M is for
So Music, obviously. Who are your influences and why? This is the kind of question that gets most music makers, performers, writers, players and lovers talking. I personally could go on about this subject for ages, there are many musicians to talk of. But I won’t, otherwise I won’t get onto the main point of this post. So here is the short answer I gave in an interview I took part in recently to promote the forthcoming MUSEfest event I am involved with:
Musically (I have) many influences; Ella Fitzgerald for her voice, Madonna for her business savvy and performance, PJ Harvey for her incredible music and ability to reinvent but stay true to her own sound, Jill Scott, for her consistently incredible vocals and songs, and for me, Martina Topley-Bird. When I first heard her voice on a Tricky track I was mesmerised. Here was a young, mixed race woman, singing in a somewhat bluesy manner, but with a very modern edge, over electronic, sample based beats… it was combining everything I was into at the time, still am, and it was like I was being told “yes it’s true, you can make the music you feel”. That was huge for me. (interview on drunkenmermaid.com)
Mothers… We all have one, and know some, and many of us will become them. I am very close to mine and she is a major influence on my life and most who know me regularly hear me start a sentence with “My mum says” or “My mum is doing this amazing thing at the moment”… etc. Yes Mum’s. I started a Facebook group called Mothers Make Music for, you guessed it, Mums who make music. The idea had come about from me finding a statistic saying that “The PRS for Music membership (writers and music creators) is currently only 14% women” (statistic from PRS for Music). I found that a shocking statistic. Why are there so few women writing and creating? And of that how many of them are mothers, and motherhood is just one of many varied reasons that women become less available to create music. Again, I could continue, but again, we have another point to his post.
Ah yes… MUSEfest.
Myself, London based singer songwriter and mother along with Paris based, Chicago born musician and mother, Hannah Judson, have created an international showcase of women in and around music, who have contributed dynamically, changed the dialogue, set the tone, and inspired others. The launch event is happening in London on Saturday 29th November. There will be live music from Miss Baby Sol, Osp Eldjarn, Hannah Judson, Jesse King. Plus we’re raising awareness and money for the White Ribbon Alliance, an amazing charity organisation that works for safe childbirth for all women everywhere. So that’s the Music and Mothers covered… But there’s more!!! There will be photography, art, video, a MUSEfest Leadership Award… Seriously, it is all going on. The venue is pretty intimate (Hackney Attic, 270 Mare Street, Hackney, London), so early ticket purchasing is recommended. £7 in advance/ £10 at the door. Tickets available here: http://www.picturehouses.co.uk/cinema/Hackney_Picturehouse/film/Musefest_18/show/n81tsj/
GO GET EM!!!
29th November 2014,
at the Hackney Attic, 270 Mare Street, Hackney, London.