INTERVIEW: Suzi Island



Suzi Island


THE youthfulness and ambition of Suzi Island


is almost sickening but, given how nice they are, you can't get too depressed! I have been speaking with Hugh and Matt from the band about their single, Show Me the Way, and what it was like having Pete from The Vaccines produce it!

With a new track only a few days away; the guys talk about that and reveal what it is like living down in Brighton; whether there are new acts we should get our ears around; what gigs they have coming up – they select some great music to end the interview with.


Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?

Hugh: Hey! We’re great. How’re you? We’ve literally just been finishing up the final touches for our next release. It’s sounding crazy exciting. 

For those new to your music; can you introduce yourselves, please?

Matt: So. We’re based in the sunny seaside space of Brighton and we get to spend our time making the music we want to listen to. 

How did Suzi Island come together? Can you reveal the inspiration behind the name?

Hugh: So. Basically, during our first year of uni, we misheard a quote on an episode of Friends. It sounded like a cool band name and it really just stuck ever since then. 


Show Me the Way is your new track. How did that song get started? Was there a story that started the process?

Hugh: I always think that emotion is always the biggest part of a song. With Show Me the Way; it’s just this overwhelming outpour of emotion I had to get out into a song - it’s just that feeling of not knowing where you stand with someone when you’re so crazily in love with them. 

Pete Robertson of The Vaccines produced the track. What was it like working with him? Did you learn a lot of new skills?

Matt: Pete is crazy-good at what he does: we’ve learnt so much from creating stuff with him. I don’t know about specific skills, but he always has a good book recommendation; we have a good book recommendation thing going on.

Hi, Pete if you’re reading this and thanks for all the book recommendations…also; you definitely should check out his latest release, Aflame, under his artist name ‘Sunan’. Such a good song.  

Was it cool shooting the video? Whose concept was it?

Matt: Yeah. It was really good fun! Especially, working with the Brighton Film School. They were so incredibly professional to work with and loved the music too, which is such an important thing. It was such a beautiful day as well! Spending it on the beach wasn’t something we were gonna complain about.

The idea came about through a few brainstorming sessions with the students and the rest is history as they say. 


Can we expect to see any more material later in the year? What are you working on right now?

Hugh: We’ve got a really important song called Actor that’s coming out on 27th June. It’s going to reshape what is expected of us. We can’t wait. 

You are a teenage duo from Brighton. Is it the perfect place to make music and find the inspiration you need? What is the scene like there right now?

Brighton’s always been such a cool environment. We used to live in a dark and gloomy basement flat but we’ve recently flipped the record and moved up to a top-floor apartment. The view makes the morning coffee taste better.

Matt: As far as the scene goes, I think musicians and bands will gravitate towards Brighton as it’s got the practicality of somewhere like London but with the addition of a naked cycling race every year. Who doesn’t love an annual naked cycling race?!


Where are you heading on tour? Where can we catch you?

Hugh: We’ve got such a cool new live performance lined up for our next gigs. We’ve got some brand new tracks we’re dying to play! We’re also playing a night set up by Abbie McCarthy from BBC Radio 1 on 28th June which is going to be so great. Here are the live dates in full:

28th June - Good Karma Club (London) at the Sebright Arms

13th July - London, Notting Hill Arts Club

20th July - London, The Finsbury pub

27th - 29th July - Chiddfest, Chiddingly


What do you hope to achieve in 2018?

As far as we’re concerned, we want to be the biggest band in the world. We know that’s a bit of a stretch before 2019...but, hey; we’ve got no choice but to make sure as many people hear our music as possible. 

Have you each got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?

Matt: Definitely. When we were younger, a couple got engaged whilst we were busking one of our tunes. That was pretty magical! 


If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?

I guess, if we really wanted to set the bar, supporting someone like Coldplay would be pretty crazy. Just as they’ve had such an incredible ability to stay at the top of their game.

Then, probably something quite tame in our rider…an ice-cold Pepsi Max for me; maybe a Coke for Hugh…and a life-sized cut out of Christopher Biggins.

What advice would you give to new artists coming through?

Hugh: I’d love to be all philosophical here but, in all honesty, we’re still breaking through ourselves! Have you got any advice for us?? Haha! 



Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?

Matt: I personally have been really into Naaz’s new album Bits of Naaz. She has a really cool sound; deffo check her out.

Hugh: Youth Sector also have a couple bodacious tunes out.


IN THIS PHOTO: Youth Sector/PHOTO CREDITJodie Canwell

Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?

Yeah. I mean, I think for us the highlight of living together and doing what we do is that music has become intertwined within everything we do. It’s funny because we seem to relax the most when we are just doing what we love - making music that we feel matters.

Finally, and for being good sports; you can each choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).

I think we’d have to go with…

Fujiya & Miyagi - Collarbone

Milo (ft. Hemlock Ernst) - Souvenir

Absolutely amazing songs! 


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