"It would have been easy to go off and do an EDM record, but that's not me" – hmv.com talks to Foxes
Louisa Rose Allen, now much better known by her stage name Foxes, may not be a household name quite yet, but you'll almost certainly have heard her angelic voice. She first emerged in 2012 appearing as the vocalist on German DJ Zedd's huge hit 'Clarity', which has so far sold over 2.5 million copies worldwide and took into clubs and living rooms all over the world.
Two more guest appearances followed, including an appearance on Fall Out Boy's comeback album Save Rock and Roll and on Rudimental's hugely successful debut Home. Now striking it out alone after a string of hit singles, we chatted to the singer to find out all about the making of her debut LP Glorious and why she's steered clear of EDM…
Glorious is a few days away from release, how are you feeling now? Excited or nervous?
"I'm very excited, a bit nervous, but a lot more excited. I really never thought I'd get to put an album out so the thought of it being out there and in shops is really thrilling, it's still not sunk in."
It was originally supposed to come out in March, have you been sat on it for a while?
"It was all finished at Christmas time, I mastered it in January."
So when was the album recorded?
"Last year I spent the whole year working on music, some of that was collaborations and writing for other people, so around that I was working on the album. I suppose I've been writing it since I've been writing songs, it's been everything up until now."
Are there songs on the album that are a few years old?
"There are baby songs on there, absolutely, some were written when I was 19. The album sounds like me growing up, which I really like."
You worked with Liam Howe and Jonny Harris a lot on the album, what did they bring to the process?
"Liam Howe brings out the mature side in me, he has this great studio, I call it the Ivory Tower because it's up on his roof, it's very peaceful and I like to go there and read poetry and he brings out my maturity. I don't like going into a really polished studio, I like to have a laugh."
"Working with Jonny was a lot like that too, it was very laid back and me and Jonny would write, stop and go the pub and then go back to it a lot of times, so it was quite relaxed. I loved working with both of them, it's great to be able to work with producers who really get you, I wanted to keep it small and keep my own musical family."
You were introduced to people via your collaborations with Zedd, Fall Out Boy and Rudimental, but there are no collaborations on the album. Were you determined that this album should just be you?
"For me, I love working with other people and I liked experiencing what they were doing and going on their journeys. But I wanted this to be personal and all me. I might be up for doing an album like that in the future, but not for my debut."
After the success of 'Clarity', was there any pressure put on you to go and make an album of tracks that all sounded like that?
"It wasn't ever about making massive songs for me. I love 'Clarity', I love what it's done for me, but I think if I'd gone down that route it wouldn't have been right for me. It would have been easy for me to go off and do an EDM record, but that's not me."
So what kind of album is Glorious in lyrical terms?
"It's a very personal record. Sometimes I have to through an emotional car crash to get the songs out and you forget that you're going to be putting these tracks out in public. Growing up I loved the album tracks that were beautiful and full of emotion, not just mainstream stuff, I wanted to make sure I had tracks like that on the album."
How have you found playing live so far? Have you enjoyed putting a band together?
"It's been really exciting, live is a complete different story for me. Creating a show is a magical thing, but I've tried to keep it simple with keys and drums and making sure we play all the samples we've used on the album live. I'm about to get some backing singers in too, which I'm really excited about. It's a great, extended version of what I do on record."
So after the record comes out, what's your plan for the rest of the year?
"I'm going to Japan to support Bastille. I've always wanted to go to Japan, which I can't wait for; it's something I've always wanted to. Then I've got the UK tour at the end of May and then loads of festivals. I feel like I've grown up at festivals, I've always gone to Glastonbury and Bestival and I can't wait to play them all."
Given this is your debut album; do you have any material left over for your next album?
"I think it's nice to start fresh. This feels like the first chapter, so when I come back to writing, I'll have a lot more to talk about and I'm much more mature. I can't wait to get back in the studio and start again."
Can you write on tour?
"Touring can be quite frantic, so it's hard. But I have this big white book that I write lyrics in and a Dictaphone I carry round and get inspiration from everywhere. Having said that, I did this album in a bedroom in Kentish Town and I still think that's the place I work best."
Finally, what are you listening to at the moment?
"Lots of girls, Banks, I love Banks, I can't wait to hear her album. There's a great wave of strong female artists coming through. I love Clean Bandit at the moment and Sam Smith, he's incredible, Ella Eyre, the British scene is so strong at the moment."
Foxes' debut album Glorious will be released on May 12th. You can pre-order it now in hmv stores.