In Conversation With: Amelia Caesar

We spoke to promising singer-songwriter Amelia Caesar after her latest show at Marwood Coffee Shop & Studios in Brighton. Despite still being unsigned, the Brighton-based performer recently released her debut single 'Our Love' and has plans for further releases later in the year. If you're a fan of Lucy Rose and Ben Howard; you'll definitely enjoy Amelia Caesar. 

Let's start off by asking how your gig at Marwood in Brighton was? Did it go how you expected? 

I really loved playing at Marwood, a lot of people went and the room was packed out for my set, which wasn't what I expected at all. The environment was perfect for an acoustic line up and I've been wanting to play the venue since I moved to Brighton last summer and it definitely didn't disappoint. 

Have you got anymore dates coming up soon?

I'm playing at Lion Coffee + Records in London on the 14th August and at The Brunswick in Brighton on the 1st September. I'm also playing at Havana Republic in Shrewsbury on the 2nd September.

How did you get into playing music?

I've been playing the guitar for 14 years now, I started when I was at primary school. I grew up learning how to play the violin, keyboard and drums when I was growing up alongside the guitar but the guitar was the only instrument I stuck to. I didn't realise it wasn't just a hobby until I saw Jack Johnson playing at the Brits years ago on TV and I was completely amazed he could have such an impact with just him and his guitar and that's when I realised that's what I wanted to try and do. I started secondary school and that's when my new guitar teacher, John Arran, challenged me to write my first song - and here we are! 

What's the writing process like behind your tracks? Does it normally take you long?

My writing process is always changing. I've started writing with a loop pedal which is really fun to do, I can build up so many layers and try so many different ideas so easily. I tend to record every idea I have however long or short they are just so I don't forget them and I can then merge a few ideas into one. I study a songwriting degree so I'm taught many different ways on how I can inspire myself to write but I haven't quite figured out what works best yet for me. I love experimenting so I don't like to stick to one process and I'm always seeking inspiration. 

What other artists are you into at the moment? Is there anyone you're taking inspiration from?

I've always taken inspiration from the likes of Lucy Rose and Ben Howard but I've really been into Everything Everything recently. They're not anything like the music I write but I'm fascinated with how they write and arrange their songs. I'm also listening to RY X a lot, I saw him play at St George's Church in Brighton during The Great Escape this year and he was incredible live, his transition between electric and acoustic guitar is something I take a lot of inspiration from, which is something I've been working on recently. 

For people who haven't heard your music, how would you describe your sound?

I'd say I'm a mixture between Lucy Rose, Billie Marten and Ben Howard with a hint of Bon Iver. 

Are you working on any new releases that people should watch out for?

I am yeah! I'm really excited, I'm currently writing and preparing to record for a release hopefully in time for the end of the year. I was going to release an EP a few months ago but then I decided to delay it as my sound was developing so much that I wanted to wait and see what I came up with and I'm really glad I did. I'm really proud of the songs I've been writing recently and I can't wait to finally share them with everyone. 

Do you ever experiment with new sounds or do you know what you like in a track and stick to it? 

I used to just stay strictly acoustic but I have always experimented with new fingerpicking techniques. I'm now experimenting as I've started playing electric guitar a lot more, I've also been buying pedals to try out some new sounds which is dangerous territory as a poor student! I'm enjoying writing with my electric and playing around with different reverbs and delays with my loop pedal but I haven't done this live yet so I'm excited for what's to come. 

It's pretty great that you're getting your name out there and playing so many gigs. Has anyone in particular guided you through the process or given you any advice that stands out in particular? 

I feel really lucky because since moving down to Brighton I've been surrounded by so many people actively working in the music industry who are always offering me advice and guidance. There's a really nice network at the minute between some Brighton bands and myself and it's really nice to be friends with such like-minded people. I study a songwriting degree and I learn lots of different things, especially in my business module which I find really interesting. I learn about how to manage my social media etc and Suzi Ireland, who works at my uni, has given me lots of guidance at the start of the year and I really didn't have a clue what I was doing but now I feel like I've progressed quite a lot and I'm always trying to network. 

So would you say that doing these live shows has helped you to progress as a musician?

Definitely! I've been playing live for the past six years and it's my favourite thing ever. It's such a nice feeling when you play a new song live and it goes down well, gigs in Brighton especially are really intimate. Playing live has improved my confidence a ridiculous amount so it has definitely helped.

Finally, what would be your dream festival to play and who else would be on the line-up?

My dream festival would be to play at Barn on the Farm as the line up every year contains the majority of my favourite songwriters. I'd love to include the likes of Lucy Rose, Ben Howard and Bon Iver on the line up and also bands like Bombay Bicycle Club, Black Honey, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats (please listen to them if you're reading this and haven't already) and Mumford and Sons. 

Words Lauren Wade

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