Friday, 14 May 2010

Introducing...Alice Nicholls

YMC chats to Huddersfield based singer-songwriter Alice Nicholls

YMC: How long have you been writing music?

AN: I've been writing lyrics, or attempting to, since I was about 9 years old. Needless to say all my songs back then were awful - I like to think they've improved since! I've always been musical but I didn't start putting the two together until a few years later - I wrote my first proper song, words and music, when I was 12.

YMC: What instruments do you play?

AN: Anything I can get my hands on. Violin's my main instrument, I played it at University during my music degree - but I also play piano, guitar, bass, drums, viola, Irish whistle, and descant and treble recorder. I really want to learn mandolin and saxophone as well, they're two of my favourite instruments. And, of course, I've been singing for as long as I can remember!

YMC: Did you find it hard to build up the confidence to play solo?

AN: Definitely. For the first few years of doing music I couldn't play my own songs to anyone, it was way too scary. But once I got past the nerves and realised that this was what I was good at, confidence came easily. I think that with performing, as with any artistic discipline, confidence comes from experience. You're always gonna be scared at first.

YMC: Do you always play solo?

AN: Mostly I play solo nowadays, though during my years at Uni one of my friends would usually play guitar for me at gigs. I would like to do more work with other people, but because most of my mates are musicians, they're always playing gigs when I am so it's impossible to get hold of them!

YMC: What music are you listening to at the moment?

AN: Right now, this second? Lighthouse Family - Ocean Drive. They're one of my musical guilty pleasures. Recently though I've discovered a bunch of new artists and bands, in particular Krezip, Wildbirds & Peacedrums, Emiliana Torrini, and The Swell Season.

YMC: Have you recorded any material?

AN: I recorded my debut album 'Resonance' when I was 16, and followed it with a second one when I was 18 called 'the Coffee Songs'. I don't tend to count 'Resonance' as a proper album, more a demo nowadays, because I don't think it's very good compared with my newer stuff. 'The Coffee Songs' is much more my current style, and is now on sale at Wall Of Sound in Huddersfield. I'm currently in the process of recording a new EP as well - it's been ages since I was last in the studio so it's been good to get back into it.

YMC: Any plans for the near future?

AN: I'm moving back to my home county of Lincolnshire in the next couple of months, so I'll be looking for gigs there, and working on material for the next full-length album. I've got a few projects lined-up and I'm hopefully going to be working with some very talented musicians, but nothing's set in stone yet. It's all rather exciting!

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