INTERVIEW: Sweet Female Attitude

The voice behind the 2000 UKG classic ‘Flowers’ has announced the release of two new singles, stoking anticipation for her as-yet-untitled album due for release in 2019.

If you’ve been anywhere near a radio over the past two decades, you’ll have heard Sweet Female Attitude’s breakout track “Flowers”. With an instantly recognisable vocal hook – “I’ll bring you flowers, in the pouring rain” – and bumping UKG beat and bassline, it’s become a truly iconic tune known to fans of old-school garage and pop the world over. A staple of raves, parties and discos since its release, the Platinum-selling “Flowers” propelled Sweet Female Attitude to No 2 in the UK Singles Chart and etched their names in the dance music history books forever.

Since her chart-storming debut single, Leanne Brown of Sweet Female Attitude has worked with legendary producers across the UKG scene, ‘including Sunship, Platnum, Jason Kaye, Zed Bias, Jeremy Sylvester, Matt Jam Lamont and Brian Keys’.

Leanne has recorded two new singles for release in 2019: ‘The Way’ and ‘Own Me’. Boldly diverging from the old-school garage vibes that marked their early work, Sweet Female Attitude are experimenting with classic house and heavy trap, exploring new territory while continuing to foreground Leanne Brown’s stunning vocal talents.

While the notably contemporary ‘Own Me’ expertly blends deeply personal lyricism with razor-sharp trap beats, ‘The Way’ draws from an old-school ‘90s vibe, pairing uplifting chords with honeyed vocal melodies to produce a big-room house track that’s both nostalgic and unique. With their latest releases, Sweet Female Attitude prove themselves as versatile artists that can confidently move between styles while remaining true to the classic sounds that made their name.

Check out our interview with frontwoman Leanne below!

Hi Leanne, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hey VENTS, yes, all has been good here thank you. Very busy and meeting myself coming backwards – but all good. 

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “The Way”?

The vocal for ‘The Way’ was actually written a couple of years ago, but we didn’t have any music for it and only recently got around to writing this music and finishing it.  When putting this together, Andy and I set out to create a big room, piano driven club track – mainly with our gigs in mind.  We tend to do lots of club events and many venues we head to play an eclectic mix of house, garage and RnB, so we wanted an original house track, something which was a bit anthemic and something we would like to hear if we went into a club. 

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song? 

Nothing that could really be pinpointed.  I am a kid of the 90’s R&B era so structurally, many of the songs I write tend to be influenced by the songs I listened to back then.  The vocal content of most of the songs I write are based on life experiences, either things I’ve experienced myself or things that my friends, family or students have talked about.  ‘The Way’ is about experiencing a crush on someone but wanting them to show some feeling  which can be hard in those early days as people tend to be kind of guarded.

In terms of the feel of the track musically, my hubby and I met at a time when most of the music coming out was vocal house – we would go to lots of the house clubs in Manchester and we ended up building up quite a collection of house tunes, we also met many great friends and had some amazing nights so the vibe we experienced around that time also heavily influenced this track.  

Is this single and your other new single somewhat connected by the same themes?

Not by design, they might have similar themes in that they are both seemingly about relationships but they were written years apart lyrically and the experiences that underline them were unrelated. 

Any plans to release a video for the single?

Yes, we plan to make a video for both tracks in the summer – the challenge has been to find a suitable window to put a video together, but we are just in the process of looking at various video treatments – I am quite camera shy so I am a nightmare when it comes to videos. Lol!

How was the recording and writing process?

The recording and writing process for me is the most natural thing in the world. It either consists of me rolling out of bed and straight into the studio which is easy as it’s in my house, or I have an impromptu writing session with Andy in the evenings when I can nudge him from doing whatever he’s doing.  When we put ‘The Way’ together, we already had the melodies and lyrics locked down before we made the music so it was about making something that fit.  I came up with a piano riff myself and then Andy put together the rhythm and bass and spent some time crafting the vibe.  The music for ‘The Way’ was intentionally made with a clear idea of what key to play the music in, the tempo, style, vibe / treatment etc., almost with a mental image of how you want the track to go off…  whereas ‘Own Me’ was created by chance – we sat on Splice and Loopcloud one evening and began playing about with some samples and before we knew it, a trap beat had developed – we rolled with it and I jumped on the mic with my pyjama’s on and my lyrics written in rough on my phone and the track just fell together.  With ‘Own Me’, we wanted something that was quite heavy beat wise yet melodic to sing along to – having a teenage daughter we get exposed to quite a bit of trap music and we wanted to come up with a vocal which has meaning and is less focused on material things. 

Having gotten to tour around the world – how have these different cultures you’ve come across along the way influenced your music? 

Being in a different environment can certainly help influence wise but most of the places I have toured have been very westernized with large ex-pat communities, so the events themselves tend to be very similar to those back home.  Sometimes when I listen to songs on the radio when I am in Spain or Cyprus for example, I often like to create melodies that would fit over some of the sounds that they like. I particularly remember Major Lazer being a big sound over in Europe a couple of years back, so I tried out some of them kind of vibes.

Do you tend to take a different approach when you are collaborating with someone else rather than working on your own? 

Yes, whilst I prefer to write alone as I can be my true authentic self without compromise, sometimes it’s good to write with another artist as you can develop ideas and create something fresh from what you would usually yield. When working with another artist, I can be more open to exploring different stuff than when I am in my own comfort zone.

Any plans to hit the road? 

Yes, we are on the road a lot and gig all over the UK and this has been consistent for the past five years. We are also doing a few tours with a full band line up – one with The House and Garage Orchestra and the other with a band called De-Tronic; then band gigs are always lots of fun as I get to work with loads of cool artists and musicians as well as that sense of belonging to a ‘family’ environment. In addition, we have a lots of club and festival gigs for our SFA live PA and DJ sets.

What else is happening next in Sweet Female Attitude’s world? 

Well the two singles are part of an album of original tracks we have put together – some completely original tracks that we have made in our own studio and some which are collaborations with other artists from the UK, France, Portugal and Russia – we are just finishing up the mixes and hoping to find a label to sign the album in the next few weeks.  We also have another EP/Album which is entirely made up of covers that we do in our live shows – we have compiled this almost by default and decided that it would be great to release it as we have lots of material that we showcase live with a great reaction,  but most of it is actually inaccessible to our fans.  Outside of music, we are renovating our house which I loathe but enjoy the finished product, so all in all we are busy, busy, busy.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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