After seeing Rae Morris perform in Brixton at the beginning of this year and being nothing short of fascinated by her music, it was a pleasure to chat to her about lyrics, live shows and feeling lucky.
I find your lyrics fascinating, you’ve been likened to Kate Bush and Bjork amongst others, who do you count as your influences?
When I first started I never really listened to music for the words, I just loved the instrumentation and didn’t realise how significant the words actually were. At the moment I’m listening to people like Sun Kil Moon and his writing is so narrative and storytelling and so personal about his experiences. People like Feist I guess, subconsciously I probably took in what she was doing which was a very personal and narrative thing, but without giving too much evidence of it away.
The BBC have described you as ‘going places’. Where do you hope to go from here?
I want to be the best that I can be, and there are so many things that I still have to learn. I think that musically I could write better, I could actually write a better song if I think more about what I’m saying and I didn’t know that before. I just want to make sure that I’m not wasting any second of the time that I’ve been lucky enough to have – I get to write a song that people might listen to for four minutes, that’s a long time for people to be listening, and I just don’t want to waste that opportunity.
Despite touring the UK at both ends of 2015, that didn’t stop you filling your summer with festivals. How does the lifestyle differ between festival season and touring?
Oh, it’s crazy. I was quite nervous about the festival season before it began, and then as soon as we were into it you just get into this rhythm. You just get so used to turning up and everything being up in the air and uncertain, but there’s a real thrill about that. The gig could be the best gig you’ve ever played, or it could be the worst – and that’s such an exciting thing because it’s so rare to have a job, so to speak, where everything is so different all the time. When you’ve been touring in venues with strict curfews and running times you get so used to that comfort zone and being brought out of that is daunting, but you do get used to it.
Do you think your busy touring schedule has made you grow as a performer?
I think I’m a lot different. I was unable to thoroughly enjoy being on stage until very recently because I was so worried about what people were thinking. Recently I’ve been able to find this amazing way of just absolutely enjoying myself, and it’s the most wonderful feeling. The touring all year has been absolutely wonderful and I’ve been having the best time, so I really hope that that comes across on stage.
Both on stage and in person you seem very grateful for these opportunities, did you always aim to be at this point by 23 or has it escalated faster than expected?
I didn’t actually think about it at all – I started when I was doing my A levels and I was focused on that. Then the university thing was a decision, do I go or do I not go, and I think I forgot that I was growing up at the same time. I took four years to make my record and maybe that could have been quicker, but it worked so well and I created something that I’m really proud of. It’s weird that I’m 23 already, I’m like ‘where has that time gone!’ I feel very lucky I’ve done a lot of things, but oh my gosh 23 feels old now!