Interview: Rae Morris

Interview - Rae Morris - pic


By Charlie Winspear


Rae Morris’ whirlwind 2015 shows no signs of slowing down with a stunning performance in Glasgow’s intimate Oran Mor. Before the gig, a bubbly Rae Morris sat cross-legged on an old wooden bench and chatted about the success of her debut album, Unguarded, and her highlights of the year.

2015 has been a great year; you were nominated for the BBC Sound of 2015 Long List and released Unguarded, which reached the top ten. What does 2016 hold?

To be honest, I’ve only planned ‘til the end of the year. I do intend to finish writing the next record so I am very much getting into the mood of that. At the moment, it doesn’t feel right to share any new songs yet.

I first heard your song, ‘Wait a While’, on Burberry Acoustic. Do you feel that working with Burberry and BBC Introducing helped to kick start your career?
Yeah, they are all very much connected. My performance on the BBC Introducing Stage at Reading festival 2011 was filmed by Dave Tree who works with Watch, Listen, Tell and Burberry which are both the perfect outlets for getting yourself out there. The BBC have continued to be so supportive of me and I recently covered “All You Need Is Love” for their ‘Love’ campaign.

You got to record Unguarded in LA with Ariel Rechtshaid. What made you choose him and what did he bring to your sound?

I chose him because he has worked with people such as Vampire Weekend and Haim. I aimed to create a body of work that would appeal to a lot of people and Ariel helps to produce an indie alternative sound with an edge. I had to move to LA for three months to record and this was the first time I’ve moved away from home.

Who would you class as your biggest influences? Do you feel as though these influences are prominent in your records?
I hold influences openly. Kate Bush is my hero, music production wise, as she is always pushing boundaries and recreating herself. She combines acoustic and electronic so well and I am proud of her influence on my sound. I have always been constrained by the piano, which is not a bad thing as the piano is my instrument, I am loyal to it but not completely in chains, the piano is not my captor.

With CHVRCHES releasing a new album, Florence headlining Glastonbury and the success of yourself and Wolf Alice do you feel that female artists are now better represented in the music industry?
There has been a lot of talk on this issue (i.e. lack of female festival headliners) and there is inequality among the sexes but I feel as though the music industry is becoming more aware of it. Florence’s headline slot was a big moment for the ladies. I surround myself with people who don’t treat me differently because I’m a girl.

You’ve played the likes of Glastonbury, Bestival and T in the Park. What has been the highlight of the festival season for you?
Glastonbury. It may sound cliché but it was a dream. I had never played any of the smaller stages before and played for the first time on the Park Stage.

You’ve played Glasgow in the past, what has made you come back and what do you like to do when you’re here? (aside from sound check, of course)

We were told by some bands that you had to try the White Russians at Nice N Sleazy so we did that, I played there too. Last time I went to a really nice vegan cafe, I like to keep myself healthy on tour. It’s hard not to spend time worrying about your health on tour.

You’ve released a single in aid of the CoppaFeel, Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign.

I played FestiFeel a couple of years ago and since then I have followed everything the CoppaFeel campaign has done. I recently released ‘Don’t Go’, my fifth single, in aid of the campaign as I felt it was time to do something less about me, more about something significant.

And to finish, if you could recommend one artist you love at the moment?
Sun Kill Moon, I’m currently working backwards through the albums. At the moment, I’m listening to Benji.