Interview: Gabrielle Aplin
Thu, 08 May 2014 09:52:04
Chances are you're going to be hearing a lot about Gabrielle Aplin very soon. The British singer wields a majestic and magnetic voice that immediately charms, and she's a superstar both back home and in Australia. Now, it's time for America to experience her English Rain EP. This rain will wash over you in the best way possible, delivering impassioned, inimitable, and infectious tunes. Gabrielle Aplin stands poised to reach the top of pop.
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Gabrielle Aplin discusses English Rain, movies, and so much more.
What ties English Rain together for you?
In a sense, I wrote all of the songs almost chronologically, and then they got all mixed up on the album. They're songs about things that actually happened, and I went about each one roughly the same way. I think that's why it feels cohesive. They all really came from the same place. It wasn't that they had the same themes, but I had the same formula for each one without realizing it. It wasn't step-by-step songwriting. I'd write about something that happened, and I'd write the music or lyrics first. I'd record the songs and set them all out in a certain way. Especially for the full album, I really made sure the sounds fit in with the visuals. It just made sense.
What's the story behind "Salvation"?
I came up with that on the piano. The lyrics didn't come up until the end of the session. I was reading, and I had the idea. I wrote it really quickly. After struggling for about six hours, I got it in about half-an-hour. It's a random song to write, really.
What does it mean to you?
It's about having something you go to that's consistently there. You have some sort of salvation—whatever it may be. It could be God. It could be a friend. It could be a girlfriend or a boyfriend. It could be anything.
Salvation can differ for everybody.
Yeah, I think so. I don't think it's anything in particular. It's different for everyone depending on where their beliefs lie.
Where did "The Power of Love" come from?
It was a cover I did. Everyone knows it in the UK. I got asked to cover it for a John Lewis campaign. Every year they have these beautiful advertisements with someone covering a classic song on there based around Christmas. I had the visual, and I was really inspired. It's really snowy and quite dark. I wanted it to be quite icy and dark in a way. I didn't do it until I had the visual.
Is it important for you to paint pictures with the songs?
Yeah, that's exactly what I do. They're usually written about something that happened. I have that memory. I can write about things I've seen, heard, and done.
What else inspires you? Do you read a lot or watch many movies?
Mostly, I'll write about things that have happened. That can be triggered by reading. I like to read. I like to watch movies. I like to cook as well. You can make a sound, and that can be an influence on a song. Or, a certain color or texture can spark something. It's a lot of different things. You can find inspiration anywhere.
What are some of your favorite films?
Probably my favorite British film is Driving Lessons which has Rupert Grint and Julie Walters in it. It's about a guy who gets driving lessons [Laughs]. He's from a very strict Christian family. He's nineteen in the movie. His parents don't let him do anything. His life revolves around the church. He meets a woman that he ends up working for, and she breaks him away from all that. It's a story of a few weeks in his life and how it changes.
If English Rain were a movie or a combination of movies, what would it be?
I tend to watch horror films or comedy. I don't think it goes with any of those [Laughs].
Maybe Driving Lessons?
Maybe! That would be good. I'll pick that.
What artists shaped you?
I listen to lots of Fleetwood Mac, Bruce Springsteen, and Bob Dylan. I also like lots of Joni Mitchell. Crosby, Stills & Nash were a big one for me. I just like good songs.
What's next for you?
I'm just writing at the moment and then heading over to the States.
Have you heard Gabrielle Aplin yet?