MuzicNotez: First off, it’s an honor to be doing this interview with you Zoe, thanks for taking the time to sit down with us.
What motivated you to start creating music? What age did you begin?
- Zoe Graham: I come from quite a creative family. My mother was an actress and my father and artist. My older brother is a conductor and composer, so in my earliest memory I would say my brother was the one who surrounded me with music from an early age. My parents did too. I remember being on family holidays as a child, sitting in the back of the car listening to tape cassettes of ‘The Dixie Chicks’ or ‘Simon and Garfunkel’. I was definitely exposed to good music growing up. As with a lot of young girls, I was also inspired by KT Tunstall. I learned the guitar by learning to play her songs and I began playing gigs by the age of 15.
MuzicNotez: Who were your musical influences, idols, or bands growing up that have helped mold you into the musician you are today? Or helped mold the music that you create?
- Zoe Graham: As I say, KT Tunstall is where it all started for me. I was kind of a KT Tunstall cult leader, I was obsessed with her as a kid. The power and confidence that oozed from her was very inspiring to a shy girl like me. I was also very into Jenny Owen Young, Rilo Kiely and Jenny Lewis for that matter, and a couple of west coast grunge bands like Vivian girls, La Sera and later on acts like LCD Soundsystem, Sufjan Stevens. Currently I’m a big fan of St Vincent, Christine and the Queens, Cate Le Bon, and The Japanese House. I had a very varied music taste growing up and I feel that’s stuck with me ever since.
The variety in my listening I feel has shaped the musician I am. I have a passion for writing and almost any genre is not out of the question for me. There are no limits!
MuzicNotez: What’s the ultimate goal you want your music to achieve, or for you to achieve in your career as a musician? Any particular message you wish to send?
- Zoe Graham: Interesting question. My music doesn’t have a particular agenda or message. They’re all more very honest stories from my personal life. Honestly is something that I can struggle with in the real world and writing music is my escape and avenue to do so. Right now, I just want to write good tunes that people enjoy, any message they take from my songs is up to them.
MuzicNotez: What’s the greatest concert you’ve ever been to or performed?
- Zoe Graham: Ugh, everything is different and amazing in it’s own way. But I think it’s going to be hard to top ‘Christine and the Queens’ at The Royal Concert Hall back in 2018. 5 set changes, two and a half hours of incredible vocals, choriography and stage craft. Nothing felt pretentious either. It was an iconic, French, Chic masterpiece.
MuzicNotez: Your latest single is ‘Sleep Talking’, what was the inspiration behind this release?
- Zoe Graham: I’m a really bad sleep talker, walker, and I see things in my sleep too. I used to wake up in the middle of the night with an ex partner lying next to me thinking I had said something I didn’t mean, something horrible or untrue. And I used to really panic that they heard, or just confused if I had even said anything at all. This feeling was so awful that I knew I just had to write about it.
MuzicNotez: You’re out of Glasgow now, I’ve been noticing quite the music scene developing there recently. What’s it been like for an emerging artist such as yourself?
- Zoe Graham: Ah no, Glasgow is where I live currently. I moved out of my parents house a couple of years ago and moved into a flat 20 minutes down the road from them ha! I’ve lived in Glasgow my whole life and I’ve been involved in the scene here now for about 5 years. It’s an incredibly rich and diverse place to live and play music. Everyone within the scene are great supporters of each other. We’re all friends and come to one another’s gigs. If you’re a musician of any level and want to get in to the industry Scotland, but particularly Glasgow is the place to be. Get ready for the best craic of your life!
MuzicNotez: You write your own songs, and are very good at it. What’s your song writing style like?
- Zoe Graham: Haha Thank you! It’s different every time. I actually find writing songs quite difficult and takes a lot of energy out of me. So once I write a full song, it’s time for celebration! Usually, lyrics and music all comes out at once. I tend to try write the song frist and not focus too much on production. – saying that, sometimes a drum loop, synth sound, or guitar pedal can help get things going. Recently, I’ve been doing a lot more co-writes. I love it! It keeps me on my toes, I meet new people and create something I never would have on my own. I’ve learned a lot in co-writes. However, when I’m by myself things are a lot more free and less structured. It’s just harder to keep myself on task when I don’t have someone to answer to!
MuzicNotez: What else are you working on? What can we expect to see and hear from you in the future?
- Zoe Graham: Right now, I’m focusing on writing. I have a couple more songs lined up for release this year – which I’m very excited about! Otherwise I’m focusing on my craft, and letting myself be creative as much as possible. I’m also working on my live set for some really exciting gigs this year – with my lovely band!
MuzicNotez: Anything else you wish to say about yourself or your music? Any message for your fans?
- Zoe Graham: Love yerself and yer pals – ye won’t regret it xx