Aussie born, now London based singer-songwriter Zoe Wakelam has released her brand new single “Self-Talk” & has kindly taken the time to speak with Fierce & Fabulous Revolution about her inspiring new track, along with finding out more about the artist behind the music.
Hey Zoe, thank you so much for agreeing to this interview. Can you start by telling the readers a little bit about yourself?
Zoe: Thank you for asking me and for taking the time! Well, I’m a Londoner, originally an Aussie, and I’m short and blonde. If you want to profile my personality I’m in Slytherin, so that’s probably all you need! I’m a melancholy sort of person, hence the songwriting, and I drink a lot of coffee. As I heard someone put it recently, I am neither a night owl or an early bird, I am a permanently exhausted pigeon.
When did you first discover your passion for music?
Zoe: I’ve always been a fairly musical person, I grew up with music, my mum was a singer, and I used to sing for Church. I think my appreciation for what music could be was when I first heard twenty one piløt’s song ‘Implicit Demand for Proof’. My mum had found their music and played it to me on the way to a drama class when I was 17. Tyler’s lyrics blew me away and he’s been my inspiration since.
Have you always known that music was a career that you wanted to pursue?
Zoe: Actually, no! I used to think that acting would be the path for me, but I’ve always enjoyed having a finger in several artistic pies so to speak. When it came down to looking at careers, I was a bit unsure on what to go for. I decided to pick something that I wanted to explore and see how it felt. Summer 2018 I had written several songs that felt different to me than other songs I had written, and so I decided that I would take a step and record them. These were songs that I wanted to share, and I’m so glad that I did!
What is the first song you can recall performing in front of a live audience & do you still sing it now?
Zoe: I think it was my 2nd single ‘Thornless Rose’. I do still perform it, I love hitting that run at the end in a quiet room, it’s thrilling.
How would you describe your musical style to someone unfamiliar with your music?
Zoe: Electropop in the broad sense, but I always try to serve the song that I am working on. Meaning, I won’t try and make it a certain genre if I feel it needs a touch of something unique to the feel of the story I am trying to tell.
You have just released your brand new single “Self-Talk”. How did the idea to create this song come together & what does the song personally mean to you?
Zoe: Self-Talk was the first song I wrote this year. It was the first song I had written after a pretty long writer’s block. After some life stuff at the end of 2019 and the start of 2020, my confidence was knocked a bit, and I felt like I’d lost my song writing mojo. I would say that at the start of this year was the first time I had fully experienced anxiety. My mum, my rock as always, kept reminding me that I needed to give myself good ‘self-talk’ when I felt I was spiralling. After some time I wrote ‘Self-Talk’. This is the first song I had ever written that spoke about these sorts of subjects, but it wasn’t about that at the time. I thought that this might be a song just for me, and I didn’t know if I was going to share it. Over time it sunk to the back of my mind, and I didn’t think much of it, until one day when I wasn’t doing too great. I have always had a love/hate relationship of the irony of songwriting; you always write about what’s plaguing you, but that doesn’t mean you’ve conquered it. So on this day ‘Self-Talk’ came to mind as I sat in my room, in my rocking chair, journal in hand, and I sang it to myself as a reminder. I cried through it because it was exactly what I needed to hear. Later on I decided that if this song still held relevance for me, it might be relevant to other people’s mental narratives.
If listeners could take away one thing from this song, what would you like it to be?
Zoe: I hope that it can be both a cathartic and empowering song for them. I want it to be a song people want to put on when they need to belt it out, release some of those emotions. And, I hope it can serve as a verbal reminder of what good ‘Self-Talk’ sounds like, even when you feel you can’t say it yourself.
What are some of the things you enjoy outside of music?
Zoe: I like doing things with my hands, crochet, sewing, baking. I find these sorts of tasks always make me feel relaxed and rewarded because I end up with something I can see and hold after a shorter amount of time than writing a song! At the moment I am crocheting a bag out of plastic yarn I have made with old shopping bags.
What song do you always keep on your playlist & why?
Zoe: Hmmm, what a good question! Years by Axel Flovent has got to be a favourite of mine, in fact any all of his songs are frequent flyers in my playlist, as well as Novo Amor’s work. I find them both very soothing to listen to, and I will frequently put them on when I want to create that sort of atmosphere by myself or with other people.
If you could perform a duet with anyone in the world, who would you choose?
Zoe: If bands count, twenty one pilots or half•alive hands down! I will be there any time, any place! Everyone has bands that I think they ‘trust’, if that makes sense, the ones that they have complete confidence in every time a new album comes out, the ones you would queue hours for. These are mine and it would be such an honour to perform with them.
What was the last TV series you binge-watched & did you enjoy it?
Zoe: I’m very late to the Sherlock train, but I did just finish it. I very much enjoyed it, it ticked so many of the boxes when it comes to Sherlock’s character, I’m glad they included the drug-den episodes that happen in the books, but I wish they continued it! There is so much more left to explore.
If you could appear on any TV show, which one would you choose & why?
Zoe: Oo you have some great questions! Honestly, I reckon Larkrise to Candleford. Such an amazing show that’s sadly ended, but the main character Dorcas is such a force of nature. She’s an entrepreneur, initiator, compassionate woman, and I’d love to show up in town as some innovative woman and become fast friends with her.
What advice would you offer to anyone looking to pursue a career within the music industry?
Zoe: This might seem oddly specific, but make sure what you put out on social media is good quality. It’s very tempting to feel pressured to post things for the sake of it, but make sure that you’r posting what you want to post, not what you feel you should throw together. Your future self will thank you for it. Also, take time to learn how to plan a release!
Finally, is there anything you would like to say to the readers of Fierce & Fabulous Revolution?
Zoe: Thank you for supporting a blog that promotes new music! Blogs are still hugely beneficial to artists trying to share their sounds, and when you support blogs, and the blogger’s interest in finding new music, you are helping support their dedication and that of the artist! So thank you!
You can check out “Self-Talk” on Spotify below.