What does Monday mean? It means Track of the Week of course! This is ‘Mistress Mayhem’ from BIMM London’s SERAPHINA…
What was the inspiration behind your track?
Pain, lol. I wrote the track as a reaction to a relationship ending. It was one of those moments where I was oblivious and thought everything was fine, and then had this rude awakening that actually it was over. So, Mistress Mayhem represents this hurricane of chaos that can suddenly sweep through your life unexpectedly – be it a relationship or family or work or your mental or physical health – it’s this force that you can’t control that lurches into your life, catches you off balance and leaves you reeling. Songwriting is an amazing catharsis for getting through the shit times, it helps you actively process your emotions and turn darkness into something positive and creative.
What did your songwriting process involve?
This one kind of fell out of me, which doesn’t always happen… I was sat on the tube and suddenly all these lyrics came into my head that I feverishly wrote down in my iPhone notes, and then opening piano riff kind of drifted into my head too, so as soon as I got home I sat down and wrote it in about half an hour. Sometimes it feels like songs are scrambling to get out, like they have a life of their own, and other times it’s like squeezing blood from an old, dry, crumbling stone in a desert in 40 degree heat…
How do you make yourselves stand out from other bands?
I’m obsessed with aesthetics, so I put a lot of work into the visual side of everything I do. I think it’s just as important as the music because it allows you to create a world to exist in as an artist, a world that is the perfect visual compliment to the sound. We never use our senses in isolation, so I think it’s the same for creating art – the more senses it can appeal to, the more other people can get a sense of what you’re trying to say. I think artists like Bat for Lashes or Lana Del Rey or Lady Gaga are AMAZING at this. It’s also just way more fun to have more ways of expressing yourself, and means you’re less likely to blend in with other artists if you’re expression isn’t just confined to the songs.
Describe your sound in 3 words…
Nocturnal moody pop.
Are there any particular artists that inspired you whilst writing the track?
A load of really kickass ladies basically: Lana Del Rey, Bat for Lashes, The Shangri Las, Lera Lynn, Kate Bush, Fiona Apple, Patsy Cline, Amy Winehouse, Daughter, Julie London. They all have a way of telling sad stories in the most hypnotic, mesmerising, unique way. Also Elvis because, well, it’s Elvis.
What’s the best thing about studying at BIMM?
THE PEOPLE! I’ve met so many amazing, talented people these last three years – they’ve enabled me to perform my music live & collaborate on some really exciting projects, and I’m just more and more in awe of the incredible work that my friends are putting out into the world or working on. It’s awesome to be part of this community, and be taught by some insanely talented musicians. The students of today are gonna be the industry honchos of tomorrow, so it’s great we’ve had the chance to develop together before heading into the big bad world.
How has BIMM help you develop as an Artist?
It’s given me the time and space to figure out what I want to say and how I want to say it. I feel like 1st year was about building confidence in myself as a musician, getting used to getting up and singing in front of the class every week without my leg shaking uncontrollably which at first was TERRIFYING; and 2nd year was when I started to think of the bigger picture – songwriting, branding, how the industry works. 3rd year is like one big culmination of all the learning where you start to see the colours and shapes form of the artist you’re becoming, as opposed to just dodgy outlines.
What’s the best bit of music advice you’ve been given?
Be patient. Let things take their time and enjoy where you are at the moment instead of rushing towards the future. I think the media often portrays new hyped artists as if they’ve just appeared out of thin air in this dramatic fashion – like they decided to write a couple songs, went to one open mic & got signed by Sony straight away… when actually a lot of hours (often years), effort, energy, and trial and error has led to where they are now.
Anything exciting coming up you can share?
I’m playing a gig with my band at The Underbelly in Hoxton on June 20th – it’s the week after we finish BIMM so we’ll probably be euphoric and also really, really tired after dissertation hell, lol. I’m also collaborating on a project with The Doppelgangers – a collective lead by Rob & Lewis Mawer who have co-written a bunch of tracks with other musicians that we’ll be recording in May, so keep a look-out for their stuff when it comes out! Otherwise I plan to put out some more tracks and live recordings over the year…just keep things coming ideally…!