TMF meets Florence Rawlings

Florence Rawlings has stormed onto the music scene with a brilliant debut album and is currently on tour supporting Welsh legend, Tom Jones. She was kind enough to take time out of her busy schedule to spend a few minutes having a chat with TMF...

Who IS Florence Rawlings? Tell our readers about you.
I'm a soon-to-be 21-year old-singer from South London.

The story goes that you were 'discovered' by Mike Batt when you were just 13 – how did he find you? Was it an exciting moment?
My music teacher mentioned that there was a producer looking to work with singers and the opportunity came about for me to meet him. I was 13 and still in school, so we decided to keep in contact and when I was 18 we started working together. The prospect of working with a great potential mentor like Mike was incredibly exciting.

Musically, who would you say has influenced what you do?
Aretha Franklin is one artist that springs to mind quickly because vocally she has always amazed me. But generally speaking a lot of Motown music has been a strong influence on me.

Were you actively looking to become a musician?
When I was about 13 I started singing in restaurants, pubs and clubs, and I think at that point I knew that singing was what I really wanted to do. So I tried to meet as many like-minded people as I could and got involved in music as best as I could.

Your debut album has a strong Motown vibe – would you say it’s a reflection on your personality and tastes?
Yes, I've always really loved the 60s style and Motown sound.

You have a voice well suited to the soul sound, but would you like to try your hand at other types of music?
I'll never rule it out, but soul/Motown is my favourite type of music so I'd happily stay in this genre. And because I'm passionate about this style, I feel I can really give my all with it.

If your iPod could only hold one album, which album would it be? And why?
Donny Hathaway Live. Because it's live, there is a real rawness to it and vocally it is just inspiring.

You're touring with Welsh legend, Mr Tom Jones – are you a fan?
Absolutely! He's a real legend and icon in the music industry. It's a real honour to watch him work... and stir up the ladies!

Other than Mr Jones, who would you most like to support on tour? AND, when the time comes, which current artists would you like supporting you?
I'd love to support Aretha Franklin because she is just amazing… or maybe Mick Jagger. When the time comes for me to have a support act, I would just like to be in a position to give a new artist the opportunity.

Which is your favourite track on 'A Fool In Love'? And why?
‘Wouldn't Treat A Dog’, which was the second song that we found for the album. Lyrically it touches me, so it's a favourite.

It seems to be the done thing that anyone who hits the musical big time also eventually has a go at acting too. Is this something that appeals to you?
Never say never, but at the moment I'm happily focused on my singing.

What was the last album you bought and which was the last one you listened to?
Lily Allen's album ‘It's Not Me It's You’ was the last one I bought… and the last one I listened to was ‘Love And War’ by Daniel Merriweather.

Who would win in a fight – Florence Rawlings or label-mate, Katie Melua?
I'm a lover, not a fighter!

What does the future hold for you?
I'm totally committed to this tour and the release of the album, and hopefully one day I'll have my own tour. I just hope people enjoy listening to my music and want some more!

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