Tips 2012: Jodie Marie
She won our hearts over summer with debut effort 'Single Blank Canvas' and having just been On The Road with Will Young, 20-year-old Welsh singer-songwriter Jodie Marie is likely to have captured many more. Her stunning, earthy and soulful vocals combined with old school influences might lead you to believe she's an Adele-lite, but in TMF Towers, we already like her more and we reckon she'll be your new favourite as well. Have a listen to her beautiful cover of Bob Dylan's 'Forever Young' below if you don't believe us.
We met up with Jodie last month before her support slot with Will Young at London's Shepherd's Bush Empire - her favourite tipple is dark rum and coke, fact fans - to find out what her debut album Mountain Echo, produced by Bernard Butler and Ed Harcourt, has in store for us.
Can you tell us a little bit about how you got into music?
I think it’s because of my parents. They listened to a lot of blues music when I was younger and just that sort of style of things; my Dad played acoustic guitar and bass as well and yeah, it was just the influence of them being around. Being Welsh, they have the Eisteddfod, which are Welsh competitions throughout the country, and I was always doing them and singing in choirs in primary school. My choir teacher in Year Three rung up my parents and said ‘Jodie’s got something, she should have extra tuition’ [laughs]. In Year Three, I don’t know how she could tell that, but she did somehow and then I went to tuition outside of school and went from there. I was six years old when I had that tuition, did my first little gig when I was seven and just started writing from 11. It just sort of all happened, I don’t remember a time when I didn’t sing, even just to myself [laughs]
It was just silly little gigs - not silly at all, it’s just different to what I’m doing now, the style that I was singing. I didn’t think, although I wanted to sing, I didn’t think I could make a career out of it so I just did it for the love and the hobby of it. I was just plodding along, maybe earning a bit of money and most of the time, just doing it for free for charities and stuff just because I enjoyed it. I didn’t really see the change until I had to do something, say I had to do a wedding and "right, I’ve got to nail this, it’s not just a little gig".
Then when I got found, that’s when it became a profession. It’s not work, it’s just love. Even, we’ve just come off a radio tour, and it’s just been fun.
Who are your influences?
I think, I just always listen to loads of old music like blues, BB King, Albert King, Robert Johnson, Eric Clapton… But I love Bonnie Raitt, she is my biggest influence, especially the earlier blues stuff, all those really bluesy, rocky and more soul than what she did in the 80s. Not that I don’t like it.
And also stuff like Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jeff Buckley… I just sort of get stuck in the past a bit more. It’s my love, I’d say. Not that I don’t listen to stuff nowadays. From now, there’s people like Ben Howard, The Tallest Man On Earth that I love, I think they’re great and obviously Adele, she’s brilliant, everyone loves Adele. That sort of, it’s not your pop, I’m not too fussed on the pop…never been into chart music as such. I much prefer stuff like Ben Howard, but they sound quite old in themselves anyway.
You've worked with Bernard Butler and Ed Harcourt on your debut album, how did those collaborations come about and how is the album progressing?
It’s done. Basically I started writing with Bernard Butler when I was 16, so it was from when I got found. It wasn’t my management that got it set up, it was my management’s dad that actually found me in the beginning and he set up this session with Bernard Butler and it just sort of snowballed from there. It was just in the background, I was just writing and I know I’m young now but I was even younger then and I didn’t really know what… I sort of did, I’d written songs at home like ‘Single Blank Canvas’ is one I wrote when I was 15/16 and it’s the first song I showed Bernard but I didn’t really know who he was, which was good in a way. I knew he was a good, I’d been told, but he’s just such a good writer and I don’t know how it came about apart from just discussions.
With Ed Harcourt as well, they’re just great people that I’ve written with and Jimmy Hogarth, who co-wrote with me ‘On The Road’. We’d recorded the album in January and February of this year, so it’d all be done and dusted and we’d recorded it live, apart from string overdubs and stuff, but ‘On The Road’ we didn’t have, I hadn’t written it. After the album was recorded, I just got a phone call from my management that said I got a chance to write with him now, he’s more free than he was and I was like "yeah, great, let’s do it". So I wrote with him after the album was done, just for two days, and I wanted to write a bluesy song and I knew what I wanted the subject to be about and there was no pressure – we’d thought the album was done – and we just added it to the album afterwards and it’s a single as well which is quite incredible.
What ranks as your career highlight so far?
The people I’ve worked with. I know it’s kind of, it’s not a cop out saying that, but it’s… I just never thought that I’d be doing this now. Like every day, it sounds cheesy but I do have to pinch myself because from where I’m from, there’s no one who can do that these days. Well they can, but you just don’t think it’s possible, it’s so rural. Getting that chance, is just like… And working with these incredible people and what they’ve done already in their own music, is just ridiculous.
Also the album is a highlight, getting my first album, I can’t wait for it to be released. Because it’s been quite positive so far with the singles, it’s quite scary. I was worried about my next single after ‘Single Blank Canvas’, so I’m just hoping that [the album] goes down well. I’m hoping that ‘Single Blank Canvas’ and ‘On The Road’ do the album justice, people can see what that is what it’s about.
Who are you looking out for in 2012?
I love listening to new music and stuff, especially on the road and stuff. I would have to say, of course, there’s Ben Howard who’s already doing well, he’s kind of in the background but he deserves more recognition. There’s a guy, a boy actually, I shouldn’t say boy but he’s 17 years old, and he’s called Jake Bugg and I think he’s going to be a smash. It’s all old sounding and sort of like Johnny Cash almost. It’s a bold name but it’s just that sort of feel. It doesn’t sound like Johnny Cash but it’s that feel to it. I think he’s going to be pretty incredible. And also, another artist whose single hasn't come out yet ['Hook You Up' is now available on iTunes as a free download], named Sylver Tongue who's quite different to all the rest I mentioned but a good friend of mine.
What are you hoping 2012 holds for you?
Because I’ve done some support gigs recently, very good ones, I would actually love to headline a tour, that’s what I’d love to do and it do quite well. I’ve always said I don’t want to be famous, I just want to be known. I would just like my music to be heard and appreciated really. That’s all I wish for. Not that it has to be mass-scale, I just want to get my music out there and do what I do now. I just love playing. It’s great.
Jodie Marie's debut album Mountain Echo is out on March 5th. You can find out more about Jodie at her official website - jodiemarie.co.uk