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Interview: Jodie Marie

7 min read

Hailing from a small town in South Wales singer Jodie Marie has been steadily building a name for herself over the past 12 months as one of the countries most talented singer/songwriters. Following the success of Jodie’s critically acclaimed debut single On The Road the songbird, whose soulful vocals have captured the nations hearts, is preparing for the release of her sophomore single, I Got You which sees its release in late February.

Having already supported the likes of pop prince Will Young, Jodie Marie is set to make her mark on the UK charts with her upcoming release.

We caught up with Jodie Marie to discuss her latest release and her soon to be unleashed debut album. Here is what she had to say.

Brendon Veevers: How are you?

Jodie Marie: Really good thanks!

BV: Where does this Q&A find you?

JM: In some friends house that I always stay at in London in their den sitting on the floor.

BV: You are releasing your new single I Got You on 27th February. Can you tell us a bit about the track?

JM: I Got You is basically a song about having someone who means everything to you. No matter what situation or problem life has to throw at you, you will always have this one person you can depend on.

BV: Your debut album is set for release in March. What was it like to complete your debut record?

JM: It was amazing! I loved recording Mountain Echo because it was mainly recorded live with string over dubs – which in itself is amazing, not many artists get to do it that way anymore. The music I’ve grown up listening to has pretty much always been recorded in that way, so when I had the chance to actually record it live, I was over the moon. I feel it really gives the atmosphere of players sitting down and just performing in a room together. I can’t wait to release it now!

BV: Are there any particular favorites we should keep an ear out for?

JM: I’m pleased with the whole album, it’s hard to pin point a favorite, but if I had to choose, it would probably be, On The Road which I recorded with Jimmy Hogarth after the album was completed (or so we thought!) and it made it onto the album straight away. Also, there are two songs on the album which really mean lots to me (all of the songs mean a lot, but these two in particular) – Mountain Echo, the closing track on the album which I wrote with Ed Harcourt. The day I went to have a writing session with Ed, he found out that his good friend Mark Linkous from Sparklehorse had passed away. We needed and wanted to write something sad, yet beautiful, and that’s how the song, Mountain Echo came to life. The other track that means a lot to me is Greeney-Blue, it’s basically about saying sorry to someone close to me. Everyone has a time they need to say sorry, and this was my time.

BV: What is the process of putting a Jodie Marie album together?

JM: Well, after writing all of the songs with various songwriters and producers, we went into the studio. The majority of the album was produced by Bernard Butler, the tracks I did with him were recorded in Konk Studio, Ray Davies’ studio. We basically all sat in the room together pretty much, and just played the songs until we were all happy. We overdubbed strings in the same studio but on a different day. Three tracks were produced by Ed Harcourt, we recorded these in this amazing studio called The Fish Factory. I don’t know how we managed to get in there as there are no websites etc, it’s a place of word and mouth. We recorded these three tracks in the same style as I did with Bernard. Such an incredible studio, I loved it. The last track to make it onto the album was On The Road. We thought that the album was complete, but I went in for a writing session with Jimmy Hogarth for just a bit of fun after doing the album. We wrote On The Road and I was so happy with it, it automatically went on the album. Putting my album together was so much fun, I can’t wait to release it now!

BV: You worked with some very talented people on the record including Bernard Butler and the amazing Ed Harcourt who both took producer roles on the album. What was it like to work alongside Bernard and Ed?

JM: They are amazingly talented people! I’ve been so lucky to have worked with these guys. Bernard was the first person I wrote with when I was 16. I went into his studio and I had never shown anyone my songs before, I was so nervous. But Bernard was really lovely, he could obviously see how nervous I was and asked me to sing a few cover songs first to relax – one of them being a blues song called Guilty which I’d learned from the Bonnie Raitt version, then I played him Single Blank Canvas,my first single, and we went from there. He’s so great to work with, he’s brimming with ideas! Working with Ed was amazing! Every time I go to his studio I am automatically inspired! He has this small studio with two rooms, it’s filled to the top with all sorts of different instruments! We would build a track up instrument by instrument. He has so many ideas, such a talented musician. They’re both also the loveliest people you’ll ever meet!

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BV: You recently supported Will Young no his latest tour around the UK, how was that?

JM: It was incredible! He’s such a nice guy, he even invited me surfing because he had been that day and I was quite envious! ha. The venues were the biggest I’ve played, on the second night of the tour we played Bournemouth and there was over 3,500 people there! Quite daunting, but such an amazing experience, I loved it!

BV: Did Will give you any career advice or pointers?

JM: I spoke to him a few times, (like the surfing invite!), but you could see that he was very dedicated, he’d be warming up for a while before going onstage just preparing. So more than anything, just seeing how he was before he performed and after taught me so much. He’s a real hard worker!!

BV: How did you find the audience reactions to your music?

JM: The audiences were so lovely, being a support band for someone that well known I was a little nervous that no one would really be in the audience when we played because they come to see the main artist, Will Young. But the seats were full when we got out on stage and they were amazing, we had such a lovely response from the crowds every single night!

BV: You come from quite a secluded background being raised in a small town in South Wales. How have you found the transition into being a well known touring and recording artist?

JM: I love where I’m from, I’m a proper country girl. When I’m in London, or touring, I really miss being at home – away from family and friends, the sea, the space. But I’ve always wanted to go traveling and by touring I’m doing the two things I love most, traveling and performing at the same time. I couldn’t ask for better really! I love performing and I am really passionate about music, in order to write my music I need to be amongst the countryside and sea air, so I often head home to dose up on it!

BV: Growing up who inspired you to get into music and become a singer/songwriter?

JM: My mam and dad always played loads of blues music when I was growing up, lots of Stevie Ray Vaughan, B.B.King, Elmore James, Bonnie Raitt. So I guess their taste in music really influenced me. My dad was always playing the acoustic and singing blues songs and I’d go in and harmonize when I was really young. Also, being Welsh, there’s the Eisteddfod competition which I always entered. So I was singing form a very young age because of that, and I also had classical singing lessons form the age of 6. Bonnie Raitt is one of my main influences in music though, her voice, guitar playing and lyrics…beautiful.

BV: Are you planning on hitting the road anytime soon?

JM: I would love to, there’s a few things penciled in. I can’t wait to get back on the road again, see sights, play more venues, get my music heard and do what I love!!

BV: What’s next for Jodie Marie?

JM: My next single I Got You is out on February 27th so I’m looking forward to releasing that. Also my debut album Mountain Echo is coming out on March 5th. I’m so excited to release that. I’ve been working on it for some time to make it just the way I wanted, and it’s not long now until it’s released.

BV: Thank you

Jodie Marie’s debut album Mountain Echo is out 5th March 2012