I was interviewed by the lovely Lucy from Culture Magazine last month, and it’s now up. Check it out below…
Lucy: Hi Shona and thank you for taking the time to speak with me today, I thought we might start with learning a bit about your background so I wanted to ask you a bit about your childhood and how music became an influence in it?
Plum: Well, I’m not really sure. My granda was really musical. He taught me to play the piano when I was three, I play by ear, I can’t sight read. My mum studied Art, so she’s always been a big creative influence on me. And my dad has great taste in music.I’ve always been interested in music. It’s just something that grabbed me from a young age. Music and sounds.
Lucy: So at which point did you discover that working in music is what you wanted to do?
Plum: I’m not sure there was a clear cut point. I wanted to make music. And in order to make more music, I needed to be able to earn some money through it. I can’t not make music. It’s not really a decision at all. But I think if there was a point when things switched up a gear, it was when I was at Point Blank Music School – and I was able finally to produce the kind of music I wanted to be making.
Lucy: I noticed that you made reference to music and sound. It’s quite refreshing hearing a musical artist make reference to the rawness of sound. Having listened to your album, you utilise a lot of interesting sound samples in it. Do you look for particular sounds, or do you use them as you find them working their way into your music?
Plum: Usually I will hear a sound that is just a great sound, so I’ll record it. Then I’ll play about with it using effects and filters, and see where it takes me. I do sometimes look for particular sounds, but more often it’s a specific type of sound – i.e soft, crisp, clunky, hissy, etc.
Lucy: Yes, I can totally understand what you mean by that. Sound is also a passion of mine that I incorporate into theatrical performance.
Plum: Oh fab, Sounds are the best!
Lucy: Yes they are.
Lucy: Do you find that your scores tend to grow organically, or do you find it takes precise planning and direction before writing?
Plum: I’d say most of it grows fairly organically, but I do tend to plan themes for the lyrical content of a piece of music – be it an album or EP, so there is something to tie it all together. That then has an effect on the mood and atmospheres created in the music.
Lucy: What do you like to draw on for inspiration when you begin to write the lyrics?
Plum: My own experiences, dreams, the brain, life, death…emotions.
Lucy: When you first set out as an artist, did you have a firm idea of the image via your music and personal image that you wanted to create? And if so what was it?
Plum: No, not at all It’s all been a bit of an experiment, and a journey for me. I think the image is created by the music if anything. Betsy Thunder, the character around which I based my last EP, has helped me to pull out parts of me that were maybe hidden before I wrote it. I’m not really sure if I have a clear image.