LAUNCHING: VIOLET SKIES
Time at the company:
THE BIG QUESTIONS
WHAT IS YOUR PROFESSIONAL TITLE?
Singer, songwriter, producer.
WHAT DO YOU DO ON A DAY-TO-DAY BASIS?
Write songs, sing them, record and edit songs, write for other people, run the business that goes with the music side of things (lots of emails), lots of travelling, meeting other musicians and writers, planning ahead, changing my plans because you can’t really plan, working with my agents/manager/team on fun things, rehearsals, touring, shows. Lots of fun and some slightly tougher bits in between.
WHAT DID YOU WANT TO DO WHEN YOU WERE A CHILD?
All of the above!
WHAT ACADEMIC QUALIFICATIONS DO YOU HAVE?
I unashamedly loved school, and did more GCSEs and A Levels than I needed, and then History and French at Exeter, but left after two years to pursue music full time. The Vikings weren’t really helping me write better songs! Best decision I’ve ever made - no one in music cares if you’ve got a degree, they care if you’ve got talent though.
WHAT’S THE BEST CAREER ADVICE YOU’VE EVER BEEN GIVEN?
There’s a few...
1. Talent means very little without hard work. Those who work hard consistently and apply their talent in the best way will succeed.
2. Do what you love, and love what you do. If not, work out why and change it instead of complaining.
3. Manage your expectations but do not settle.
WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL AND WHY?
My parents in equal parts. Loving, hard working, selfless, ambitious and supportive. More people like them in the world would be better, please!
WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT YOUR CURRENT WORKING ENVIRONMENT?
It’s all my own choice. Where, what city, what day, what time, with whom, what I’m doing - it’s all my doing and my choosing, which I’m very grateful for.
WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE ABOUT YOUR DAILY WORK ROUTINE IF YOU COULD?
Sometimes a bit of routine would be nice. I like sometimes knowing I’ll be in the same places for 3/4 days straight because I can find time to work out and eat properly. To be honest, I could do those things I’d just have to be more organised…!
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF PROFESSIONALLY IN FIVE YEARS’ TIME?
Doing the same thing on a much bigger scale. Hopefully with the same lovely team I have!
DO YOU FEEL YOU CAN BE THE SAME PERSON AT WORK AND IN PRIVATE?
I think people expect artists to be honest and open as much as they can. I try to be, but save a bit just for those closest to me. I’ve tried to be serious and cool but that’s not me and I say stupid things on stage and talk to much just as I would in private, it’s hard work hiding who you are! It’s hard to write really truthful songs if you’re not being open with your audience.
WHERE AND IN WHAT ROLES ARE WOMEN IN THE LEADERSHIP STRUCTURE AT YOUR COMPANY?
I’m in charge of my own little company. Other females in my team - lawyer, live agents (all three are female), my exec producer and mixer (she works very closely with a lovely guy however, they mixed and produced the EP with me together), co-writers, photographer, video director, art director - all female. I also have a very close network of other female artists, we rely on one another for like-minded support and help. My manager, two band members and graphic designer are male, as well as other co-writers and producers, and I like that mix. It’s balanced, and healthy!
DOES DIVERSITY MATTER TO YOU?
My team is a healthy mix of genders and backgrounds and countries and cultures which I truly love - a balanced and informed perspective is good in music. However, the lack of women in music is something I know needs pushing. With Charlie, my producer, we’re running and curating the UK’s first all female writing camp this September, called Bitch Please. 45 women, all writers, producers, engineers and artists, 1 week - roughly 40 songs at the end of it. It’s launching soon, we’re excited.
HOW GOOD IS YOUR WORK LIFE BALANCE?
Awful, if I’m being honest. It’s Easter weekend as I type this and I’m writing for the next four days straight in sessions, but it’s with my friends and it’s fun and doesn’t feel like work. My work and my social life overlap very closely. Days off when you’re running your own show feel like you’re cheating yourself a bit.
WHAT QUALITIES DOES BEING IN YOUR ROLE NECESSITATE?
Patience, hard work, patience, understanding people, patience, a love of music, patience, talent, self-belief and a little bit more patience.
ANY FINAL COMMENTS?
If you don’t ask you don’t get - most of my ‘luck’ has been from seeing opportunity, or making an opportunity happen to facilitate that luck. If I want something, I ask for it, or make it happen myself if not. Don’t think you’re being polite by staying quiet, because someone else will ask before you do if not.