Interview

FEMME

Pop music is crying out for a new icon, and it looks like FEMME is up to the challenge. Referred to as “fashion’s favourite new pop star” FEMME’s colourful persona is more than matched by her sound – a glittering soundscape of pitch perfect pop that references girl groups of the 60s, 70s disco and classic nineties pop while still remaining wholly modern. After two years of self-releasing music, FEMME’s debut album Debutante is out today, and looks set to send the London-based musician’s career into the stratosphere. Unlike many manufactured acts FEMME knows exactly who she is, what she wants and how she’s going to get it. We don’t advise anyone to get in her way.

Your debut album is definitely a long awaited one, why is now the right time to release?

Because Trump is possibly going to be the next president of the United States so I thought, better get it out now before the world ends! I've spent the last couple of years building up a fan base, figuring out who they are, touring, introducing myself to the world. This stuff takes time, especially if you're an independent artist like I am. 

What is the best mood to be in to listen to your new record? And what do you want people to take away from it?

I'd like to think this album is a bit of an anti-depressant. A mood lifter. I've made an upbeat, colourful record full of big beats and bass, melody and stacked harmonies. I want people to bounce around to it, turn it up loud and sing along. 

How do you feel about the music industry and pop music in general today, are you a fan of what the genre is doing?

I think we have had some great pop music released recently - there are some great one-off songs that I love. But I'm yearning for a new UK pop icon. USA has it all locked down but it's been ages since we had anyone pushing the boundaries of pop in the UK. Where's our Bowies? Our Queen? FKA Twigs comes close but our mainstream is playing it very safe at the moment and safe is such a yawn. I'd like to see the music industry nurturing unique talent every now and again, putting their full force behind something that might stretch and challenge the pop landscape. 

You write, produce, compose, direct - are you a control freak and is that important as an artist?

Freak - no. Do I know what I want? Yes. Do I want someone else dictating my own career to me? No. Do I want to be credited for my own work and the many years of hard graft it's taken to get me here? Yes. And I know that I'll look back in 20 years time and still be satisfied that I did things my own way, on my own terms, producing the work that I wanted to make with the full force of my heart behind it.

Which other women in music do you look up to and why?

Many women. Every woman. I admire strong, interesting, empowered women in any industry. Beyonce, Bjork, Madonna, Taylor Swift, Peaches, Amanda Palmer. It takes a serious amount of focus, mental and physical energy to survive in this industry. I admire anyone who is willing to give it a go.

You toured with Charli XCX, what is your favourite memory from that time?

Waking up in 36 degrees heat in an RV parked in a Dallas, Walmart car park with no air conditioning. That was a true test of character.

How important is fashion to an artist today, is your look as important as your sound? Or is there too much emphasis on it?

My visual identity is as important as my sonic one. I live my sound through my style and I'm sure my style influences my sound. Some of my favourite eras in fashion are the mod 60s and the high fashion 80s and I think these influences have definitely leaked into the music I make. 

Who is your style icon? And the trend you just can’t let go of? And the one that you hope never makes a comeback?

I have so many but I will forever love Edie Sedgwick and the Andy Warhol, pop-art factory superstars era. I love to supersize my accessories, you'll always find oversized earrings and chunky platform heels in my wardrobe but you won't ever find Adidas poppers in there ever again!

Femme - Debutante

playlist Femme - Debutante
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