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CONNIE CONSTANCE - HACKNEY WICK - LONDON


Why did you choose East London?

I chose East London to do my OUT + ABOUT in because it’s kind of my stomping ground, it’s the first place I went to the studio, it’s where I’ve lived most of the time I’ve been in London so it’s kind of like my home.

What is it you like about East London so much?

I feel like it’s not quite imperfect which kind of makes it perfect. Although there’s obviously a lot of gentrification happening now.

If you had to describe East London, how would you describe it?

It’s a little bit scatty. I think you can get out of your house one day and then someone could just run across your street and maybe, like, throw a melon in the sky and you just have to accept it and just keep going with your day. So, I like East London because you just see something different and different people every day.

To describe East London, I would say it’s definitely a cultural melting pot. Also, there’s a lot of strange that comes with all the artistic things as well, like you never know what you’re gonna see each day.

Why did you choose Hackney Wick?

I chose Hackney Wick because it’s kind of the first place where I found home in London, it’s where I used to go to the studio when I first ever started making music in Shapes and it’s where I lived before lockdown for 2 years so I feel like Hackney Wick has always been my stomping ground.

Do you think East London has influenced any of your music?

I feel like naturally any environment that I’m in definitely influences my music because I often tell stories of things that are happening in my life. There was definitely a time, like with my song ‘James,’ that was about when I was going to The Haggerston and spending a lot of time in Dalston so, definitely my environment influences my sound and my lyrics.

Can you describe your journey into music?

I think my journey with music very much started with writing. I was always writing since I was a kid, that’s what my mum kind of taught me; to put down my emotions and feelings into words and into poetry. So that’s how I found any kind of interest in music really was writing. Then I was in dance school studying dance and I kind of realised that this wasn’t really what I wanted to do. Within that time, I sort of found my voice a little bit with music and I started singing some of the poems that I’d written. That’s when I started working with Kwes Darko, he’s a producer who was based in Hackney Wick at the time in Shapes and from then I started developing my sound. It’s been quite a long journey getting to where I am now because I’ve experimented with quite a lot of different genres to find my sound, but yeah, definitely it’s always the writing for me. If I’m not writing about something that’s happening or something that I feel like I need to write a song about to relate to then I probably wouldn’t be making music.

How did you get into dancing? Tell us a little bit about that.

I’ve always done dance since I was a little kid; my mum put me in to a local ballet school. I feel like it’s always been a form of escapism or meditation for me, you know, you can’t really think about anything else when you’re dancing. It’s just about letting go and learning the steps, you’ve got to focus on that so you don’t really have time to think about anything that’s going on in your life. It was always a place for me, whether I was going through something, or just wanted to express myself, it was a place where I could kind of escape from anything that was going on in my life.

Describe your sound

If I was to describe my music, I would probably say its heavily punk and indie rock influenced but it’s also got a lot of soul and kind of folk. I’ve been working a lot more on some folk sounding stuff. So, yeah, it’s a bit of a mash up, there’s lots of different genres floating around in there. If I was gonna describe it in three words it’s kind of like Fairy...Punk... Music....yeah, I think that’s probably it.

Tell us about your influences

They might be quite obvious, like I’m a bit of a Blondie fan. I grew up on a lot of indie rock and punk music and then after I got into Motown and I sort of found Jazz by myself and that’s where I came across Billie Holiday and Nina Simone. I think after having quite an indie rock, sort of male, husky voice kind of upbringing with sound I then translated that when I heard the huskier blues, jazz, female singers and that’s probably where I grew my voice a little bit from. But definitely energy wise, I like the Blondie, Sassy, kind of punk, pop music.

What are you working on now?

I’m just finishing off my next project; it’s just a small project but I put a lot of energy into everything so it’s taken a while to finish up. So that’s what I’m working on for the start of this year and then I’m ready to do my second album. I’ve started building up demos towards that and kind of what I want it to be about and how I want it to feel.

So, tell us about your new single then, electric girl?

My new single ‘Electric Girl’ is probably the fastest turnaround for a song I’ve ever had actually because I wrote it in December at the start of the second lockdown. I went into a session with Karma Kid and I literally was just so fed up with not even feeling good about anything that was going on, not feeling like I could be my full self because I wasn’t going anywhere to express myself – I was just expressing myself to myself, which was just, like, dead. So, I came up with ‘Electric Girl’ as a sort of persona in the studio and basically ‘Electric Girl’ is in everyone; boy, girl, non-binary. It’s that fuse when you feel like you’re in your energy, you’re being who you want to be and you’re doing stuff you wanna do, super creative and free. It was me writing a song that I could listen to, to just remind myself that that’s the energy that I love to be basically. Rather than being this bored person, I can kind of be her when I’m at home in my tracksuits, I can still be electric girl and everyone else can be electric girl too.

How has lockdown been for you?

Honestly the first lockdown sucked, I literally hated it. I had so many ideas and things I wanted to do, like so many other people, especially in the creative industry and it was just like, nah, you’re not doing any of that. Then I was like, ok cool, I need to be inspired and make use of my time at home and I was like, yeah, I’m not inspired by these four walls. Honestly, I didn’t find anything positive from the first lockdown. When we came out of the first one, I started getting some more ideas and I felt a bit more renewed and then I remember the second and third one I could write and that was fine for me but no, I haven’t learnt any new skills, I haven’t come out with any positive revelations, I genuinely will be very happy when it’s over.

The best advice any one has ever given you.

The best piece of advice that anyone’s ever given me is my mum – “if you want something done properly do it yourself” and “do it properly the first time”. So, its two pieces of advice in one about doing things properly.

Where is Connie going to be in the future?

Honestly, in 10 years-time, or just Connie in the future, I wanna be touring the world and I hope my music is getting out to as many people as possible because especially after this lockdown I just wanna perform, everywhere.

Connie in the future is definitely touring the world. I just hope my music gets out to as many people as possible, especially after lockdown I just wanna do shows everywhere any anywhere.