Interview with Helen Boulding

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Josh Cox: Hi Helen! So the first question has to be, how are you?

Helen Boulding: I am ok! Just incredibly busy at the moment!

JC: So where did the interest in music start for you?

HB: It started really early on. I started playing piano at the age of 7 but began hiding in the bushes and didn’t really want to learn to play. The love of music is different and I listened to a lot of records as my Mum and Dad played a lot of music. There is a huge difference between that and learning to play music and I thought that learning to play was a drag but something clicked after playing for about a year. I was able to read and play a lot of music and this is where I began to enjoy playing and listening to music.

JC: You obviously have a huge interest in music, but what artists are you listening to at the moment? 

HB: Jessie Ware! I was slightly disappointed at the whole album but ‘Wildest Moments’ was great along with ‘110%’. ‘Wildest Moments’ is an excellent track with a little hint of the 70’s with the reverb and a 90’s beat and a fabulous melody and great lyrics. I enjoyed listening to Jessie but the whole album takes a different angle. It’s mid 90’s somewhat dodgy soul and sounds quite dated. I listen to a lot of old stuff to including 70’s style and a lot of songwriters. I have a broad taste and was actually listening to Radiohead yesterday!

JC: Your second album Calling All Angels was released back in July but who were your main influences for this album? 

HB: I was listening to latter Goldfrapp – so not the early disco stuff – at the time when the concept came up. I wanted to keep the songs intact and still natural but juxtaposed it with an electronic feel. I didn’t want to go too electronic as the songs can become cold and flat so I wanted to create tracks with excitement but keep the warmth.

JC: You mentioned that you’re writing for a few artists at the moment hence the business! Can you shed any light on who your writing for or is this all top secret? 

HB: I am currently writing for Joe McElderry, working with the composer of This is England score Ludovico Einaudi. Joe had a huge voice and it is so surprising; I went in expecting to hear pop. His voice blew me away, [he has]a massive range and gorgeous tone.

JC: So it sounds like he’s moved away from XFactor?

HB: Yeh, and it suits him really well! He can really give it some welly and we are able to do songs we cannot do with pop. There are no limitations with Joe as most popstars can’t sing a great song whereas we don’t have this problem with Joe as his range is massive. I have also been working with Janet Devlin from XFactor. She has such a unique voice and the way she pronounces is so unique and she’s only seventeen! I have also started a project called The Marble Scars with Gavin Clark from the band Unkle & the legendry producer Youth which I am currently writing melodies and lyrics for and doing lead vocals with Gav.

JC: You’re clearly very busy with song writing! But do you ever write your songs about or for anyone in particular?

HB: They are normally written about my life or putting myself in somebody else’s shoes and I will generally write about things that are moving or strirring me. If you write about something that you know nothing about it’s not authentic and you can notice this in many songs.

JC: Are there any plans to tour or play in Southampton in the future? 

HB: I have recently finished a big radio tour and I now want to move on to smaller headline gigs where I am able to play my whole album. I will definitely be playing in Sheffield, London and then Brighton too! I will possibly play in Southampton as I have played there before so keep checking the website and all the information there! The difference with these gigs is I will play with the whole band and will then later move on to do some acoustic gigs.

JC: If you had to describe your music to somebody in three words what would they be?

HB: Emotional, Thoughtful, Beautiful and Moving (four I know!)

JC: If you were asked to come on to Radio 1’s Live Lounge what song would you cover and why? 

HB: That is a tough question as there are so many I would love to cover. I would definitely sing Carol King’s song ‘Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow’ but a different version. A random song I’d cover is Heaven by Unkle and make it my own.

JC: Finally! What does the future hold for Helen Boulding? 

HB: That’s the million dollar question! You can never know. Hopefully I’ll be writing and putting out more albums, touring and [making]more music! I have been privileged to do it as a career and I hope it can continue…forever!

Helen’s second album Calling All Angels is out now and you can follow Helen on twitter. For more information on Helen and her upcoming tour dates, visit her website. Helen’s next single ‘Jerusalem’ is released on October 29th and you can listen to an exclusive stream here

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