Derbyshire songwriter Sophie Kilburn was one of our most exciting musical debuts in 2019. Her fiery, alt-indie single Indigo Fever was a breath of fresh air, bringing together elements of PJ Harvey, Florence, and Alannis Morisette. Despite her career being very much in the early stages, she's already performed at The Troubadour, The O2 Islington and Camden Roundhouse. We spoke to the young talent about 2020 and her musical influences
Hi Sophie, How's your Christmas been?
Hello, how you doing? Merry Christmas. Yeh, my Christmas countdown has been alright thank you. I can’t wait for the Gavin and Stacey Christmas Special. I am also a sucker for a cheeseboard. Don’t whether than means I am maturing or getting old but love a cheeseboard. I still need to buy gifts though I am very last minute and put so much pressure on myself to buy the perfect gift.
2019 saw you release your first single Indigo Fever. How long has this been in the works?
I wrote the song in half an hour three years ago haha. With writing songs, I normally have a core line and build from there, so with Indigo Fever it was “How can you love your body when nobody is loving you?”. The song has been back and forth with different versions of production but it was working with Jack Gourlay that gave me the fire to take control of what I wanted the song to be. You can easily slip into a nodding head but that can lead to nothing getting done. Sometimes you have an idea in your head and you need to find people who are on the same wavelength, as well as push you for the idea to come reality. I think I was too precious with the Indigo Fever but I am so happy it is out in the world and I can give it away. I am very proud of the track and it is a perfect introduction to me as an artist.
Tell us a bit about your story until now?
Well, this debut has been a long time coming. I have been writing and performing music for over ten years and moved to London from a small town called Matlock to go to drama school. When I graduated, I wasn’t really in a good place mental so I found writing and performing was a way to cope with what I was going through. It wasn’t an escape more of an outlet. I just wanted to release something but the quality wasn’t where I wanted it to be. I took the time to listen to what I wanted and now I have the confidence to see myself as a credible artist. The past six months have been a new chapter. I take myself seriously so other people are. Highlights this year were supporting CBE Shirley Collins at Roundhouse and playing BBC Introducing LIVE. I am very grateful I got to tick those off my list for 2019.
Your music seems to have a nice mix of the old and the new, is that something you aim for or does it just come naturally?
I think it is a natural thing. It is important for me to listen to what came before and what is out at the moment and take the parts that I like from both. If I like it, I like it. I don’t care how old it is because whatever part appeals to me is timeless.
Tell us a bit about your musical inspirations. We're hearing a bit of Florence in there?
You got me Florence is one of my main influences. The way her sound mixes an angelic quality with rocky tones is just music bliss to me. PJ Harvey is always close to my heart and The Arctic Monkeys’ AM album is forever on repeat. At the moment, there are a lot of indie female singer-songwriters coming through, particularly from Australia who I am super fangirling. Women like Julia Jacklin, Angie McMahon and Tia Gostelow who all have these unique, captivating voices matched with lyrics that have weight and power. I would say I am very emotional as a person (classic) so I am influenced by anything that moves me emotionally or on the dancefloor.
What's the plan for 2019, can we expect to see more releases?
The plan for the rest of 2019 is starting to plan 2020 and eating my weight in chocolate! There will be a hundred and million percent more music, more releases and performances. I love playing live so I will be bringing the production from the records to live. So make sure you give me cheeky follow to stay in the loop!