IT has been interesting speaking with Chloé Bodur…
as she discusses the difference between the people of London and Brighton (she spent eighteen years growing up in the capital but prefers the openness and easy-going fun of Brighton). Bodur tells me about her debut single, Glory, and the story behind it; what comes next in terms of music; why gender-equality is important to her – and how she will spend this Christmas.
I ask about her influences and how it feels being championed by the likes of BBC Introducing; what it easy like being raised in a mixed-race household; a new artist she recommends we check out – she gives some great advice for young songwriters coming through.
Hi, Chloé. How are you? How has your week been?
Good, thank you! I came back home last week for the Christmas holidays - so it’s been really nice seeing family and friends etc.
For those new to your work; can you introduce yourself, please?
I’m nineteen-years-old and am a singer/songwriter from North West London - but currently studying Music at university in Brighton. I’ve been performing with my band (big up James, Jono; Malte, Matt and Sergio) since March.
We just put out our debut single, Glory.
Glory is your debut song. It is smooth R&B with an edge of urgency! Can you tell me about its background and creation?
Glory was originally (just) a poem I’d written...
I didn’t plan on taking it to the band but I ended up recording us jamming at my drummer’s house one day and, in the recording, you can hear me sing the word ‘glory’ here and there. I went home and played around with that voice memo and recorded my poem as lyrics over the top.
I then sent what I’d done to the boys - who loved it - and it just fell together naturally from there, really.
It has been released via Live Nation’s Ones to Watch and produced by J.D. Reid. What has it been like working with Reid?
J and I have always been super-close; so it was easy to work with him. I’m sure we’ll collaborate properly on a tune next year.
Various BBC stations have championed the track. Does it feel good knowing so many people are responding to it?!
Yeah, it’s amazing. When Jazz FM played Glory - that was a special moment for me.
Is there going to be new material coming? What are you working on?
I’m hoping to release a lo-fi, kinda-homemade E.P. next year with some dark jazzy tunes of mine that nobody’s ever heard. I’d like to get that all out of my system before releasing the fluffy Neo-Soul-style tunes I play with the boys.
I’m also featuring on some Electronic releases next year.
You were raised in a mixed household in London. How important is your upbringing and the artists you were raised on?
I think my upbringing is 99% of why I’m doing what I’m doing.
I was raised around a lot of good music - but mainly a lot of love and support. I wouldn’t have the same work ethic, motivation and belief in myself if it wasn’t for my parents and their constant love.
Can you tell me the acts and albums you loved during your childhood?
I mainly listened to singles when I was a child: the only albums I heard were whatever my parents were playing around the house or in the car. The first album I remember rinsing by myself was Channel Orange (by Frank Ocean) - but that’s probably (just) because my memory is awful.
What compelled your decision to move to Brighton? How do you find the people there compared to London? Is it somewhere you feel more at home?
I moved to Brighton to study and to find myself a band. The people in Brighton are so much more friendly, left-wing and P.C. than in London. They’re also much easier to please when it comes to live music - and there’s certainly a better sense of community than where I come from. I still feel more at home in London, because it’s where I grew up for eighteen years, but I do love Brighton.
It’s a great place to escape to. London is too hectic and grey sometimes.
I know you promote empowerment of women. Does your background and start in life make you more focused to raise the rights of women – and let others know they can make it?
Yeah. I’d love to do whatever I can to empower the olive-skinned girls out there that have to put up with all the racist bullsh*t - as well as all the sexist bullsh*t. The industry is defiantly improving, though, and making an effort to be more inclusive…
But it’s still got a long way to go.
IN THIS PHOTO: FUR/PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images/Band
Who are the new artists you recommend we check out?
FUR are a band from my uni - Will’s in my class. He’s very lovely and a great songwriter. Their music is 1960s-inspired and impossible not to like.
Their video for If You Know That I’m Lonely is great, too.
If you had to select the three albums that mean the most to you; which would they be and why?
Couldn’t possibly just pick three - I’m sorry!
What advice would you give to artists coming through right now?
Don’t give up and don’t compare yourself to other artists too much.
Write and finish as much as you can and share what you’re doing with people. Don’t feel disheartened if you do a show and there are only three people listening - because everyone’s been there.
Can we see you perform anywhere at the moment? What gigs do you have coming up?
I’ll be releasing details of my headline show in London next year on my socials (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) soon.
Christmas is not too far away. Do you have plans already - or will you be busy working?
I will be overeating at my aunt's house, in London, as I do every year.
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can name a song and I’ll play it here (not one of yours as I’ll do that).
George Baines - Summer Come Back
George is my flatmate and one of the best songwriters I know. He was BBC introducing Artist of the Week last month. My favourite songs of his haven’t even been recorded yet - so keep your eyes peeled for his 2018 releases.
He’s one-to-watch, for sure.
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