HER blend of sophisticated melodies and…
mellow Indie/Electronica makes Carry Lyanne an intriguing proposition. I speak with the London-based artist about her music and most-current track, India. She talks about its story and what it was like filming its video. I ask about influences and whether artists such as Kate Bush and London Grammar are important – musicians she has been compared to. I learn more about Carry Lyanne’s upcoming E.P. and how instrumental London is to her creative process.
On the subject of touring; she talks about upcoming gigs; the new artists that are making an impression (on her) and why her lyrics go deeper than most – discussing human behaviour, sexuality and youth.
Hi, Carry Lyanne. How are you? How has your week been?
Hi, Sam! I’m great.
I had a very busy week in the studio working on my debut E.P. - which is coming out in Octobe! It’s a lot of sleepless nights and hard work - but I’m enjoying every single part of it and can’t wait for people to hear what I’ve been working on.
For those new to your work, can you introduce yourself, please?
I’m an Italian-born, singer-songwriter currently living and breathing London’s hectic music scene. I’ve just graduated from BIMM (British Institute of Modern Music) and I am about to release my debut E.P.
I mainly write mellow Indie/Electronic/Pop music. However, when it comes down to songwriting, I believe there are no labels…let the inspiration flow!
Can you tell when you first discovered music? Was there an artist that inspired you to write and follow a passion?
My mom and dad have always been music lovers: so music was always being played around the house. I remember being very young and saving my pocket money to go buy C.D.s (yes, C.D.s were still a thing!). Christina Aguilera was definitively one of the first artists to make me think I wanted to have a singing career.
Her way of singing was so raw and emotional. Stripped is still one of my favorite albums.
Before releasing your debut single; you released a series of cover version on YouTube. Do you think those videos have cemented your sound and made you more confident as a performer? Are there any songs you covered that are especially important?
I think, nowadays, artists cannot ignore the power of platforms such as YouTube.
Covers can give you a lot of visibility: however, competition is fierce - so one must work hard in order to stand out of the crowd. I have recently covered Attention by Charlie Puth - which you can check out on my YouTube channel - but my favorite cover is No Diggity - which I have recorded at Abbey Road Studios.
India, your debut single, was released earlier this year. What compelled that song in terms of its story and were you humbled by the fact it received praise and radio-play?
The song is meant as a fictional conversation between this girl, named India, and I.
I know that she is in love with me - but she wouldn’t admit that to herself. So I am, basically, encouraging her to be true to her feelings. I wrote this song reflecting on how diverse love can be for everyone - as I strongly believe there’s should be no rules when it comes to love.
I was very happy that so many people could identify with it and that it had the chance to be played on the radio.
The video looked like it was really interesting to film. Can you tell us about the experience and what it was like making it?
I developed the concept for the video with Mike Briggs, who has filmed and directed it.
The video was shot in Essex, where we managed to glimpse a beautiful sunset on camera - which added impact to the video. Apart from performing the song; I had to do some acting scenes with Sam Simmonds (India’s boyfriend) and Caroline Wilde (India).
That was pretty fun and I have learned a lot by working with such a great team.
On the subject of videos; I hear there is a new one in-the-works? Can you reveal anything about it and the concept of the video?
This new video has been filmed as part of my E.P. release and, if you head to my Instagram page, you will be able to get a preview! I have teamed up with two super-talented people - so the result is astonishing! It was filmed by Jay Kristoffer and edited by Catharine (Amoroso Films). The song is about that moment in love when you open your eyes and realize a relationship has come to an end.
However; the video is quite cheeky and, instead of depicting the pain of unrequited love, it seems to be saying ‘Look what you’ve missed out on!’.
Do you see yourself releasing an E.P. this year or are you working on getting the new song out? If there is an E.P.; what can you say about the songs and themes you’ll explore on it?
I am releasing a three-track E.P. in October.
I produced it with the talented Gabriele Mazza.I feel every track has something to say to the listener. I sing about love - but mostly about life and about finding yourself and your inner-voice. After my father died, two years ago, I started reflecting a lot about the meaning of life - and I have learned to appreciate the bad and good things that life has to offer.
So; this E.P. is a deep-flow of emotions: ranging from anger, love; melancholy and happiness.
Your songs dig deep and explore subjects such as sexuality and youth. How much of your material do you take from your personal life/relationships and do you think more artists should eschew obvious subjects and write deeper songs (like you do)?
I take a lot of inspiration from real life - especially from the people I meet. I find humans so fascinating and inspiring! I don’t necessarily consider my music to be deeper than other musicians’. I (just) think that, as long as you write authentic music, people will be able to connect with it.
London is your base. Have you always lived here and what is it about the capital that attracts you? Do you get a lot of inspiration from people around you?
I moved to London three years ago to study music. I love the city!
This is where I have started writing my own music. I just find it so inspiring: it almost feels like everyone has got a story to tell. I have met people from all around the world who have definitively contributed to my inspiration.
Also; the music scene is buzzing and so diverse.
Your music has been compared to the likes of Kate Bush and London Grammar. Are they idols of yours? Do you find it flattering getting those comparisons or is it quite daunting?
I find it very flattering!
I know Kate Bush is a huge name in music; especially here in the U.K. I must admit I was aware of her but I’ve never listened to her music before. I think both Kate Bush and London Grammar are great artists.
What tour dates are coming up? Where can we come and see you play?
I’m performing an acoustic set with my guitarist, Gabriele Cogo, at Biddle Bros on Friday, 8th September. I’m on at 8.30 P.M. - so make sure you come join us! It’ll be fun!
IN THIS PHOTO: Bryde
If you had to select the three albums that mean the most to you; which would it be and why?
Stripped - Christina Aguilera
One of the first albums to inspire me to become a singer-songwriter.
Nine Lives - Aerosmith
Aerosmith are one of my favorite Rock bands of all times. (Steven) Tyler is such an outstanding vocalist and an icon...plus; this album was a gift from a special person in my life.
Born to Die - Lana Del Rey
This album was revolutionary: I remember listening to this thinking ‘Where the hell did you come from?’ Lana has a strong influence on my songwriting.
What advice would you give to artists coming through right now?
When times get tough and you feel like investing all your money in music; playing to empty venues; staying up all night - writing isn’t worth it - just remember why you are doing this in the first place. There’s a quote that says “If you give up, it means you never wanted it”.
Every time I feel down, I read it, and it reminds me of how much I love making music and how good it makes me feel. One of my favorite quotes from Conrad Hilton also says: ”Success seems to be connected with action: Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes but don’t quit”.
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).
American Money by Børns!
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