It’s all about the energy and attitude when it comes to Connie Constance. This is what inspired her latest single, “Electric Girl.” Being in lockdown was hard for a lot of us and for Connie, a way to at least try to feel like herself again was to write. This empowering indie anthem reminds us all to be the best we can be no matter what.
We spoke to Connie about her latest single, “Electric Girl,” the music industry, starting her very own record label and upcoming plans.
What would be your perfect day? I really love a jam-packed day, something a bit like Sex in the City. So, something like waking up and having a good hour to get ready and have a good breakfast. I love when I have a shoot in the morning and then studio in the evening, then going out for drinks late at night with my friends. That is the perfect day for me. Just having all the things I love to do all in one day.
Would you say the music you grew up listening to has played a part in the person you are today/the music you make? Absolutely, I grew up on indie rock and punk. I was always attracted to artists that do not necessarily make indie music but have a punk attitude, like Lily Allen and Amy Winehouse. I think it has formed my personality and how I see things and how I feel like you do not have to abide by all the rules.
I was part of the LimeWire generation. I used to mass download. I would put an artist’s name in and then just click all of them probably until my laptop crashed! I know the first CD I ever brought was Kelis by myself. I had to get someone to buy it because I think I was underage. I’ve had CDs brought for me like Spice Girls and Beyonce which I loved.
Tell us about your latest single, “Electric Girl.” She is sort of fictional, in the sense of not actually being a female or human. It’s more like an energy that is in everyone. It’s basically the feeling of knowing that you’re ready to harness the day and be in yourself when you feel your best. I just decided that for me it was called Electric girl. I then decided to write a song that made me feel like I was in my full energy. So that is what Electric Girl is about. I was feeling so bummy throughout the last lockdown and I was so over it and I just wanted to feel like my best self. I wanted to go and meet my mates and pick an outfit that I liked, very simple things like that.
I went to the studio and I wrote this song to almost have escapism from where we were all at.
What sort of person were you before you started making music? I think I am a similar person. I was a bit shyer. I’ve always been confident in myself, but I haven’t always been confident around other people. When I was younger, I felt like I was quite confident with what I wanted to do with my life. It took me a while to warm up, because as soon as I left school and went to dance training, I was around people who were like-minded, so that opened me up instantly. You feel comfortable and at ease with being yourself. Music definitely helped with my confidence because it sort of reinstated who I was in a way when I’m writing.
Would you say your writing process for your debut single, “English Rose” compared to writing your latest single has changed or stayed the same? It’s developed, which I always wanted. I understand a song structure more than I did before. When I first started, I would write in a more poetic way, but I didn’t mind it at that age because it was stuff I didn’t want to tell anyone but get it off my chest.
What would you say has been your most challenging song to write and why? I do not find writing songs challenging, it’s just the finishing and direction. There’s been a few things from my last album, with a song “Bloody British me.” We had to redo the entire track because someone else was using the same beat. It can be quite challenging but it’s still quite a magical process. With my song, “Let Go,” there were a few different versions, and every time we changed something we were so excited. Even though there were quite a few of us in the studio who were working on the music for it, everyone was bouncing off each other and we made a lot of leaps to change the sound of it.
When was the first moment that you realized that music was the path for you? I know that I was at dance school at the time working with a producer and developing songs I was writing. I felt like I would be happy to be broke and have no money doing this, but I wouldn’t be happy broke, have no money and doing dance. That was my ‘why am I at dance school’ moment. I would happily sit all day and write songs. I know I can do this my whole life, regardless of what happens. I think dance is more of a hobby for me. I know some of my friends are going to make great careers for themselves in dance though.
Do you remember the first moment where you felt you found your voice? I think I am always finding my voice because it’s always developing. I have never really struggled with that as it was already so different to what people were doing. I did not realize it was that different, I thought it was the same as everyone else was, in the sense of just singing how you sing. I stretched out my vocals more by doing more soulful stuff and take my time a lot more when I am writing. But when I am doing more punk stuff, I’m here for the energy and I want people to capture good energy rather than it being about the vocals.
Was there anything from your background in dance that you took away and applied to your career now? There’s a lot more perfection that come with dance and a lot of discipline. Those two things stayed with me, and the performance aspect. I was quite lucky that when I started doing shows, I had done a lot of dance shows and I was more confident on stage than maybe what other people might have experienced.
Other than music, what’s another creative outlet you use to express yourself? Mainly just dance really. I love coming up with concepts for music videos. I enjoy treatment writing and researching different art forms. Those are probably my two creative outlets.
I’d like to direct a Lily Allen music video. I think it would be fun coming up with a concept for her. I think it’s when artists have a very clear brand message and image, it’s easier to think to about how fun it would be and how you could put a concept into their world.
You said that you wanted to go to University to do English Literature. What was it about this that made you consider this as an option? It is what I wanted to do. From school, I wanted to do English Literature, Law, Music, and Graphic Design. I went to school to start doing them and I was told I cannot do this or that. I did not want to do all these subjects I did not care about. I went to college the next day and said I am not doing it. I’d been working all that summer. You know when you have that long summer, I got a job.
How important is identity when it comes to your music? It is important. Everything I am talking about is always coming from a place of truth or is an exact story. I do not have to work too hard with getting my identity across because I can say it is all from real situations. I can only write from things that have happened, around me or from what I have heard.
You mentioned previously that you are happy with where you are now musically. What do you think it was before that you were not happy with and how did that change? I have always been sure on the sounds that I love and what I’ve been inspired by. It’s always been indie music and jazz music. I found I was lost in this weird R&B world, well weird to me. It took a while for me to be able to be around music and swing my music in a certain way.
You can work all day and if some people are into different music to you, then the tunes may come out a little bit confused. It does not work out. No one’s wrong or right, it’s just that they have different influences. We still push the genres and try something new, but we come from the same place of interest when it comes to music so therefore, when I speak about certain things, it is a lot more relaxed and has the same vibes.
Do you remember the first time hearing yourself on the radio? Oh my god, yes! I am pretty sure it was Beats 1 (now Apple Music 1) the first time. It was Julie Adenuga. All my friends from my town were sitting around and we had to figure it out on the phone. I think I was there and quite sure it was live, so I had to listen back. They were texting me telling me they were waiting for the song to come on! I remember that clearly because that was one of the first times that anyone from outside my little music bubble saw anything externally from me.
Is being in the music industry as you expected? Kind of yes. You hear people’s horror stories, but I do not have any of those. I feel like I have met the good eggs and I’ve had the fun events that seem amazing but aren’t from behind and also ones that are a blast. I have got to know a lot and it does match what I was expecting. I just want to be able to get my music out to people. I just want to do shows and write songs.
You started your own record label called Jump the Fence. Was this something you thought you would do while being in the industry and would this have happened had you not signed a record contract? Yes! If I have not had been signed though, I probably would have done it a lot sooner. Jump the Fence is a massive shield for me from the industry. I do not have to worry about other people’s opinions. It is just me and my management team and we’re working on where it goes and what the direction is. But yes, it probably would be made sooner. Being told what to do can slow down the process. It is not a bad thing to have opinions from people. That is what I did not like and that is what I do not have to worry about now. So that is the most important thing to me. You have to be a tough egg.
What do you think we need to see more of in the music industry that we saw back in the day? Just some more fearlessness! I feel like everything is very tame and nice. We just need a bit of energy, that is what I think personally. Some more variety and some clashing of sounds. I guess it’s just how music works, but in pop, something latches on like the 80s theme and now everyone is inspired by the 80s. It is just learning how to do it and doing your own thing. Shout, scream, or something!
What have you got next coming up? So, I am just finishing my EP at the moment, so I’ll have a new EP out soon! And I have done demoing for my second album. I am very excited! Luckily, there are some small festivals I’m doing this year, so hopefully, they go ahead because the capacity is not as big as other festivals. I just want to tour forever, the whole of next year.