We are big fans of Ysabel Bain. We were lucky enough to catch up with her for a full interview following the release of ‘We Are’. Read now!
Tell us about yourself?
Where to start? I’m a middle child born in London, raised in Brighton (and now recently moved back to London again). I’ve been singing for about ten years give or take and it is one of my most favourite things. I’m a really good cook, and I’m often cooking or baking at some point in the day. I really want a dog and/or a car, but I can’t afford them yet (is that too much information?).
What is your songwriting process?
I love to let things flow. I’m the kind of person that likes to play some random chords and see what naturally comes out; I’m not a massive fan of trying to force things into a certain theme or vibe, just let things naturally take their course.
Tell us about your latest release ‘We Are’?
So last year I decided that I wanted to get some videos up on YouTube, seeing as my YouTube page was non-existent. I had a single coming out in March (Blade Runner), and I wanted to do a music video, but I didn’t want to do your standard miming to the song sort of thing, I wanted to think a little outside of the box.
I decided that I wanted to do a live music video with a fresh arrangement, and I figured, seeing as we were already there, we might as well add a few more songs to the roster.
It was one of the craziest days, we were there for about 10 hours, but we had a great time, and I’m so happy with what came out.
You bring storytelling to life in your songs, where do you get your inspiration?
People’s stories, haha! Most of my songs are (loosely) based on true events. I usually take stories from my own life experiences or (more often than not) the experiences of friends and family and write about them with some heavily exaggerated language. I used to tell people to be careful what they told me ’cause it would probably end up in a song.
‘We Are’ is your debut EP, was it difficult to choose the songs which made it one the release?
Yes and no. There were a couple of tracks that I knew were definitely gonna get recorded, but I wasn’t sure if some of the others were gonna be strong enough.
The songs that I was considering were already released, so it was about what live arrangements were standing out more than others. I had a lot of long conversations with my band and some other people that I trust to help me narrow it down, and I think we came out with some winners.
You headlined Komedia in Brighton, what was that like?
It was absolutely amazing! I cannot accurately express the joy of that evening finally coming together (it took me months to organise). The band worked so hard (and sounded amazing), the supporting acts were stellar, and having an audience that had come to see me was such a rewarding feeling. I’m really looking forward to doing it again one day . . .
Who are your musical influences?
Tobe Nwigwe (for his artistry, professionalism, and creativity), Alicia Keys, Jill Scott, H.E.R, Jordan Rakei, Eryn Allen Kane, and Jake Isaac. I could keep going but it would be a crazy long list!
Who are your non-musical influences?
I don’t know how many non-musical influences I have. Definitely my mum (she is an amazing business woman).
What’s the best gig that you have ever played?
Outside of Komedia? I’ve sung BVs a couple of times at Ronnie Scott’s (under the Ruby Sings evening), and that was amazing, it’s such a brilliant venue (if they ever wanna have me play a set there I am available).
What do you think are the biggest obstacles for bands/artists today?
Honestly? Money and marketing. I feel like musicians these days (including myself) have amazing talent, and their sound is great, but when you don’t have a good marketing plan or (more importantly) don’t have the finances to back you up there’s only so far you can go. I know that that’s been my experience anyway.
What are your hopes for the next two years?
World domination. In all seriousness (because I will not achieve world domination in two years), I have a lot of plans on the horizon. I’d like to get my next project recorded and released, and I’m hoping to have successfully launched my new business under the name “Speak My Mind Sessions” which I’m really excited about.
I’d also like to get back into some venues and start gigging again (provided COVID gets its act together). Other than that it’s just writing more songs and getting in as many collaborations as I possibly can.
FV Music Blog November 2020
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