Lime interview - Music
Discover Etta Smith
Semper - Azeez -Harris
The sad passing of Etta James in January signalled the end of a magnificent and illustrious career spanning numerous decades.
So into the fold comes another Etta who would take even a miniscule amount of the former’s success in her burgeoning career.
Coming straight from Newcastle this young lady is akin in many ways to Alicia Keys being blessed with a great voice and beautiful tinkling on the keys. With her EP soon to drop Lime caught up with Etta for a short one to one.
So music, is it an all-consuming passion?
I have always been interested in music my parents were always playing music to me like my dad collects old Northern Soul records and I would listen to my mum’s disco tapes and she sings around the house not professionally but she loves singing.
And how supportive were they in your formative musical aspirations?
My mum and dad would always telling me that I was a good singer but I am getting more confident as I do more gigs. I believe in me but sometimes I need someone to tell me I am good but it is about the right balance.
Your parents have had a big influence on you but have you always wanted to be a singer?
I have always loved singing and I started playing the piano when I was nine. When I was 14 or 15 I started writing songs and then when I was 16, my parents bought me a recording session.
That’s great you obviously used that session to its full potential.
Yes I did, I put the music up on MySpace and people really liked it. From there people then stated to ask me to do gigs and stuff and it has just been word of mouth really, you do a gig here and a gig here.
How did you get involved with BGM who are pushing the rising Hatty Keane?
A venue called the Sage in Newcastle and then I did the Evolution festival. Lucky enough, I was approached by a music company called Generator and they put me in touch with Michael King at BGM and I have been working with him ever since.
And now you are living in London what are you doing aside from music?
Yes I am living in London as well where I am at university and I am studying Music Technology with Pop Music Performance because I want to do it all, perform and produce so I can add in drums strings and stuff so I can be more creative.
So explain your creative process.
When I first started writing songs I would use the piano to come up with a melody and build up the chords but now I am more writing the lyrics first and then I create the melody. Just writing the lyrics first then it allows you to be freer and not be restricted because you have built say a track that are mournful then the lyrics have to fit that sound.
And who are your inspirations I take it Alicia Keys must be one of them?
I love Alicia Keys because she sings and plays the piano and so she was a big influence on me and listening to her made me want to sing and play the piano. I love Adele I love all of her music and I really love Jessie J.
How would you describe your sound?
It is difficult to put myself into a genre because I just write but I would say it is soulful with a pop edge I expect but I cross genres really.
I know you did a cover of a Minnie Riperton classic?
Yes I did a cover of Inside of Me. We decided to go with that because we wanted a content video to use to promote my EP but Minnie Riperton is just amazing. There are a number of versions of that song being the Minnie Riperton original and then amore dancy version but we decided to go for something a little in between all of that and do our own twist on it.
And give me some info on your EP soon to drop.
Discover Me which is also one of the names of the tracks is my EP and all of the tracks are written by me and there will be six tracks on that EP. I have songs like Sold and Discovery which are slower and more meaningful and there is a song called LDN to NYC which I wrote when I went there and I was inspired by the bright lights. It is about living that lifestyle of jetting from London to New York; it’s kind of what I hope to be doing in part in my career for years to come!
THE LOVE ISSUE: Is it better to love or be loved?
It’s better to be loved.
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