How does it feel to be along-side Sir Tom Jones and Dame Shirley Bassey in being that select few Welsh artists topping the single charts?
It feels great. I am a Dame Shirley fan. I grew up with my parents blasting her albums on the HiFi. I guess some of that drama has rubbed off on me! I sang in a band called THE ROOT DRS in the 90s I took over from Leanne Harding who was a friend and fellow singer with Shirley and she had a massive influence on me.
The single Louder had more than 120,000 sale, more than its biggest three rivals combined, and was the song of the summer for many students. Did you ever think it was going to be as a big as it has been when making it?
There is a certain vibe when you know you have a hit on your hands. I felt it with Hide you and I knew it with louder. Me and Dan were jumping round the studio!
That is the vibe you are after. It really doesn’t matter then if it charts or not, it’s the energy in the studio and transferring that onto the record. We can’t level success purely on sales . As a musician you have to create music that makes you happy and buzzes you up.
We read that you’d said Stein had told you Louder went from number 69 to number one in just three hours on the Monday, what a fantastic feeling that must have been. From that point, how sure were you that it was going to remain number one throughout the week?
I don’t watch the charts, like I said earlier, I knew we had a great record…..I wasnt expecting that response though. I was at home when the phone started ringing! It was an amazing feeling. There were tears and popping of corks!
What was it like working with DJ Fresh?
He is a very musical producer. We had a great working relationship. I brought my song writing and he brought the beats, mutual respect in the studio. Space to create and great fun. We had several sessions where we wrote and recorded, HOT RIGHT NOW, LOUDER and a few others.
Do you have any plans to work with DJ Fresh again in the future?
We are in the process of sorting out a few things. I am very busy with other projects. Kosheen has an amazing album ready for release and I am writing for lots of artists. I think Dan is having fun writing with lots of other song writing teams.
You’ve already achieved a UK smash hit with Hide U in 2001, as well as three other successful singles and three major albums, which tracks on Independence do you feel have greatest potential? Which track is your favourite?
I love “Get A New One”, It is so reflective of our attitude towards our disposable culture.
“Waste” is pure Kosheen – The whole album is full of surprises
How do you feel about releasing your first album in three years in May?
I am excited, I am relieved. I am very proud that Kosheen as a unit, unchanged in 15 years, are still here , still friends and still making great innovative music.
Kosheen are known to ‘blur and challenge’ genres into their music, word has it that this album has a new sound. Explain what we should expect from Independence.
We dont so much move with the times, we dont follow genre, we make music that turns us on. We have grown up with our fans and each other. From 3 dnb hedonists who wanted to party we have grown into family people who dearly love to make people dance and express themselves thru our sound.
You’re a singer and the song writer so the real question is do you write all the tracks for Kosheen?
I write all the top lines. That is the melody and the lyrics. However that process essentially needs the input from the music and the beats, it is a chemistry. It wouldn’t be a table without a top equally useless without legs!!!! LOL
Have you written for anyone else?
I spend a lot of time writing for other artists yes. I love it.
Tell us about Kosheen DJ’s label, Skeleton Recordings. What made you decide to set up your own label?
That is the boys department!
Kosheen have been most successful in Europe, which country does Kosheen enjoy playing most? Why?
We play a lot in Czech and Russia. Austria Germany and SWISS. I love home games, but without radio support and a hit single it is hard to get Festivals in the UK. We Have a fantastic time in Eastern Europe the fans are so energetic and free. They know how to party!!
What can we expect from Kosheen’s tour across Europe in April?
We have a busy spring shaping up. Lots of European fezzies and a tour of Czech. With the release of the Album we will undoubtedly hit the road and hope to include a small UK tour and some interesting outdoor shows.
Lets see how the single does!
What’s your favourite thing about being in Kosheen and being a successful singer song writer?
I have so much freedom in my life. I am a full time creative. I didn’t dream I would be able to sustain my life with music, and I have been doing so for 20 years! I have turned my hand to teaching, of a sort! Passing on my experiences to young singers songwriters and coaching performers. I have realised the worth of that experience and the transferable educational aspect of it. I have also worked with young offenders and youth centres and the results are incredible. Music is a language that everyone understands and has a part in.
How big are Kosheen in America? We understand you have toured there in the past, and have been quoted one of four hot new electronica acts to watch, do you aspire to ‘break’ America as it were with Independence?
Its a big old place! We have toured and it was fun, however to ‘break’ America you need radio support. Touring is expensive! and relentless unless you have a station behind you. Internet is much stronger now than ever and that can help but is not always reflective on sales. We havent had to BREAK the states having support here in Europe has sustained us……it would be cool tho ! LOL
How early on in life did you decide music was to be your career path?
I was brought up in a very musical family. I was encouraged to follow my heart and for that I am extremely grateful. We didn’t have a lot of money, but that privilege was gold to me.
Leaving home at 16, having your son at an early age and moving into a tepee is an unusual story to tell. Does your early life leave you with memories in which to write about?
As a writer you draw from all of your experiences. Being a mother gave me patience and drive and opened my heart to deeper levels of compassion and human emotion. I now live in a beautiful small holding where I grow all my own veg, walk on the beach every day (if I am Home) and reflect on life. I am extremely fortunate…..I have had a crazy life. Not always straight forward and not always plain sailing, but every twist and turn has brought me here.
My son is in Uni in Cardiff and is a great Musician just on the threshold of a journey that I hope will give him the richness of life that I have experienced along with the success he deserves, however he knows that it is the journey that is most important and that success is in the process rather than the outcome.
Do you ever like to listen to mainstream music, a bit of Lady Gaga, Jessie J, Ed Sheeran maybe?
I do these days! Having to write for the likes of Kylie and Rhianna and getting involved with x factor contestants, I need to hear what is going on! I try to be conscious though. I am not about to start writing about “The Club” or baby baby!!!!!! I love ED for that very reason. There is room for real songs on the radio and in the charts. Adel is a goddess and Emilee sander is going to blossom this year. There are a wealth of upcoming stars setting a high bar for us.
Finally, what is next for you?
The album INDEPENDENCE is going to be a busy time for us… Writing with some great writers and producers is taking me to places I want to be, on a creative level I am flourishing and my songs are spilling out of me more than ever. It is a new phase in my life,and at 40 I feel more in my skin than ever.
I need to get my garden ready for my seedlings, and take the dog for a walk
Thank you very much for the interview and good luck with your tour!