THE wonderful CAGGIE has been telling me…
about her new single, Thinking About You, and how it came together. She shares her experiences of L.A. and reveals whether there is more material coming; which artists and albums have been most important to her; if there are any gigs coming up – she recommends some emerging artists to watch.
I ask her about her time in Made in Chelsea and whether music was always her calling; what her favourite musical memory is; what she wants to achieve before the end of this year; the advice she would give to artists coming through – CAGGIE ends the interview by selecting a great modern cut.
Hi, CAGGIE. How are you? How has your week been?
It’s been good, thank you. My second single has just come out and was on New Music Friday, so I am pretty happy...
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
I’m a singer/songwriter from London. I tend to focus on writing about past love. I’d describe my music as 'romantic nostalgia'.
You have just released Thinking About You. Can you reveal the story behind it?
It’s about when I first moved to L.A. I was feeling a little bit lonely - and it was the first time I felt ready to tell my story.
Might we see an E.P. next year? Are you always working on new material?
Absolutely. I would love to go straight in for an album. But, let’s just see. I’m always working on new stuff, whether that’s just writing down ideas or being in the studio. I like it to be dispersed when I am in the studio - I enjoy going in when I am filled with ideas so it’s always a special and exciting experience. It can feel redundant if I am in there every day.
Many will recognise you from Made in Chelsea. Was that desire to go into music always there? Do you feel more yourself and free to express your true personality through music?!
Yes; very much so. I have always loved music. In fact, I’d say it’s my one true love. It’s taken me a while to be able to admit that. Because, for a really long time, I felt like it didn’t love me back. Music can be incredibly cruel in ways but, in the moments when it does work - however fleeting they are -, it’s magical...and, yes, I feel freer. It’s a question I think about a lot in a lot of detail...
But, in an attempt to give you the shorthand, I think I tried to be someone else for many years; in order to feel safer and to fit in in ‘life’. I have always felt like a bit of a loner - and found that my favourite moments are often in isolation when my only companion is a notepad. I rather enjoy my own loneliness…which is quite reflective in my music; probably not the first single so much but my other material. A friend mentioned it recently and said: “How can Caggie be so sad and what does she have to be sad about?!” which I found quite funny. I definitely project a certain version of myself to the world.
I recently found a journal from when I was twelve and, in it, it said: “What is your favourite thing about yourself?” and I had written: “That I am always a little sad.” I found it amusing; almost paradoxical. I can pretend to be a lot of different people but you’ll always find my truth in my music.
How important are London and the people regarding your inspiration? What is life like there for a young artist?
I wrote my favourite songs in L.A. But, perhaps, that’s because I was lonelier there. But, in the same breath, coming back to London as I am today does have the essence of a new beginning at the moment…which I am enjoying.
Which artists compelled you growing up? What sort of music were you raised on?
I was raised on Oasis, Madonna; Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson. My house wasn’t musical, so it was really what any other kid was hearing on the radio or obsessing over at school. I was always very into film soundtracks like The Wedding Singer or Moulin Rouge. What was compelling about '90s Popstars is that they were this full package, almost cookie-cutter-persona that I think is about to come back...they were untouchable. I don’t necessarily think that connects to me but I think we are about to see a resurgence of that with the likes on Nina Nesbitt.
What do you hope to achieve by the end of 2018?
To bring out more music and to establish a musical family around me - and to have things ready for 2019. I think it’s gunna be a great year.
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music so far – the one that sticks in the mind?
There was one when I was singing this song that I had rehearsed to the bone; I have never worked so hard on anything in my life. And, when it came to record, it was like it wasn’t my voice coming out: it felt like something else; something entirely effortless…like it was just happening. I was able just to feel the emotion. I learnt a lot from that experience, that the homework is crucial. It’s the groundwork you do first then the emotion comes in and decorates.
It’s a highly emotional song and was a very moving experience for me. I recently performed it on radio and someone watching said whatever happened just then, whatever you tapped into, hold onto that.
Which three albums mean the most to you would you say (and why)?
I’d say Imogen Heap - Speak for Yourself
This album was sort of the soundtrack to the first summer I first fell in love. I remember listening to it over and over again. And, when I listen to it now; I feel like I am sixteen all over again.
Then; I’d say Damien Rice – O
It’s such a phenomenal album. Beautiful songs filled with so much emotion. It also takes me back in time a little…
And, third; India Arie – Acoustic Soul
I remember me and my best friend listened to this album so much growing up. I would just sit in her room playing the guitar and writing songs.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
I would love to support Lana Del Rey. My rider would involve sage and gin.
Can we see you on tour soon? What dates are coming up?
I’ve got a show at Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen on 13th September called Gold Dust.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Just be true to yourself. Don’t be concerned with what’s coming out now: work hard to get to the core of what is going to make you special. I am not the most musical. I don’t play, I don’t speak musically either - but I have a natural ear and a way with words that is unique to me. So, figure out what your strengths are.
IN THIS PHOTO: Sasha Sloan
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
Yeah, a lot. I like watching T.V. shows. I have just been watching The Innocents on Netflix. But, I like to chill and do music stuff like practise singing like other singers I like. Or, just play around on the guitar...
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
I think one of the best songs out at the moment is Grace Carter - Why Her Not Me
PHOTO CREDIT: @markbarnfield