The Cheek of Her (aka Helen Dooley) is a passionate and driven Singer Songwriter who writes Dramatic, Pop/Rock with lyrics that are intriguingly cleaver, funny and dark all at the same time!
We caught up with her at the food market in Camden where we shared a chickpea curry and chatted about adult angst, chat up lines and Enya, here's how we got on....
Please introduce yourself and your music in one sentence....
Hi! I’m The Cheek of Her a Singer Songwriter who writes catchy, passionate Pop / Rock from the heart
‘Adult Angst Anonymous’ (album) is out now, is the angst of being an adult part of you?
Yes, the album “Adult Angst Anonymous” is out now (released on 30th May 2014). Angst is definitely part of me in some form, it’s always trying to raise it’s annoying head! The questioning, the doubts, the peer comparisons. I think we all have it to some degree – Facebook hasn’t helped!
Where did you record ‘Adult Angst Anonymous’ and what made you choose that studio?
OMG. I just realized I recorded the album in 4 different locations! I thought it was two, but had forgotten about the acoustic sessions….
I recorded with Sean Kennedy and Joe Lonsdale at their home studios, as they have been long standing The Cheek of Her music colleagues, friends and awesome guys, who like my music too which helps! I recorded some live tracks at Garage 57 as they had a nice piano, and finished off some vocals and recorded Write Me a Letter (Live & Acoustic) and Three Little Birds (Bob Marley Cover) at Play Studios in London.
You’re called ‘The Cheek of Her’. Why and how did you come to settle on this name?
It was one of the first names I thought of funnily enough! So far quite a few of my songs have been about relationships and moaning about men, and well I just thought you’d need a bit of ‘cheek’ to do that, plus my family are Irish and it’s a saying that is more common over there, so it all linked up
What is the best advice you ever received and who was it from?
Lots of people have things to teach you, and I’ve probably been given lots of good advice over the years which I haven’t necessarily taken…hard to say what the best is.
I like those corny quotes you see on social media, and often re-tweet them on Twitter to spread the good vibes! Things like:
“Do what you feel in your heart to be right - for you'll be criticized anyway. -Eleanor Roosevelt”
‘Another guy buried in the woods’ music video is animated and rather interesting, who was the artist and is there anything you would like to share about this track?
I came up with a long winded story for the video, which was originally meant to be a lyric video!
Pedro Chaves (Dream Journey Studios) did the animation and a super job keeping to the whole concept, especially as I was so adamant that I wanted a dark twist to the 2D animation to mirror the song. I like the idea of creating something beautiful, but putting a sting in it’s tail to surprise people.
Plus “happy ever afters” are pretty dull.
Would you rather live with a dog that sings lullabies or a gorilla that can do sign language? Explain your answer
A dog that sings lullabies, as then we could be a duo. That could be my gimmick. We’d go on X-factor and win and live happily ever after. Ha. Horror story.
What is the worst chat up line you have ever heard or you have dished out yourself?
I don’t really get chat up lines or give them out! Dunno what that says about me?! Unapproachable and sensible perhaps?! :P
Being an unsigned musician how hard is it to get noticed and how has social media aided your music?
It’s hard because so many of us want to get heard, and it’s like we’re all ‘shouting’ in web space! I think social media helps because it is so immediate, and one like or share reaches a further network of people, which can continue and continue ad infinitum!
I’m still unknown, but part of me likes being someone’s diamond in the rough!... That’s probably not quite the right mentality to have though!
Do you own a record that you wouldn’t like to admit you have?
Lots! CDs I still own but don’t listen to! Enya, Kylie Minogue or something!
Who designed the artwork for your AAA (album cover)?
I provided the imagery and a guy called Mark did layout and fonts. I was thinking of a scream to link in with the Angst theme….and well it’s how the first track on the album “Adult Angst Anonymous” starts too!
What classic song would you have liked to have recorded and why?
There are so many great timeless songs out there. Off the cuff, I probably would have liked to have recorded one of Freddy Mercury’s.
First gig you ever went to (please state where, when, who you went with and any memories from the gig)?
Oh God. I think I went to some Smash Hits awards, and all I remember was Pete Andre being there in his hey day flashing his chest and all the girls screaming!
What is the funniest joke you have ever heard?
I used to hate comedians…but now I’m appreciating stand up a bit more. I do prefer funny stories to one liners…so can’t sprout one out for you now sorry!
Many of your songs are about relationships, what is the happiest moment you have had whilst being in one?
Just feeling loved and secure in the relationship I guess. That doesn’t have to be in a romantic relationship either. I think people are happiest when they know they are appreciated.
The Fleas – you are craving the ordinary - what is the ordinary?
“…Crunchy nut cornflakes and strawberries” of course!...which means my ordinary probably isn’t yours…
Name three people (alive, dead or fictional) that you would like as party guests?
Hard one! Without much thought I’d say – Michael Jackson, Amy Winehouse and Aladdin
If you could describe your music in the form of a fictional character, who would it be?
Coco the Clown
Do you think we can ever live in a world where a chicken can cross the road without having its motives questioned?
What are your plans for the remainder of 2014 and the start of 2015?
I’ve just finished working on the new The Cheek of Her website, which has taken a month working with a web designer to get it just right! It will be live at some point during the day from the 19th September! I finally have a shop where you can buy The Cheek of Her music directly, so please do support and let me know what you think! www.thecheekofher.com
Now that the site is done I will be spending a day in the studio recording a track in October, to hopefully release as a Single early 2015. Depending on the reaction to that, there may be a further EP or I could take a break from music to re-evaluate the plan!
As I was asking the questions, I was in a great position to eat most of the curry, Helen then started moaning that she was still hungry so off we went in search of dessert. She stumbled upon a place selling crepes (pancakes to you and I) and joined the queue, prior to her getting too involved in the menu, I threw in a few quick fire questions....
Coffee or Tea?
Coke or Pepsi?
Drum machine or the real deal?
Drum machine for control, real deal for soul.
Mac or PC?
Fry up or Sunday Roast?
Lemmy (Motorhead) or Ozzy (Black Sabbath)?
CD or Vinyl?
Car or Motorbike?
To Beard or not to Beard?
Smile or Eyes?
Acoustic or electric?
Shower or Bath?
Tattoos or Piercings?
Robert De Niro or Al Pacino?
God or Google?
We'd like to thank Helen for taking time out of her day for chatting to us and we wish her every success in the future. We will of course be posting newsworthy updates about TCOH as and when received....