Introducing... Roxanne de Bastion
Roxanne de Bastion recently released Seeing You, a four track EP the title track of which impressed us in a recent singles round-up. She is currently touring Germany and working on new material but took the time out to answer a few of our probing questions.
Please introduce yourself to the TMF readership!
My name is Roxanne de Bastion. I'm a singer-songwriter and I live in London, although I'm known for being a bit of a nomad.
You've just released your new EP, 'Seeing You'. Can you tell us a little about it?
Yes! 'Seeing You' is my new four track EP, which was released via Brighton based Hidden Trail Records on September 22nd so it's out on itunes now!. I recorded the songs in North London together with Ben Walker, a very talented guitarist with a Spinal Tap-esque guitar collection.
The four songs are all quite varied and style and dynamics, but they all tell a story. Lyrics are very important to me; they're personal to me, but I'd like to think they're open enough for listeners to find their own meaning within them. The instrumentation, although fuller than on my debut album, is still quite minimal, so the main focus is on the vocal melody. I had a lot of fun recording this EP and I hope that comes across.
Do you have an earliest musical memory? Was there a record or act that made you think 'I want to do this!'
Well, I had this toy fish in my room when I was two years old... It chimed a really pretty tune when you pulled the string. I remember the melody really well (and the fish, it was a fluffy bright red and gold creature). I actually asked my mum about that a couple months ago to make sure it wasn't a false memory... turns out that it was given to me as a present by a political refugee she was helping out at the time. I'm not sure how much of an impact that little fish tune had on my psyche, but I've certainly never mentioned it in an interview before, so that's a fishy exclusive for you!
What really did it for me was discovering The Beatles – first at the age of four, watching Yellow Submarine and then again with eight, finding a cassette tape of The Beatles live at the BBC. I've been in love with music ever since. Much later it was Alanis Morissette who really made me want to perform, write and record music. Her songs were so packed with raw emotion and her vocal range from fragile to explosive really inspired me. I mimicked her for ages, singing exactly as she would, taking the same breaths and making the same hand movements!
If we were to look at your MP3 player, is there anything on there you'd rather we didn't see? Do you have your own stuff on there?
The only MP3 player I currently own is my laptop. Unfortunately there are indeed hundreds of my demos and mixes on there, which is annoying when I switch the play-mode to shuffle. Other than that, there's nothing on there I'd rather you didn't hear (not even Disney's Alice in Wonderland soundtrack... which is awesome).
I mostly have music of other independent artists on there that I've met on the road, such as Jess Morgan, Laura Meyer and the Sky Captains of Industry – no one knows them, but everybody should!
Is there any style of music you just don't get?
I don't get a lot of today's pop music where the vocals have been autotuned and ironed to the extent that they don't sound like humans anymore and where the entire track is compressed to the max - I feel that's just dumbing down the song and isn't giving the listeners any credit.
Are there any artists you'd really like to collaborate with in the future?
Of course, many! There are so many great musicians out there at the moment, so the list is long...
What's next for Roxanne de Bastion?
I'm on tour in Germany at the moment and am typing these answers on a rickety little train from Frankfurt to Weilburg (Where? Exactly!). I have 15 more shows across Germany, Switzerland and Italy on this tour before heading back to the UK for more shows there in November. I'm so grateful for all the wonderful feedback the new EP has received so far and am really looking forward to touring more with it and then taking some time to reflect in December so I can write and record more songs. I'd love to go back to the States to perform there, so maybe that's in the cards for 2015.
What's the question we should have asked you today?
Can we send you lots of coffee? To which the answer would have been 'Yes!' Oh, and maybe how to stay in touch, which you can do through my website, Facebook or Twitter.