INTERVIEW: Alice Jemima

If you’ve noticed the reemergence of No Diggity recently, that might have something to do with young Alice Jemima. The rising UK singer-songwriter’s lithe cover sums up her appeal – gently twisting, ever-appealing alt-pop that deserves to be heard. We managed to catch up with her on the week of her debut album’s release to find out more…

First up: how is Alice, where is Alice, and how would Alice describe Alice Jemima the artist and album?
Hello! I’m well thanks. I’m currently sat in my studio at home – writing this, and getting ready for my first tour. Alice Jemima, the artist, creates indie-electro-pop sounding music – which you will hear very soon in the shape of an album.
Your first LP is coming this week. How has the journey been, and how are you feeling now?
I’m looking forward to it – it’s been a long time coming. The journey has been fun; although it’s had its ups and downs. It’s filled with uncertainties and I’ve had to learn how to be incredibly patient, but I’ve loved the creative parts – writing, recording and then bringing this album together with Roy Kerr, a great producer, who I’ve really loved working with.

Tell us about your musical beginnings. Where did the bug come from?
I’ve always been surrounded by music (my mum played violin in a tango band, and used to take me along to festivals / gigs from a very young age), but I found my love for playing music when I picked up the guitar at 8, and then started to write my own songs from the age of 12 (yep, there’s a few! Not necessarily one’s I’d play now, though).

Speaking of throwbacks, that cover of No Diggity was ALLL the heart emojis. What prompted it?
Thank you! I was just playing around with some chords & beats on Logic (or maybe it was Garageband – it was so long ago!) and then started singing ‘No Diggity’ over the top. It wasn’t supposed to be that, but it worked, and I liked how it was sounding. My version was very much inspired by Chet Faker’s – j’adore!

Your sound is quite intimate and hand crafted. Was there every any pressure to go down the big bombastic pop route?
Not really, because it didn’t quite work for me. I guess I had tried some bigger production / big band stuff in the earlier days, but it didn’t really work with my voice. So then I stripped everything back & that’s when I found my style.

Is there a song in particular that means a lot to you?
‘So’ – as it’s the track that helped me discover the darker production / stripped-back feel, that I then worked with for the rest of the album.

What are you listening to at the moment?
I’ve been coming across some really cool stuff recently – I’m particularly loving FKJ, Nicolas Jaar, St South, Bonobo, Loyle Carner, Xinobi. If that sounds like your kinda thing I also have a playlist going on Spotify, which I regularly update with tracks I’m listening to / loving.

Who would be your dream collaboration?
The xx- forever & always a favourite band of mine.

Finally, the Q we ask everyone: favourite Beyonce song?
That’s a good question! I’m gonna have to throwback to ‘Irreplaceable’.

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INTERVIEW: Alice Jemima
INTERVIEW: Alice Jemima