‘I’m feeling inspired to make “savoury” music at the moment,’ says singer, songwriter and DIY noisemaker Rozi Plain.
It marks a new way of thinking for an artist who first began bewitching audiences back in 2008 with her debut album Inside Over Here.
The record, and follow up Joined Sometimes Unjoine, were the fruits of her time spent in Bristol, fully immersed in the city’s creative community of DIY artists and independent-minded musicians.
Now relocated to London, her latest LP Friend (and its accompaniment Friend of a Friend), is Rozi’s fullest musical expression yet, featuring contributions from Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor and members of Francois and the Atlas Mountains.
Itching to get back into the studio to pick up where it left off, Rozi says she’s now fully embracing the ‘sound of savoury’, discounting ideas which she feels don’t fit with this eccentric and appetising sonic theme.
With backing from the PRS for Music Foundation’s Momentum Music Fund in the bag, it seems the time is ripe to get making…
What first got you into making music?
I started learning some songs on the guitar when I was around 12 when my brother taught me a few chords. I’ve been friends with Kate (This Is The Kit) since around then and I started playing with her and my brother and Rachael Dadd. I borrowed my brother’s four track recorder a few years after that and started doing some little recordings. I loved having a little set-up in my bedroom and learning through recording.
Who or what have been your biggest influences along the way?
Well those guys – Sam, Kate, Rachel – and then when I moved to Bristol there were so many people doing and creating and organising great things – there were plenty of influential people to get inspired by. I love seeing how friends do things and how differently and similarly they approach their own projects. There’s so much to learn from. It’s so great going on tour and meeting so many inspiring people and venues and communities doing their stuff.
What’s influencing you at the moment?
I’m feeling inspired to make ‘savoury’ music at the moment! I’m not even sure what I mean but I know what it isn’t when it isn’t savoury enough. I love getting to play in other people bands sometimes too, I find it really energising for my own stuff.
How do your songs start life? Do words come to you first, or the music?
I often write things down and work on little riffs. Generally neither of these things make it into the finished songs but I think they’re part of the getting there. Often when I write a song that I keep they suddenly just zap together and often just as I’m about to pack up, or go and make some grub or get the train home for Christmas. It’s really important not to rely on the zap happening cuz it might not, but you still have to believe the zap exists. (The force is with me and I am one with the force)
How do you think your sound has changed since your first record Inside Over Here?
I think I’m more comfortable with what I’m trying to do. I’m more comfortable with my own voice and my own guitar playing abilities.
You’ve always collaborated really widely – is there anyone you’d really love to work with?
Hopefully just more people but also I’d like to keep working with some familiar faces as I enjoyed making the last record so much. I feel like it’s a bit dangerous to name names of people I’d like to work with cuz what if they ever found out?!?!?!?! But yeah, if anyone’s up for any fun projects then great, let’s do it. Yes.
How difficult is it to survive making music in 2017?
Well I guess all artists and everyone is struggling to make their bobs. I enjoy trying to be resourceful. Also, I just made some t shirts!! (www.roziplain.co.uk/shop)! But yeah, I think it’s just important to use your noodle, do zillions of gigs and keep making!
What does this year have in store for you?
Please help me to cross all of my fingers that we might make another record! We’ve been working on some new songs and I’m feeling itchy to crack on with it.
What’s the last great record you heard?
I really like the new record by a band called Susso that just came out on Soundway. Also, I just heard the Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith album – very nice. I also just bought the soundtrack to The Hired Hand by Bruce Langhorne as recommended by my brother, it’s so nice for winter. No singing and bleak and beautiful. I’ve been listening to Chris Cohen all year too, can’t get enough. And the new Bamboo album. What a classic. And the new Yama Warashi album!! Another absolute classic.
Learn more about the PRS for Music Foundation’s Momentum Music Fund.