We heard that Malory Torr was playing at the Radio 2 Festival in a Day at Hyde Park alongside some pretty big names, a few days before the event, we made contact and she kindly agreed to meet us after her performance for a chat. I was going to start getting involved with the Pimms but thought it would be best to leave it until AFTER I finished my interviews, nothing worse than a slurring music journo repeating the same question over and over and over again....
Here's how we got on....
We know you’re called Malory Torr and that your music is often referred to as ‘quirky and unusual’, can you tell us something about you that even Google doesn’t know?
That's a good one, I played cricket for Surrey, I even made ‘player of the year’ one year too! But you can find that information on the internet so let's think of something else…..I recently went to Berlin after quitting my job in a café and wrote a track called ‘travelling light’, it was a great experience, it's as if I took all the hard graft that I put into the waitressing and put it all out into the song, it was an amazing experience.
So, you just came off stage at the Radio 2 Festival in a Day event in Hyde Park, how did it come about?
I put myself on the ‘Introducing’ site a while ago, Radio 2 had played me a couple of times, from there they basically offered me the gig which was insane!
How did you feel when the offer came through?
I couldn't believe it, it's such an amazing festival, BBC Introducing is so prestigious, especially in this country, there's a lot of people behind it, many performers have really got a lot out of it and it's very exciting too.
You’re currently unsigned but are gigging all over the place, how difficult is it to get noticed these days?
It really depends, the music industry is weird, you have to be lucky, you never know when your break is going to come, you just have to keep on networking away and gigging as much as you can and really be honing your craft, I feel that I have put in the hours and playing stages like this is the payoff, it's not easy at all, persistence certainly pays off.
Do you find that you have to bring something different to the party in order to stand out from the rest?
Certainly, you have to have something that makes you stand out from the rest, the music market is massively overcrowded and with so many outlets for music online, it soon becomes very saturated and you have to be different. I think what people crave now is authenticity, you may get told that you sound like Sam Smith a million times but there's always room for more, I think if you're authentic in yourself, people really respond well to that.
I think that being yourself is the key but likening yourself to other performers is what you need to create that initial spark of interest….
What's popular is popular and people are always on the lookout for new artists to support.
Do you have any places where you regularly play?
I live in Wimbledon and I used to have a residency there but not anymore, I just love exploring new venues, not as regularly as I would like, my gigs are always on Facebook, go check them out!
Who would you say are your musical influences?
I have many but think my songs vary so much so it's hard to pin it down to just one, I love the work of Regina Spektor, she's my idol, she's just so creative, she doesn't follow any rules and that's awesome. My parents bought me up on Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell and I love folk music. In the 90’s I used to listen to the Spice Girls so it's hard to say….
Totally, I'm an absolute feminist!
If you could play on stage with any band or artist, who would it be and why?
I'd love to collaborate with Mark Ronson, despite many seeing him as a DJ but he's actually a really talented multi instrumentalist, if not him then George Ezra, I opened for George in Kingston upon Thames at his album launch party, it would be so nice to actually do something with him.
Terry Wogan referred to you as ‘a great new talent’, how does it feel when such luminaries say great things about you?
It's so great, so confirming, it just gives you that push to keep going because you now that your music is being enjoyed.
Do you rest on your laurels with that kind of feedback or does it push you on more?
No, I'm always thinking about the next thing, I'm never satisfied, I try to enjoy the moment as best I can but I'm always moving forward, you really need to set your sights high and just go for it!
I’ve seen pics of you playing solo and with a band, which do you prefer?
It really depends on the setting but playing with the band is so much fun, you're with your friends and it just sounds so great, the songs sound richer and fuller with a backing band, that's what I really love, people actually hearing the songs as they were written, in their best light if you like.
When you do play with a band, are they the same people?
I have a good group now but they're all doing their own things so if I can get them altogether, then great, if not, I have to shift things around a little and select a few different people.
I see you recently played at The Hawley Arms in Camden, did you play any Amy covers that night?
No I didn’t, my name is Malory so it's kind of similar to ‘Valerie’…..it's a great venue with so much history, it was an amazing night.
Your sister recently shot a music video for you, which song was it for and when can we expect to see it?
We’re doing a lyric video for my track ‘Joker and the Thief’, hoping to get that out soon, no sure what's next, I've just released my EP which is available now so I'll probably get some more vides done for them.
Lets imagine that Radio 2 asked you to pick the 3 acts for next years ‘Festival in a Day’, who would you choose and why? (One being yourself of course)
I'd love to see Bright Eyes, that would be pretty epic, I've got a few musician friends who I'd love to see on the big stage, there's a guy called Lewis Bootle who's doing really well, my friend Tim de Graauw, they both have different styles and we recently did a collaboration so all three of us up there would be amazing
We like to chat to as many acts and bands as possible, can you suggest 3 names for us to icheck out?
Lewis Bootle, Tim de graw and an American guy called Michael Stec, he’s a brilliant multi instrumentalist who produces some amazing music.
We wanted to see how Malory performs under pressure so we rolled in the high intensity lamps, the desk and the chair, sat her down and read her the rules of the Quick Fire question round, no pauses and I have to accept her first answer, she gingerly accepted the challenge.....
Hot dogs or burgers? Hot Dogs
CD or vinyl? CD
Cats or dogs? Cats
Glastonbury or Reading? Glastonbury
Christmas or Birthdays? Birthdays
Peanut butter, smooth or crunchy? Smooth….
Pancakes or Waffles? Oh no, I love them both so much….waffles
Kebab or Pizza? Pizza
Acoustic or Electric? Acoustic
Winter or Summer? Summer
Tattoos or Piercings? Piercings
God or Google? isn’t Google now God? Google knows all!
We'd like to thank Malory for chatting to us after her set and we wish her every success in the future. If you're in London and want a great night out, head over to her Facebook page and see where she's gigging, you can thank me later!
Please spend a few minutes taking a look around Malory's social media sites, all you need to do is point and click.
Interviewed by Steve Muscutt at Hyde Park, London