“We’re finding the right voices for the right songs” – An Interview with Clean Bandit’s Grace Chatto

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You’d be forgiven for thinking there was something supernatural about Clean Bandit‘s sudden rise to fame. Most people’s first experience of the Cambridge trio was 2014’s ‘Rather Be’, which featured the mesmerising vocals of Jess Glynne and earned them the 2015 Dance Recording Grammy. Since then, they’ve racked up three Number 1 singles, and collaborated with everyone from X Factor winners to Swedish pop queens to SEAN PAUL (still in disbelief, even now). They’ll be making more musical magic this Halloween as they play a very special gig in Bournemouth’s O2 Academy; we managed to grab their lead singer Grace Chatto for a chat about the new tour, their upcoming second album, and dream collaborations.

The big local venue for our readers is the O2 Academy in Bournemouth, where you’ll be casting a spell this Halloween. Are you planning any spooky twists to your normal show?

Oo, that’s a good idea, we will get planning!

I’ll get a big question out of the way: how’s progress on the new album coming along?

Good. We have so many songs that we want to share, but we need to work out how they fit together for this record and also find singers to sing all the vocals: that’s the last step.

Will you be showcasing any material from the new album – or any new music – on this tour of UK venues?

Yes! We will be performing our new single for the first time, as well as some other unreleased songs. I feel our new album will be quite different as we are much older than when we recorded [2014’s New Eyes].

Is there an increased focus on big collaborations, or will we see you working alone/with some lesser known rising stars?

I’m not sure, we are at that stage now – finding the right voices for the right songs. There will hopefully be a mix of some lesser known and some better known singers. It just depends on what fits each song.

You’re currently doing dates in the UK and the US in the next few months. Do you get different reactions from different audiences on either side of the pond?

Yes definitely! And different again in Asia. Actually even within the UK it differs a lot from place to place: every city has a different vibe, but we haven’t toured here in UK for a long time. I’ve forgotten which place is like what!

Your big name collaborations never fail to create hype – is there anyone you’re looking at working with soon?

I really want to do a song with Bryson Tiller. My dream artist would be Bruno Mars!

Your music has always been strongly inspired by a range of genres, most notably classical music. Do you think your sound is evolving to be more for mainstream audiences, or that pop is diversifying to embrace more unique styles of music like your own?

Bit of both. Our next single is very pop, but at the same time I don’t think ‘Rather Be’ was very pop until it became pop-ular.

Clean Bandit play the Bournemouth O2 Academy on Tuesday 31st October.

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Editor of The Edge 2017-18. Culture Editor before that. Sporadic writer for the Wessex Scene, DJ on Surge, known photobomber of SUSUtv's videos. Bad habits include Netflix, not doing my work and drinking too much tea.

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