Meet rising pop-star Rothwell ahead of her performance at Concentus' Four Year Anniversary Show!
With already two spots at St Pancras Church last month supporting Odette and Ruthanne, Bristol-to-London pop star Rothwell joins Concentus Music’s line up for the celebration of our Four Year Anniversary. Rothwell reveals all in her artistry and journey from being a teen in Bristol to a twenty-something making her own name in pop…
What’s the biggest venue you’ve played?
I've actually been fortunate enough to play a couple of arenas. Back in the day, I supported Justin Bieber on some of this things, so that was 20,000 screaming women, which was amazing. And then I’ve albert hall a couple of times, but I love the intimate ones like St Pancras.
What brought you on tour with Bieber?
It was just the shows in Birmingham, I was featuring with them on a couple of songs.
Do you do many collaborative projects and performances?
I do actually! I’ve done a couple of collaborations. I write a bit of drum and bass and some house music, and love writing with and for other people. But at the moment I’m just doing all Rothwell stuff.
So you write drum and bass, but perform pop. How do you know when to make that switch in your mind?
The music says it in itself. If I’m in a session, I’ll very much know straight away if the beat they made is for house or if they are a house producer or drum and bass and stuff, then they are the style I would aim for. And when its my stuff, its much more free and I kind of just play around.
So is that how you song-write, do you decide beforehand if you are wiring for someone else or yourself?
It’s more that, I’ll always go into a session like I’m writing for myself. And if I end up not using it, then it goes into a big pile and anyone is welcome to use it. I’m not precious! I’m like… ‘Please use my songs!’
What kind of artists have performed your songs?
I have a song coming out with a guy called Jack Wins in a couple of months, and then I did one with some guys called Toyboy & Robin, and a guy called Metrik who remixed a piano ballad that I wrote with my friend Alex,
Are these musicians from hometown or from just being around London?
All from being around the music scene, and doing sessions with certain people, and I meet people through them doing sessions with others, and it’s sort of like everyone knows everyone. It’s so weird!
So when did you move to London from Bristol?
I moved 6 years ago, when I was a little chubby child! I was really keen just to get to it and start writing with as many people as I could, because I had one summer that I put something on YouTube and I got asked to sing at Ronnie Scotts, so I came up to London for it, and Lily my manager was a family friend of a family friend, so she came along. That’s when I started working with her and then that was the point I was like, ‘I’m going to move to London and going to become a pop star!’
So already having a manager when you made the move, I guess it didn’t feel too daunting like you were starting from scratch?
Well, kind of! I had management, but I would gig 4-5 open mic nights a week because I didn’t know anyone here, because I had no friends!! So I would go and play shows and little open mic nights, and build it up from there, and do writing sessions with people I meet there.
Now that you’re a bit more established, do you still do open mics today?
Occasionally, if I’ve written an acoustic track and I want to try it out. I write a lot with a guy in Brighton, so sometimes I’ll stay up there so I’ll always go find an open mic night in the evenings.
How is it performing to an audience who is just there not expecting you at open mic, vs your own shows when someone comes to see you?
It’s quite fun, its very different, because now my own show is a full band set up, whereas when I do open mics it will just be me and a guitar, so everyone will be like ‘ooh I didn’t expect that voice to come from you,’ and it’s quite nice in a way. Sometimes I just want to thump people because it’s like, ‘Shhh people are singing, don’t talk!!’ But it thickens the skin.
With a couple of new singles on the horizon and a headline and numerous festival appearances to be announced still for Rothwell, her 2019 is looking bright and full. Catch her at 9pm at The Courtyard this Thursday, along with Alex Jayne, Naomi Banks, and a headline from Belfast group Travis Is A Tourist! FREE ENTRY - REGISTER FOR TICKETS HERE!
New Artists Rothwell Recommends: Donna Missal, Ellie Ingram