Ida Vallens

BN1 chats to… Ida Vallens

Local Worthing girl, Ida Vallens is taking to the stage this weekend alongside the amazing Rag ‘n’ Bone Man and Maverick Sabre for a night of great live music at Brighton Racecourse. The up-and-coming singer-songwriter has emerged onto the music scene with the help from local youth organisation Audio Active, which the Brit award-winning Rag ‘n’ Bone Man is a patron of. Having experienced life-changing opportunities like performing with Clean Bandit in London and taking to the stage at Hove’s The Open Market, she’s definitely set for success.

How are you? Did you watch any of Glastonbury? What was your highlight of the Festival?

As a financially struggling musician, I have no time to watch it nor the money for a ticket.

You are supporting Rag ‘n’ Bone Man at Brighton Racecourse alongside Maverick Sabre on the 27th of July, how are you feeling? Are you nervous or just excited?

It will be really exciting to try out my Theremin for the first time in a live setting, though those things are quite temperamental. I’m having a bit of a wardrobe dilemma too, I can’t walk in my dress.

Being a Worthing girl, what do you like about the Brighton music scene and how do you think it supports young, new artists?

When I was six, I had a hamster that died because my grandma gave him too many treats and that’s how I feel about the Brighton music scene if that makes sense. But Audioactive is great.

How was it to play the Move’s Festival at Hove’s The Old Market recently?

I got to try out my background visuals for the first time which was so fun and the crowd seemed to enjoy it, unfortunately I was shockingly ill. In fact, I’ve been ill at almost every gig I have played in the last year, every time they come around I suddenly get this sore throat, which is happening right now with the Racecourse gig getting closer. Is it cursed?

What’s the scene like in Worthing at the moment? Where is the best place to hang out?

I prefer it to Brighton, some of my favourite gigs have happened in Worthing. For example, Synthesize me, which always features an eclectic mix of electronic music artists: Monzen Nakacho, those radish worship guys and me (of course). Bar 42 is a great place as well, friendly people, a plethora of musicians of different genres and always something on. It’s great because it’s not just a bar venue where you get a bunch of people talking loudly over the artists.

You worked with Audio Active in Brighton to help kick start your career in the music industry. What have you learnt from them and what will you take forward with you?

I’ve learnt I have to be more professional and think more about what information I am sharing with people online and face to face- still working on applying that however. I think that’s definitely something to take forward. It’s been really good learning to work with a budget too. The unbridled creative freedom has allowed me to express myself in ways I didn’t think would be possible. The fact I’ve been able to learn new instruments like the ruan or theremin has really impacted my songwriting style.

You got the opportunity through Youth Music to support Clean Bandit at a special gig in London, how was that?

Well, of course, I had a sore throat again during that so not the most pleasant experience. I decided that having throat numbing spray was a good idea, I hope any singers reading this never try that. I actually lost my voice. More importantly, I definitely shocked the Clean Bandit fans coming out of a body bag at the start. The rest is hot gossip and will nark on them if you buy me a ticket to Glastonbury next time – only if I’m glamping though. But it was weird sharing a green room with them, they’re really cool people and I felt a bit out of my depth.

You have a definite likeness to Lana Del Ray with your slow, moody sound and complex lyrics. Who would you say are key musical influences of yours?

Well, you answered that one for yourself… I am also inspired by Kate Bush, Björk and Portishead. I like to sprinkle a variety of genres into my music too, bossa nova, jazz, and hip-hop. It helps that my parents always played a lot of strange music when I was younger.

You have just released your new single MT. Whitney Motel. You talk about the influence of David Lynch films of your work, why is that? What made you tackle such a difficult issue?

David Lynch has a unique aesthetic and I love a macabre film. Twin Peaks seeps into every pore of my being, I tend to dress a lot like Audrey. The occult symbolism in his films really drew me in, lots of MK Ultra mind control-based themes. I’m obsessed with conspiracies and missing people stories. A lot of people seem to have these dark interests. But recently I was drawn in by the story of the highway of tears in British Columbia where more than 20 women over the past four decades have gone missing or murdered – mostly indigenous people who have come from challenging places. I think the stories behind these women are interesting and worth telling. Obviously out of respect for the victims and their families I haven’t written specifically about any of these women, but it’s definitely one of the reasons I write about things like that.

What are your aims for the future? What are your next steps?

Get an infinity pool. Also, get a song to the Eurovision finals! Last but not least, the next Bond theme tune.

Ida Vallens takes to the stage as support for Rag ‘n’ Bone Man on Sat 27 Jul at Brighton Racecourse. To find out more and to buy tickets, head to their website.

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