JAM TALKS: FAIRHAZEL
Jam founder Louise talks with wise young Fairhazel – a striking songwriter you need to get to know.
When did you first realise you had stories to tell?
I think I realised that through travelling. When I travel, I feel like I am gathering information from the things I am experiencing and the people I am meeting. Having travelled alone a lot, you are forced to meet new people in order to function and therefore you hear about other people’s backgrounds and stories they want to share – and to me, those make the best songs. Instead of coming back from somewhere with a souveneir t-shirt and a mug, you can come back and create a song and those memories and experiences live on through that. So I first realised I had stories to tell when people started telling me stories!
What do you need to be an artist?
O R I G I N A L I T Y. You need to have an open mind and allow for periods of input and periods of output. Letting anything and everything in, whether it be musical diversity or consuming art or having experiences, you need to live to be able to output something original and true. I cannot stand recycled music, that sounds like it came from the Plastic Factory. Apart from that I think drive is essential and the desire to put your art before your financial comfort or other comforts.
Tell us about your experience of the Circle where we first met.
I had heard about the songwriting circle via a website and I emailed to ask if I could join in, not knowing at all what I was signing myself up for. I used to hate co-writing but after making several writing trips to the US and writing with strangers, I started to really enjoy it so I thought, whatever I’m going into couldn’t be too frightening. But when I got there and understood the format of the event, playing an original song and then collaborating on a jam. I was put at ease. I think it’s a great event, I love the respect of the music and I love the community of people who participated. I met some new friends there too so 10/10 from me.
What is up next for you gigs, release wise?
Gigs wise – I have a ton of shows coming up throughout September/October and then I’m playing for the Counting Crows’ Underwater Sunshine Festival in New York in November for the second time, and then heading out to LA for a while to make some music and see what its like to live there.
Release wise – I’ve been putting out singles over the last 4 months leading up to an album I recorded in Nov/Dec last year. I’m not sure when that’s coming out yet but the singles will be flowing, the next one – Shallow Grave – will be out mid-October.
How do you stay sane as an artist in London in 2019?
Staying busy is the only way. When I have periods without gigs or without songs to record, I lose my mind. You (I) have to keep finding things to do, a grimy open mic night is better for the psyche than staying in watching Netflix. But that’s a hard thing to keep up, so its not easy! But for me, staying busy with anything in the realm of music is the only way I can survive.
Tell us what’s in your ears of late?
Ooh hoo. I love listening to music – in no particular order, here are a few people I’ve been listening to recently:
- France Gall – she was a French yé-yé singer from the 60s who started out really young. Her songs are so good and her voice is just golden.
- The Murlocs – a really great psychedelic rock band from Australia formed by King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard’s organ player. He plays harmonica on some of the songs and its just really heavy hitting.
- BCUC – A South African band who have such good music. Their songs are a blend of hip-hop, jazz, rock, psychedelic stuff, and pop and I can’t get enough of them, they have a certain aggression to their music like Buju Banton and it just makes it perfect to clench your fists and punch the air to, if you are so inclined.
- – I’m always listening to Nilsson. He’s my all time favourite.
Share a piece of wisdom:
Short term pain for long term gain. Put in your all, keep going and going because it will pay off.
Stay in touch with Fairhazel