite a long time then?
Sophie: Yeah, and Anna and I… I suppose we knew each other first!
Anna: We went to the same school but we didn’t know each other then because I’m a bit older. We had the same connections/friends.
What do you think the benefits are of knowing each other for such a long time?
Sophie: You keep each other in check. So if anybody is out of line in any way, you can sort of nudge them.
Anna: Being in a band you see every single side of a person. You see stuff that you’re not supposed to know about people. You have to be friends to go through that.
Sophie: Every emotional thing that can happen. You go through one emotional extreme to the other and you go through that together. We are always together when that happens.
What is each of yours earliest musical memory?
Kristy: I remember one for being the best story. It was probably the second gig I ever played; Sophie and I were doing the punk band and we supported Jamie T at Brixton Academy. So I was like “OMG, second gig!” We were on a massive stage and people were throwing beers at us. I will never forget that moment. We also did a dress change, which was hilarious.
Anna: Well people always ask me why I play the harp and my mum would tell me about when I was nine and we went to the local hall in this small town in France. And they said “OK, what are you going to play?” And I said: “I’m going to play the harp!” That was it. I just knew it and that was it. I don’t know why. I’m nine and that’s what I’m doing.
Sophie: To be honest, I just remember singing in church; my mum would take us (my family) every Sunday. There would be times where I would just start singing and it would be so loud. I was only five but she would always pick me out, or look at me for 10 minutes because I was the only one singing the hymns. So yeah, that’s probably mine.
So how would you describe the Paradisia sound?
Sophie: I think we’re like pop song writers. Our natural way is to do that. I guess its not commercial… It’s more organic!
Kristy: Soulful I’d say…
Sophie: The elements that we use in our music are completely real. So you’ll never have anything programmed, so in that sense it’s a very organic pop.
That’s very rare these days.
Sophie: When you say pop you think it was very commercial and sassy and pink! I think the pop that we make is more thought about.
Kristy: Thought-about pop, let’s say.
Anna: We have quite an unusual thing because Sophie and Christie are equally, incredibly good singers. It’s quite rare to have two voices like that. I play the harp, so that’s a bit weird.
Kristy: It’s not weird!
Sophie: It’s original!
(LEFT) Jacket JUST CAVALLI, top DSQUARED2, trousers STYLIST’S OWN
(MIDDLE) Dress & OTHER STORIES
(RIGHT) Jacket CHANEL, top JUST CAVALLI, trousers 7 FOR ALL MANKIND, shoes DSQUARED2
Where do you pull your influences from?
Sophie: Personally. Our friends experiences, our own experiences. It’s all very real but obviously there’s a bit more drama to each song because if it was completely real it would be boring! It comes from real things that have happened.
With that in mind, what do you want people to take away when they listen to your music?
Sophie: That they can just relate to what we’ve been through.
Kristy: I quite like getting lost in music sometimes. I know that sounds really cliché but I think if you can relate to a song, and what it’s about and make it about you…
Your album’s out soon. What can we expect?
Sophie: There’s a real variety of songs. There’s a 12-track record. It’s called “Sound of Freedom”. It’s a record filled with full band, big songs and more stripped songs. I guess it’s all about feeling. It’s about a variety of topics. Love, heartbreak, friendship… You know, sex! All sorts.
So talk us through your creative process.
Kristy: It’s been a bit of a progression really. From start to finish! It started with Sophie and the guitarist from the old project. There’s a couple of tracks on there that I wrote with the guitarist as well. Since then we’ve been doing tracks as just the three of us. So there’s two tracks of just us three on there.
Sophie: That’s why it’s such an eclectic record because there’s been so many different writers but ultimately it’s just the three of us.
Kristy: There’s always been one of us involved, or at least two of us!
You’ve got some tour dates lined up too. How do you find being on-stage?
Sophie: The best thing in the entire world! I love how unpredictable it is. You never know what people are going to think of it, going to take from it… We’ve been really lucky that we’ve got a solid audience that listen and respect the music. We love performing live because our whole thing is about performing live. As we said before – there’s only organic elements in our music so we can play live music all the time.
Anna: And we’ve got this thing where we play in two formats. We play as a three and as we play as a six. So you get the completely bare version where it’s just voices and two instruments and then the full band format, which gives you a completely different experience.
Sophie: Yeah, we are going on tour with Michael Kiwanuka at the end of April. We just play those shows the three of us and then when we play songs abroad it’s the six of us – because it’s festivals.
Finally, what’s the band’s end game, if you will?
Sophie: I would like it if we could travel to America and play there; write and record there. That’s a territory that we haven’t explored yet. That would be my sort of dream for us.
Anna: Play as much and as far as we can. That’s what I want to do.
Kristy: For me – I just really want to make a career of it. That’s the dream.
Jason Crozier at Stella Creative Artists using Fudge for Kings Of Clerkenwell
Samantha Cooper using MAC Cosmetics
Mersedes Margot & Lewis Inman
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