A quick catch up before their Saturday slot at Isle of Wight.
Hey girls, what’s new?
Sophie-Rose: Lots! We’ve been writing album two since December last year and have played a few shows here and there that’s given us the opportunity to road test new material. Kristy got married too, which was very special moment for us all. Anna and I played her down the aisle and we’ve recently just got back from Monaco after supporting Bryan Ferry at the opera house there. Next up festivals!
Kristy: So much! We’ve been writing and recording like mad women. Learning new tricks and getting stuck in with our new music.
Anna: Yeah, we’ve been very busy! We are at a crossroads at the moment as we’ve just parted ways with our label and management so we’re doing everything ourselves – but that’s nothing new to us we’re very hands on. We played this show in Holland supporting Ryan Adams and went just the three of us and did all the logistics for it – we had the craziest day schedule – we had to fly in, hire a car, play this huge venue where first they wouldn’t let us in! Then rush off stage and Sophie had to drive us to a radio show in the middle of the night in a foreign country – most of the show was in Dutch so by that point we thought we were hallucinating. We just got a tour manager for the summer shows though and that’s been a life saver! We got stuck in Nice last week as our flight got cancelled and she found us a way back home through Norway. We are so used to have to do everything so we’ve been thanking her every five minutes.
Last time we spoke to you was last year, just before your album came out! How’s the last year been following that?
Sophie-Rose: Exhausting! In a good way! We’ve toured a lot, played in lots of new places, met so many devoted fans who have been with us from the start. We’ve got to support people like Michael Kiwanuka, Bryan Ferry, Starsailor who we’re now writing with for the second album. It’s been a mad adventure!
What have you learnt in this last year?
Anna: We’ve started making our own demos which is something completely new to us. In the past we always worked with a third party who’d record them for us, or work from phone memos. We’re learning every day and it’s great to be in a position to be able to write a song from scratch and take it to a place where you can play it to other people in a professional environment without wanting to die inside.
The feeling of knowing we’ve done everything on a track ourselves is empowering. It’s very new and I feel proud that we are in this position now. Being women in this industry you can get easily “convinced” that producing or recording is not something you would be able to do. There’s been some big changes in our team and learning how to do this I believe has given us a lot of confidence and has made our sound evolve a lot.
You’ve been fairly quiet since the record came out, what are you working on now?
Sophie-Rose: We made a decision in December when we finished our European tour, to come home and put everything into writing album two. We still play shows we really can’t refuse, like supporting Bryan Ferry just recently, but otherwise we’ve been hiding away perfecting the new direction and I suppose, the natural progression of Paradisia and with that we felt refreshing the team around us too.
Paradisia festival tip: “Make it your mission to see every band you can, bring baby wipes and always carry a flask for your favourite tipple.”
So what can you tell us about the new album?
Kristy: Ooooh. Well, I can tell you that it’s definitely the most excited we’ve felt in a while! It has an added element of soul flavour to it. Like someone just shook a bit of salt and pepper on top of Paradisia. We are very excited to start sharing it.
Is it similar to your first, or can we expect something different from Paradisia?
Anna: Our sound has evolved quite a lot. The three of us share a love for soul and R&B and until this year we never quite dared to explore that area of music. It’s been really refreshing to get into those grooves and we’ve found there’s so much more we can do with our harmonies, the keys and the harp in those genres. It’s early days but it looks like we’re gearing towards a more minimal and modern sound. We’ve written over 30 tracks this year and we are aiming to write a lot more.
In the meantime you’re heading off to some festivals this summer, how are you feeling about them?
Kristy: So excited! I love festival season. We are playing Isle of Wight on Saturday which is one of our faves. It will be our first time back with the full band this year so we can’t wait to play with them again. We are also playing Boardmasters in Newquay in August which we have never played before. An extra treat being by the sea!
Anna: Yeah, Isle Of Wight is the first one. Last year we accidentally got blind drunk on the first day as Kristy had got us some very cute drinking recipients in forms of sea shells and you really can’t tell how much you’re drinking with those! They’re a cute but deadly weapon when filled with rum.
Do you have a pre-show ritual, and if so what is it?
Kristy: Makeup and warm ups in the mirror (double whammy) a few carrot sticks and a hand full of crisps, glass of red, group hug, straight on stage.
There’s going to be some huge crowds at the festivals you’re playing at. How are you planning on wowing them?
Anna: We’ve got this new acapella intro for the show. It’s one of our songs reworked with only vocals and harmonies and we all sing it standing completely still at the front of the stage. Gotta say it is nerve racking to start our set completely “naked” and we tried it for the first time last week supporting Bryan Ferry in Monaco and I’d never been so nervous in my life. I could feel my body shaking inside out and the audience were completely silent. It went down a treat though so I think we’re going to work it into our festival set.
What would be some of your best festival tips?
Kristy: For me (speaking to the other musicians out there) festivals are a great way to try new things out, testing the waters and seeing if it works. I feel with festivals you get in a bit of a flow because they usually come in bulk so it gives you the space to explore new songs, new moves, whatever it might be! Everyone is there to have fun inevitably so it can be more freeing and forgiving.
Anna: Go watch bands you have never heard of or are not particularly into. Festivals are such a great way to expand your taste. A friend forced me to go watch Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds at Glastonbury 2009 – an act I’d never really been into to be honest – and they blew my mind. Made me a Nick Cave fanatic. I’ve now seen him live A LOT! It feels like there are some bands you gotta see live before hearing the recorded material to get it.
Sophie-Rose: Like the girls said, make it your mission to see every band you can, bring baby wipes and always carry a flask for your favourite tipple.
What else are you guys up to this year?
Sophie-Rose: Writing and recording album two!
Anna: We’re rebuilding our team and looking for new management. For this next record we want to start things from a fresh perspective.