Once she finished school she decided it was time to move into her own life of music and so she packed a bag, her guitar and flew to London via a one-way ticket in 2007. Since then she's been fortunate to be able to play her songs across the country and pave her own musical path. She's now based in London, but spends most of her time on trains across the UK playing in as many different nooks and crannies as possible.
We caught up with Roxanne last September just before she released her 'Seeing You' EP, we have done much the same again but this time, it's a track called 'Rerun' which is lifted from the aforementioned EP....
Hi Roxanne, we chatted way back in September last year, apart from relentless touring, what have you been up to since then?
Hi MusicMuso! I released my EP, 'Seeing You' in September. Since then I've been gigging, mostly throughout England and Germany, as well as Italy and Switzerland. I got to host FM2U, a one-day music conference for independent musicians last November, which was an incredible experience. I've also spent time writing new songs on my new little ukulele.
You have a new single due out on April 28th with a video to accompany it, please tell us more….
'Rerun' is a track off from the 'Seeing You' EP and is my first piano song that's made it out into the world. It's a musing on inspiration, whether we ever come up with anything that's truly new or whether we merely recycle ideas and pluck them out of a collective consciousness. For the music video, I teamed up with Graeme Maguire again, with whom I worked with on videos for 'Some kind of Creature' and 'Red and White Blood Cells'. I really wanted the music video to support the sentiment of the lyrics and I love the animation Graeme came up with!
I'm celebrating the launch with a London show at the Old Queen's Head (On April 27th, for more info, click HERE). I get to perform together with my friends Andy Bruce on keys and Raphael Knapp on Cello – can't wait! We've also got the most amazing Pat Dam Smyth and Minnie Birch playing.
Which studio did you use to record the track? Why this studio?
The piano was actually recorded in Berlin by my friend and musician extraordinaire Karl Neukauf. He sent us the piano track and we recorded the rest in North London at Ben Walker's home studio.
I see you recently sent ‘20th Birthday wishes’ to the film ‘High Fidelity’, if you were to star in the movie, what character would you play? Why this character?
Great question! I love making mix tapes and organising my Record collection, so I can identify with Rob when it comes to that. I love coming up with top 5 lists too, so why not, I'll go for the main character! It might be more fun playing Barry the record store employee though.. He's less knowledgable about music, but all the more passionate and gets off on sharing songs he loves with anyone who'll listen. He also gets to sing and dance a lot more...
When we last met, you were planning a one day music event in London called ‘From Me to You’ to promote independent music, how did the day go? What did the day consist of?
It was incredible, thank you! The day consisted of three panels, all moderated by full-time, independent musicians, talking about topics pertinent to us and live music in the evening. We were sold out and I'm still so humbled to have had the room full of amazing, talented and above all, kind musicians and supporters. I think it was a great start to something really special. Nowadays artists are entrepreneurs – we all run our own little business. This doesn't sound very rock n roll, but the beauty is that we are in control of our art and, with mutual support, can create sustainable careers making the kind of music we want to make. The first panel video, featuring Ruth Barnes (Amazing Radio), Annette Barlow (The Girls Are), Jon Webster (MMF) and Jess Morgan (singer songwriter) is about to go live on Youtube – so stay tuned! Thanks again to everyone who came along and helped!
You did a massive European tour last year, taking in the UK, Germany, Switzerland and Italy, from the pics that you were posting on your travels, it looked like a whole load of fun, did you have a favourite country? Why this one?
I'm about to go back to Italy in June! I couldn't possibly pick a favourite place – I just feel really fortunate to get to play in so many different cities and meet so many lovely people. It's been great to get to know Italy and its people so well over the last year, so that's definitely been a highlight! The country is so beautiful and the people are so enthusiastic and welcoming. Playing in the UK is always going to feel most like 'home' – I don't think there's any other country that has music so deeply rooted within society. You can go into any tiny village in the UK and see good live music – there's so much talent here. There are still so many new places to see and play in though!
If you could teleport back in time to when all The Beatles were all alive, what one track would you want to play alongside them? Why this track?
I don't know if I could handle that. I'd be the happiest person in the universe just to be able to listen to them live. If I could request them to perform any songs for me though, my top 5 list (assuming it would just be the four of them without an orchestra) would be:
1. Please Please Me
2. And Your Bird Can Sing
3. Hey Bulldog
4. Only a Northern Song
5. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
When you are travelling and gigging, do you try and eat properly? I ask as I spent a couple of weeks in Spain and France when I was younger and it was so easy to just pop into McDonalds or Burger King to get a quick fix instead of seeking out ‘proper food’!
You kind of learn to eat whenever there's food available... luckily, I mostly get looked after very well, especially in Germany and Italy where promoters treat me to very nice food. I never go for those fast food chains... that kind of stuff just never appealed to me. When I played in New York, I did live off of $1 pizza slices for a week though, but that's because they're amazing... I am trying to make a conscious effort to drink less coffee and maybe eat a piece of fruit every now and then.
If you were marooned on a desert island with a record player and only 3 records, which 3 would they be?
So these are records I would want to keep me company if I were alone on said desert Island – not to be confused with a general 'top 3' records (although there may well be an overlap):
1. Revolver, The Beatles
2. Imagine, John Lennon
3. 64, Richard de Bastion (my Dad's album!)
Tell us about any music festivals that you’re lined up to play in 2015?
I'm performing at this year's Alternative Great Escape in Brighton on May 14th, which I'm super excited about!
Have your ‘temporary tour tattoos’ healed up now? (go check Roxanne's blog to learn what these are...)
That is so cryptic – no one apart from the few avid readers of my ramblings of a blog would get that...! But yes, yes they have, thanks for asking ;)
Can you give us your top 3 tips to survive an outdoor music festival (in the UK)?
My top 1 tip would be to get yourself on the bill... performing is the best way to enjoy a Festival if you ask me – you get to experience it from both sides of the stage. I love hanging out at Festivals and soaking up the atmosphere after I've played. Other than that, the only thing that really matters is that you're there with people you like.
Do you still have your red boots? If not, what have you replaced them with?
I still have them... they are slowly falling apart though, so I only wear them at special shows.
You mentioned on a recent blog entry that “I wonder where my brain files all the impressions I get on tour. They seem to get stashed away so quickly, so that walking through Verona to catch a train to Milano already feels like a small life-time ago”, have you managed to take a few days to ‘take stock’, reflect on your travels and decide what you’re going to do next?
No. Fortunately it's been a really busy year so far and I'm feeling very lucky indeed. I can reflect on all of it when I retire.
It was quite a tall order coming up with a new lot of quickfire questions that Roxanne hadn't already answered, it took some time, but we got there in the end....
Spring or Autumn?
I like both.
Tea or Coffee?
Coffee, coffee, coffee
Toast or Crumpets?
Oh, crumpets – delightful butter sponges..
Piano or Guitar?
MUSE or Foo Fighters?
Definitely Foo Fighters
Regular gig or Festival?
I'm going to have to go with regular gig
Camping or Campervan?
Friend's sofa who lives nearby the Festival ground
Ice Cream or Candy Floss?
Ice Cream – preferably cookie dough ice cream.
Girly night in or girly night out?
Gender neutral nights, be they in or out
Black & White or Colour?
Black and White for clothes and photographs, colour for the heart and mind
Janis Joplin or Mama Cass?
We'd like to thank Roxanne for sparing the time to run through our questions and we look forward to catching a live show soon. Her new track 'Rerun' is out on April 28th. Please spend a few minutes browsing Roxanne's social media pages, her BLOG is a great read, I've listed all the details below, just point and click!
Interview by Steve Muscutt