INTERVIEW: Penelope Darling

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

Hi, yeah, I’m very well thank you! I’ve been super busy this week as I had my launch party on Tuesday!

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “My Mind”?

So ‘My Mind’ was the first song I ever recorded in a real studio. We decided that I should do a cover first to get myself used to how everything worked, and to build a relationship with Paul Visser before we started writing together. The reason that I picked this song was because from the second I heard it I fell in love with it. Yebba sings with so much passion and truth and I felt that this song really showed that. Alongside loving the song, it has an amazing range which I wanted to push myself to achieve.

On the 16th of August, when this song was released, I had the most incredible feeling of excitement that I was actually on iTunes and Spotify. This was something I had dreamed about for years so knowing that people I have never met are listening to this song, is just an incredible feeling.

Why did you choose to pay your own rendition of this song?

I didn’t want to just copy Yebbas version as I still wanted to have my own take on it. So rather than copying exactly what she did, we decided to make it have a more pop like feel with loads of different kinds of instruments.

What aspect of the Yebba’s version did you focus the most?

The aspect that I focused on the most was the lyrics because I found them extremely enchanting. As well as this, I also wanted to make sure that the passion in the delivery was still there. For me, music is about making whoever is listening feel a certain way, and I didn’t want to lose that in my version, as that is something Yebba achieves effortlessly.

How was the filming process and experience behind the video?

The filming process was amazing! Working with Federico Gardin was a real learning experience for me as I had never done anything like that before. His imagination and drive was so exciting to work with. Alongside Federico, Beth Willow (dancer in the music video) was wonderful to work with. She moves with so much feeling which is exactly what we needed. Not only is she amazing but she was so easy to work with as she was willing and happy to try all sorted of different things to make sure it was exactly right.

How was the recording and writing process?

Originally, I was extremely nervous to step into the studio and record this song. Although once we got into it and started creating our own version, I felt at home and just couldn’t wait to get behind the microphone. With each take we tried something different, until we felt that we had the best version.

What was it like to work with Paul Visser and how did that relationship develop?

Working with Paul and his team has been magical. He has helped me develop so much as an artist and grow my confidence massively. When I first met him, I was extremely reserved and felt silly to put any of my own ideas forward, but within one session I felt so happy and comfortable with him and everyone around him.

My relationship with Paul is wonderful. I am always excited to go into the studio to have a catch up and occasionally a therapy session! What I love about working with Paul is that he wants my songs to be just as great as I want them to be. As well as this all my songs have got something to do with what is going on with me and my life. Whether it is heart break or exciting events, he knows more about me than anyone else, which makes each lyric meaningful. I am so grateful to him and am in awe of his talent.

How much did he get to influence the song?

Paul and I write the lyrics together but he is the producer and creates the magic behind the lyrics. Paul and I talk about the vibe I want to go for and any influences I have, so that he knows exactly what I would like from the song.

How has Sam Smith and Adele influenced your writing?

Both Adele and Sam Smith write from their hearts and aren’t scared to write something so truthful that it hurts to sing it. I find it inspirational! They use their music to express themselves which is something I can really relate to.

What role does London play in your music?

London is where I have spent the last 3 years of my life, and they have been the best three years. It is where I have recorded all of my music and where the guys, I work with are based. It is also where my job, my friends and my family are, and they are all my biggest support. Alongside this, it is where I did my first gig and where I have built some wonderful relationships. London is always so full of life and there is constantly something exciting happening.

Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?

It definitely does mean that! We are about 2/3rds of the way through the album and I honestly am ecstatic to release it. At my most recent gig I performed a selection of my new songs and got such wonderful feedback.

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

I am hoping to release it in around three months, so busy times ahead. I know that one of the next songs that I will be releasing is called ‘Love Myself’ which I can’t wait for people to hear!

Any plans to hit the road?

Actually yes! I am hoping to go to Manchester and Birmingham relatively soon. Apart from this I will be mainly doing gigs in London for the moment.

What else is happening next in Penelope Darling’s world?

Aside from sorting out my next releases I will be performing and trying to grow my audience as much as possible.  Although I will be going to Uganda with Amigos charity in May, which I am so excited about.

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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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