The artist gets candid on her creative process, feeling like an outsider and finding beauty in the darkness.
As the nights get darker, the wind colder, and Halloween season around the corner, it felt very apt to have a chat with Brocarde. A one-woman brand, Brocarde is as multi-faceted as they come; a creative artist, songwriter, designer, poet and performer, she has moulded her own gothic universe that never fails to unite the senses merging “several different art forms that all marry together with devilment and detail to create one whole.”
With lyrics taken from the most intense emotions, Brocarde’s songwriting makes light of the darkness and her recent foray into poetry is no exception. Inspired by the likes of Anais Nin and Byron, she reaches into the dark parts of herself and the world, taking the storm with both hands and creating lyrics that are as encapsulating as they are reflective. It doesn’t stop there, Brocarde’s musical work trickles down into her designs for her brand, Brocarde Collection, with her lyrics embroidered onto the clothing, which she often wears in music videos and photoshoots, not surprisingly also the result of her own creative direction.
With new music and a poetry book on the way, we got candid with Brocarde to talk about her creative process, feeling like an outsider and finding beauty in the darkness.
Check out our interview below…
Hi Brocarde, how are you?
Scarily excitable and full of jelly beans. I’ve been on some extended sugar rush lately and I’m hugely inspired and motivated and so thankful that life is starting to return to normal, whatever normal is. I’ve been writing songs and poems like words are going out of fashion and I’m giving my clothing brand, the Brocarde Collection a massive overhaul so it’s like being re-born without a messy birth.
How has the last year been for you as a creative?
It’s all been a bit weird really, the inability to plan anything has been really challenging. For me there’s been various different stages, when we first went into lockdown, I found it strangely inspiring, the chaos and sadness of everything and as we’ve never experienced anything on that magnitude, creatively it gave me something to talk about. As an artist, you can’t help being inspired by your surroundings, it’s fuel for an active mind, I had a single release planned for a song of mine called “Love Me ’Til I’m Beautiful” and everything got turned on its head. I ended up re-writing the lyrics and releasing an alternative version called “World Upside Down”, at that point the world was slowly turning upside down and that’s the opening line to the song. I literally interpreted what was going on around me, the music video was directed and filmed by me at home in an empty room, in it I’m literally bouncing off the walls, it was art imitating life. The length of the pandemic is quite shocking, I don’t think many of us would’ve predicted that. We went into another lockdown just before Christmas when I had a holiday single scheduled for release, I was reluctant to release another covid inspired track but I just felt that the original song lyrics weren’t applicable or relatable that year, so I had to re-interpret those too. The track was called “Waiting for January” and I was waiting for January, at that time I didn’t know what January would have in store for me and it was pretty life changing.
Do you think that the pandemic has affected your creativity at all?
Yes, ordinarily as a creative you don’t have to be so reactive, I feel that it’s always important to be mindful of what’s going on in the world but typically I write songs about how I’m feeling and the things I’m personally experiencing and hope that people identity with them. It’s the same with designing clothing, I typically design with the first thought being what do I love to wear? And the second thought being what makes me feel empowered and confident? The rules changed with the pandemic, people weren’t power dressing and going out to take over the world, they were cocooned on their sofas wondering how to survive and worried about life and death. The tone was different, I couldn’t just ignore that. Even visually and for all my instagram photography there was an emptiness that I wanted to capture.
Talks us through your name! What inspired it?
I wanted an artist name that encapsulated everything I did creatively, with my writing, clothing and performing, I try to create a 360 world where everything exists in harmony and compliments each other. Brocarde, to me, signifies being intricately woven and that’s how I see what I do, several different art forms that all marry together with devilment and detail to create one whole.
Talk us through your creative process! How do you usually go about starting on a new musical project?
I’m very emotion-driven, so everything I do will start with an emotion or a feeling, what do I want to say? How do I want to say it? Creatively I’m really honest, sometimes uncomfortably so, I often use my writing to say the things I can’t say in real life. For me everything starts with words, so I play around with words and melodies form around them, that often be the top line of a song. I then think about the journey, how do I want to orchestrate these emotions, is it anger, is it pain, is it fragility, and what instruments translate those feelings to the listener. It probably all sounds very pretentious but really it’s just an outpouring and a spurge of all that’s in my mind, it’s quite therapeutic. Once I have the song, I like to take the lyrics and embroider them onto clothing, often with doodles and sketches that I turn into stitches, these outfits are almost like my uniform. I have an online boutique brocarde.com and I’m so thankful that the designs are so well received. I also wear my clothing when I’m doing photoshoots and filming music videos, I’m very hands on, I storyboard and direct all my own music videos, so everything you see is an insight into my mind.
Poetry also informs a lot of your work! Do you have a favourite poet in particular?
Yes sometimes the music stops, and I just have words, so poetry has also been such a valuable form of expression for me. I love visually descriptive writers who are passionate like Anais Nin, and I’m a bit of a philosopher and analyser so I always take note of people like Byron.
You look to all things obscure and dark to inform your work! Where does your affinity for these influences stem from?
I’ve always had the feeling that I don’t fit in, like I’m not for this world, almost like I’m an outsider on the edge of what’s normal and what’s expected. It’s been horrible at times but as I’ve grown up I’ve learnt to embrace that and find the beauty in dark places. There is dark undertones to what I do but I don’t feel we should be scared of the darkness, understanding all parts of life and understanding what hurts you and what heals you is really cathartic.
Do you have any advice for others aiming to make a name for themselves in the creative industry?
The most important piece of advice I could give is to follow your own gut, there will be so many people who will try to steer you and carve you, don’t allow them to carve you to the core, hold onto who you are and what makes you unique, and we all are unique. Secondly, confidence, the game changes when you start to believe in yourself, confidence is also the key to following your own gut. Lastly, if you’re anything like me you won’t listen to advice, so that may make all my advice irrelevant, either way never loose your sense of humour and don’t take yourself too seriously.
What is next for you? Do you have any fun projects that you are currently working on?
I have more music in the pipeline, I have so many songs that I’m dying to share and I will continue to release clothing collections with each single. I’m hoping to get a new single out before Christmas and I’ve been working hard on my first poetry book which will be out in the new year.