Having recently been crowned winner of MTV Brand New For 2016, Essex born singer-songwriter Anne-Marie is set for a fantastic year. Having sung lead vocals for drum and bass group Rudimental for the past two years, she has a wealth of experience under her belt, standing her in good stead for a supporting slot on Rudimental’s upcoming spring UK tour, as well as on their 5-night tour of Australia and New Zealand in May. With her debut album being released later this year, she certainly has a busy year ahead. We caught up with her backstage on the opening night of her first UK solo tour.
Q: Your music is best described as a fusion of pop, hip-hop and R&B. What influenced you to make this style of music?
A: If I was making music on my own and I didn’t have people around working with me, it would probably be really R&B, like old school Alicia Keys. But luckily I write my songs with producers, so I tell them my influences, like R&B, hip-hop. I knew I wanted to be a pop artist but I didn’t want to be cheesy. I know people associate pop as cheesy, but in actual fact in isn’t. But that’s how I saw it.
Q: Do you think working with Rudimental changed the style of music that you wanted to make as a solo artist?
A: Before I worked with them, I kind of still didn’t realise that I could make music however I wanted it to sound. So before that I would go into sessions and just be like, listen to this song I like, and then they’d produce something and I’d just write to it. Where as now I can go into a session and be like, I want that drumbeat and I want that bass line. Knowing that the songs I’ve been doing recently are actually all coming from my brain is really cool.
Q: Has working with Rudimental helped you as a performer?
A: Definitely. When I first started touring with them I thought I was the best singer ever. I got on stage with them at a festival in Wales and I was literally standing there on stage not even moving. I came off stage and was like, ‘why do I sound like this. That was so bad!’ It’s just so weird how I’ve grown.
Q: Rudimental are known for having great artists on their tracks such as Ella Eyre and John Newman, who have gone on to have successful careers. Do you find that quite daunting, seeing as you’re part of the Rudimental alumni now?
A: Not daunting but more of an aim. I feel like I’ve got my own thing going on and I will just carry on doing that rather than comparing my career with theirs. Every single thing that happens to each individual in this industry is completely different, so even though they came from the same place as me, it’s already been a really different experience. Where they’ve got to now is really inspiring, but I will just carry on doing my thing.
Q: Your debut album is coming out later this year. What can we expect from it?
A: It is R&B ‘hip-pop’! It’s got a few ballads, some quite emotional bits and there are quite a few uplifting songs. I want to be a voice for young girls but also be able to speak to everyone and try and make them feel good. There are some songs just directly to young girls, if they’re growing up and having a tough time. I think girls have a hard time growing up and I just wanted to tell them that we’ve all been through it.
Anne-Marie’s latest single ‘Do It Right’ is out now.