We bumped into Polly Money literally two minutes before she was to go onstage at a Boomtown Rats gig in Exeter (something she doesn't do every day), we quickly asked her if she would like to take part in our 'Introducing' feature, naturally, she said yes (just like the man from Del Monte).
We decided to take Polly to a typically East End pie n' mash cafe for some lovely home cooked traditional cooking, we perused the menu and ordered a couple of the 'house specials', whilst waiting for the meals to come, we sipped coke out of the bottle and had a chat about what she learned on a songwriting course, playing guitar in the dark and supporting MUSE, here's how we got on....
Please introduce yourself and your music in one sentence....
Hey, my name is Polly Money, I'm a Cornish singer/songwriter living in London with an acoustic pop style played on both guitar and piano.
First song you learnt to play?
The Beatles - Here Comes The Sun
What music are you currently grooving to?
I think Taylor Swift’s new album 1989 is a great pop record so I have been listening to that a fair amount. Also I’ve been getting back into old favourites such as Peppercorn’s ‘Free Love’ and John Legend’s ‘Get Lifted’. I always have a healthy mix of Soul/RnB on repeat.
You just finished your BA Hons in Songwriting at The Institute of Contemporary Music Performance in London (ICMP), when did you realize that music was the career path for you?
I knew from quite a young age that I wanted to do something in music but I guess 16 was the real turning point when I moved to London and started gigging there. I was writing a lot more and playing live most weeks and it really cemented my passion to do this as a career.
May sound like an odd question but what did the degree in Songwriting ‘teach’ you?
That sleep is not an option when you’re writing 2-3 songs a week. No, I’m only kidding, I learnt a lot about the kind of musician I wanted to be and what music I wanted to write and how to produce my own demos. I think with a degree like songwriting it is as much about what you do outside the class room as it is inside. The tutors are great and our course was very broad so you're not only writing but also learning the business side of the industry and collaborating a lot with your peers. I felt the course gave me the right amount of space, pressure and time to develop as a musician/songwriter.
Which guitar solo stills gives you a ‘funny feeling’ when you hear it now?
Specifically I love this live version of John Mayer's Gravity. When I first saw the link below I was sitting in my room recording a demo and taking one of my regular tea breaks, flicked on the ol’ YouTube and found this. It truly gives me the chills.
Your voice is very unique, do you often get likened/compared to any other singer-songwriters?
Don’t we all? But yes people seem to mention names such as Janet Jackson and Minnie Riperton.
Tell me a fascinating fact about you?
Haha well I often like to play music in the dark when I’m at home.
Favourite Saturday Night and Sunday Morning album?
That is too hard to narrow down, here goes….
Saturday Night - John Legend - Evolver and depending on the situation who doesn’t love a‘Now’ album to get the party started? Sunday Morning - Usher - 8701, Norah Jones - Come Away With Me
Name three people (alive, dead or fictional) that you would like as dinner party guests?
Prince, Drop Dead Fred and Joni Mitchell
Any advice you would give to new/struggling musicians?
Play often, write the music you want to write and get out there and meet people. Make an effort to go to gigs, read, listen and absorb whats around you.
You’ve got a few tracks up on Soundcloud, which other social media platforms have helped you the most?
I would say Facebook and Instagram.
What does music mean to you?
We saw you perform when you supported The Boomtown Rats, where can we go to see you tinkling the ivories?
I have a couple of gigs coming up in London and Cornwall to wrap up the year.
18th December - Jacobs Ladder, Falmouth for The Source FM Christmas Party
In your opinion, what is the BEST album/record ever released?
Wow this is hard question. I have recently been listening to Joni Mitchell’s Blue which I think is utterly stunning and has to be one of the best records ever released.
You supported MUSE in Paris alongside Biffy Clyro and Dizzee Rascal, what were the highlights and what (if anything) did you learn?
The biggest highlight in itself was the opportunity to support Muse, they are one of the best live bands I have ever seen and their whole show is a masterclass. A more specific highlight was having the crowd sing back to one of my songs, that was unlike anything I've experienced. I learnt that stadiums are huge and you don't really realise that until you're standing in the middle of it looking around, also that I will never get over the power and thrill of live music however big or small the venue.
Favourite book you have read?
I am actually in the middle of reading Patti Smith’s autobiography which is turning out to be awesome. However hands down it’s the Harry Potter series for me.
What classic song would you have liked to have recorded and why?
‘Try a Little Tenderness’ by Otis Reading
First gig you ever went to?
Lucie Silvas during a festival called Falmouth Week we have in my hometown.
Who are your influences?
My influences have evolved during my time as a songwriter. For instance when I was starting out I was on a healthy diet of singer/songwriters such as Jason Mraz, James Morrison and Colbie Callait. But more recently my influences have grown to artist such as John Legend, Justin Timberlake, Michael Jackson and John Mayer because of their musicality as well as their songwriting. I am passionate about instruments and so watching these guys play and perform is a real inspiration for me.
There are many good bands and musicians out there, who would you ask the readers of musicmuso to check out?
Check out a band called ‘Broods’. These guys are a brother and sister duo from New Zealand and I think their debut EP is one of the best I've heard in a while. I went to their first gig in London and they are definitely a band to watch. Ooo and Unknown Mortal Orchestra, a friend tipped me off about this band and they are very good and well worth a listen.
Who would you like to know has your music on their iPod, MP3 or cassette walkman?
If you could describe your music in the form of a fictional character, who would it be?
Do you think we can ever live in a world where a chicken can cross the road without having its motives questioned?
Ha ha I don't think so, no!
Have you had any ‘Spinal Tap’ Moments? If yes, please share!
When I was at school we had this event called Showcase where dancers, musicians etc would perform for the students, teachers and parents. I was playing one of my own songs sitting down with an acoustic guitar and I was about half way through the song when I noticed the mic stand was falling down slowly so I went to pull it back up and as I did that the mic clicked out of its clipper and I said accidentally but rather conveniently into the mic ‘Oh shit’ and the whole school erupted into cheers and woops. The headmaster was even there so it wasn’t the greatest moment of my life but people got a good laugh out of it.
We were waiting a good 30 minutes for the pies and we were HUNGRY, we asked for a plate of jellied eels to keep us going, whilst slurping down these delicacies, I threw a few quickfire questions at Polly....
Coffee or Tea?
Coke or Pepsi?
Ed Sheeran or Jack Johnson?
Sheeran on a Saturday, Johnson on a Sunday
Drum machine or the real deal?
Mac or PC?
Fry up or Sunday roast?
Lemmy (Motorhead) or Ozzy (Black Sabbath)?
CD or Vinyl?
Car or Motorbike?
Acoustic or electric?
Frozen or Maleficent?
I haven't seen Maleficent so Frozen (the cold never bothered me anyway!)
On stage or recording studio?
Solange or Beyonce?
Shower or Bath?
Tattoos or Piercings?
Robert De Niro or Al Pacino?
Robert De Niro
God or Google?
We'd like to thank Polly for taking the time to answer our questions and we wish her all the best for the gig later in December, a happy Christmas and a merry new year....We look forward to seeing much more of her in 2015!
Interview by Steve Muscutt