Interview: Effie

Conquer is the Debut EP by British singer-songwriter Effie. Following a break-up and after becoming somewhat disillusioned with music, she talks about how her new EP is a reflection of herself and the emotional turbulence she has been through.

The EP has a plethora of influences, from House to Soul, it embraces the electronic revolution while also remaining a very vocal record.

Effie has, unsurprisingly, been compared to Jessie Ware, and also been cited as a female Frank Ocean. She says that she takes a lot of inspiration from both artists, along with Stevie Nicks, whose brutally honest songwriting is something that Effie greatly admires.

The basis for most of Effie’s lyrics on Conquer is the break-up, after which she went to LA, where she met Rhett Raha, aka Kidforce, who produced the EP. “Everything you hear on the record is straight from me and my own personal experiences.”

“I’d been through quite a hard break-up so I went away and took some time to reflect and I used the music to say how I was feeling.”

The transition from heartbreak to songwriting did not happen over-night however. She said that she initially avoided writing about the break-up so as to avoid having to think about it. “I put it off and put it off, but I knew I had to get it out. I think I might have been afraid. I had to wait until I was at a point where I could push myself.”

This honesty is something that she admires in other artists whom she feels she can connect with. Soul and R&B musicians like Beyoncé and Lauryn Hill get mentions throughout our conversation.

“I know that listening to other peoples music helps me, like, “Oh she knows exactly what I’m feeling,” I love that and I wanted to be that for other people.”

Effie’s first single “Into Yello” was released in 2009 to a generally positive reception. The change in style since that release is obvious, however, as the lyrics are much less personal and the music veers more towards an R&B sensibility rather than the strong electronic sound heard on Conquer.

She says that she was unprepared for a career in music at that point and that she felt somewhat restricted by expectations around her. “You never really know what’s going to happen, it was a progressive thing that I didn’t even realise was happening. As I started looking in other directions my ideas weren’t as well received as I would have hoped.”

She took a step back from making music, though she says she has never really taken a break, while waiting for the inspiration for this new EP.

Effie is currently touring with Ghetts, but is trying figure out the best time to start a solo tour. “We’re trying to figure out the logistics, with festival season coming up. There will be a tour before the end of the year.”

Effie’s debut EP Conquer is out on May 26th.

Bryan Grogan

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