We met up with Lottie Jones before she opened for Gavin James at The Loft Live Sessions in April, she was midway through a game of table tennis when I rudely interrupted (she was winning BTW), here’s how we got on….
Hi Lottie, tell us a bit about yourself....
I’m from Exeter, I attend a music college in Bristol called Deep Blue Sound where I’m on a 2 year performance course, I study guitar and singing which will lead to a diploma at the end of it and will hopefully pave my way into university. I really want to attend a BIMM university (British and Irish Modern Music), there’s one in Bristol as well as in London, I’d prefer the one in Bristol as it’s easier to get to from Exeter and as I already have loads of friends there it would be easier than having to start all over again.
What style of music do you play?
Everything is acoustic, I don’t really know how to explain what I play, I guess it’s a blend of acoustic indie folk though I do experiment with so many different styles….
Do you play electric guitar too?
At college, it’s part of the syllabus that we have to play different styles and also play with other bands, we have done rock music and that’s fun but when it boils down to playing on my own, it’s always acoustic.
How long have you been playing?
I was always surrounded by musicians as a kid, Adam Isaac, Leigh Coleman... it led to me jamming with them and from there I did stuff at school which led me to perform at college and finally to where I am now.
Which band or artist would you say made you want to pick up a guitar and start playing?
When I was younger, my parents were always playing James Taylor in the house and I remember really liking how the guitar sounded so I guess that he was the one artist that made me want to pick up the guitar and play myself
Was your household a very musical one when you were growing up?
I was the first one to ever get an instrument, my mum is an amazing singer, she won’t admit it but she is, we often harmonise together at home!
Are you a solo performer? Have you ever played with a backing band?
Because of my mum working in the music industry, she always has other bands and acts that like to collaborate and just jam with me so that’s a great way of testing out new material and also getting other people’s views on it. I may use a cajon in the background from time to time but normally it’s just me and the acoustic!
Do you perform your own music or covers?
I do throw covers into the set, I think you have to, unless you're an established act and everyone knows your songs!
I really enjoy performing an acoustic version of American Boy by Estelle & Kanye West. Tonight I think I’m going to do a cover of ‘Latch’ by Disclosure and also ‘All I Want’ by Kodaline’, it’s a beautiful track! (you can watch her performance of 'All I Want' below)
How do you approach the song-writing process?
It’s like the chicken and the egg thing, does the melody come first or the words, I think the first song I ever wrote, the lyrics came first and then I kept them on my phone and when I’m playing the guitar, I check them and see if anything fits. I get there in the end!
Do you ever suffer from writers block?
All the time! Not met anyone yet who doesn't!
You're from Exeter, how would you describe the music scene there?
Compared to Bristol, I’d say it’s pretty dead! There's just so many more places in Bristol to go for live music, open mic nights, always loads going on, lots of pubs and bars hosting performers, wherever you go, you can guarantee there'll be someone with a guitar and a microphone!
You're supporting Gavin James tonight, is this your biggest show so far?
I don’t usually get nervous until AFTER I’ve played, I have a fear of not getting feedback or praise after my performance which is mad but true!
How does it make you feel when people DO give you feedback and praise you?
I think it just reinforces what I do and boosts my confidence levels no end.
You off to any festivals this year?
I think I’m performing at a beer festival later this year in Cornwall, free food and drinks, I’m there!
What are your top 3 festival survival tips?
Bring as many waterproof things as possible, I woke up in a puddle at Somersault Festival once! My family ALWAYS forget to bring cups, cutlery and plates, so when it comes to items to eat your food, always be prepared! AND….. make sure you have enough money, everything costs more than usual so take extra cash in case! Oh and wet wipes, plenty of them!
I heard that you recently dressed up as Justin Bieber, tell me how that came about?
Ha! My friend had a dressing up party and I don’t own any dressing up gear, my friends all came as fairies and bumble bees and most of the clothes I own are quite ‘boyish’ so I just put my hair in a hat, drew on a beard and away I went, Justin Bieber for the evening! I’ve no plans to dress as him and perform my set, would be quite strange though!
Please would you nominate a couple of people who we could chat to for an interview on the website?
We'd like to thank Lottie for taking the time to chat to us in the middle of her very high profile game of ping pong, we wish her every success for the future! We personally think that she's going to go a long way, she has a confidence that you don't often see in someone so young, definitely a good thing to have in the business we call 'show'
If you haven't already, please check out her Facebook page and spread the word!
Interview by Steve Muscutt
Photo by Mal Roberts Photography