Florrie is undoubtedly one of the most exciting new artists to emerge from Xenomania‘s production house, forging a name for herself by giving away her music for free.
The British drummer-turned-pop artist caught music bloggers attention with remixes of her tracks: ‘Call 911’, ‘Fascinate Me’ and ‘Panic Attack’.
Here on Florrie‘s first ever Australian interview, she talks about her upcoming EP (and limited edition vinyls), working with Xenomania and those pesky Annie comparisons.
Listen to the interview podcast here.
Dave: Have we interrupted your rehearsals?
Florrie: Oh no, it’s fine. I am rehearsing but I’ve got all day, no worries. No worries! (*in an Aussie accent*)
Dave: I’m impressed with the accent!
Florrie: I know, I like to practice.
Dave: There’s been a lot of hype surrounding you and your music up in the UK, so for the Aussies playing at home – can you tell us how you got started?
Florrie: It’s been a gradual process because I’m actually a drummer. I’ve been playing since I was seven and [although] I have sung all my life, in my head I was a drummer. I started at Xenomania as the house drummer, playing in the house band with two other Aussie guys actually, who are from Melbourne!
Dave: Ah! I’m gonna get all fanboy now. Are these the same Aussies who did Girls Aloud‘s ‘The Promise’?
Florrie: Yes, they are! Jason Resch and Kieran Jones. They’re amazing. I actually came to visit them in Christmas at St Kilda, where they live.
Dave: Now let’s talk about your sound. How would you describe it?
Florrie: I’ve had this question a lot and it’s kind of difficult to answer because I think my sound is still developing at the minute. I’m on a musical journey, if you like.
I’ve done lots of work with Fred Falke – who has had a big influence on my sound at this early stage – so it’s quite electro. And I do love that but because I am a musician, I like to keep a live element in there as well. So I think it’s likely to be a mix.
There probably won’t be an album until August/September next year, so I’ve got time to keep developing my sound.
Dave: You’re as yet unsigned to a record label and you’re giving your music away for free on your website. I think it’s a brilliant strategy because in a way, fans and bloggers can all feel like they “discovered” you.
Florrie: Totally. That’s the great thing about the internet, isn’t it? Everyone has access to it. Anyone can sit in their bedroom start a blog, talk about music and it’s so easy to discover new people. And it’s a great feeling when you do discover someone. People like to feel like they have!
Dave: What’s the situation with Xenomania Records – ie. Alex Gardner, Mini Viva?
Florrie: Alex Gardner is actually here (Xenomania HQ) at the minute. He’s still writing tracks for his album and obviously, he’s had singles out but it’s so difficult at our current musical climate to break a new artist.
And that’s one of the reasons why I’m so keen to be giving away my music online because the best person to build my fan base is me. Why let someone else do it when I can do it myself?
Dave: So what is it like working for Xenomania?
Florrie: It’s all done in a big house in the country and it’s actually the house Alice Liddel (the person Alice In Wonderland was based on) used to live in, so it’s got an amazing atmosphere already but it’s just a house full of super-talented, like-minded people. I feel like they’re my extended family.
Dave: What are some lessons you’ve learned about working in such a big, creative – extended family – if you will?
Florrie: I think working in a team is great. You just bounce [ideas] off everyone and I think that’s the best way to do things.
Dave: But what about collaborative situations where there has to be a compromise between your ideas and what someone else has in mind for the track? How do you deal with that?
Florrie: I guess we just overcome them like you would in any situation but the good thing about the freedom we have here is that you can do two versions, one with my idea for example, and one with Jason (Resch)’s. There’s no boundaries.
Dave: And who decides the final take?
Florrie: Brian Higgins. He’s the top boss if we’re writing for other artists. I decide the final take if it is my own music.
Dave: Let’s talk about your tracks. The Fred Falke remixes of ‘Fascinate Me’ and ‘Call 911’ are probably my favourites but you don’t have the originals up for download! Do they sound very different from the remixes?
Florrie: They do sound quite different. ‘Call 911’, for example, has three different original versions so I’m kind of figuring out a way to mash it all together- if that’s possible! They’re all kind of works in progress at the minute.
I know a lot of people have been asking to hear the originals so I’m just starting to release more original [mixes] now. Also, I’ll be doing an EP in October, which will be free to download. I’m also going to print some vinyls! Just 500 copies, so it’s not a lot but I’m excited about that.
Dave: So which tracks will make the EP?
Florrie: They’re all new ones! And they all have working titles, so they probably won’t make any sense to you. Some of them I’ve worked with Fred Falke. Although he does a lot of remixes, I’ve also written some of my original tracks with him.
Dave: I understand that you remix your own songs too? Do you find it hard to detach yourself from the original version?
Florrie: There are so many different programs you can use and a million different sounds, it’s actually quite exciting to start with a clean slate with just the acapella. But I know what you’re saying, it might be difficult to get the original out of my head – which I guess sometimes it is – but normally, it’s a lot of fun.
Dave: You’ve mentioned Fred Falke as a big collaborator on your upcoming EP, who else can we expect?
Florrie: I’ve been working with Annie. She’s been coming over the last few weeks and we’re doing a little thing – I don’t know if I’m allowed to tell you!
Dave: Is it a duet?
Dave: A lot of people say you sound like Annie, how do you both deal with comments like that?
Florrie: Yeah, I think if you listen to us side-by-side, we’re not actually that similar. I think a lot of people make their judgement based on hair colour. I think it’s a little lazy to compare us but I don’t know, maybe you might’ve said the same?
Dave: I felt that at the start, yeah! But Annie‘s obviously more of a collaborator not a competitor?
Florrie: Oh, totally! I’ve known her for the last two years. She’s done an amazing job in the online world with all the blogs and everything, so I really look up to her.
Dave: So are there any other collaborators you’ve got lined up?
Florrie: I’ve done a track with Benny Benassi [but] I’m not sure what’s happening with that. I’d love to do more collaborations but I guess I do work with Fred a lot. He’ll be involved in my projects for a long time and I’m happy with that!
Dave: Are there any dream duets or collaborations?
Florrie: Prince. I just want to play drums with him! I think that would be amazing.
QUICK 5 WITH FLORRIE:
1) What is the worst Girls Aloud song?
(laughs) Um. Nothing really sticks out on my mind.
Dave: It’s a hard one because obviously, we don’t want you to lose your job.
Florrie: Yeah I was gonna say, I better keep my mouth shut on that one. But I’m sure if there was one, we wouldn’t have heard it.
Dave: So then, what is the best Girls Aloud song?
2) Your favourite cartoon?
Tom & Jerry. I love it because even though they don’t speak, it’s still really entertaining.
3) We have a segment on our show called ‘Domestic Goddess Jade’, what do you think is a domestic task we should all be able to do well?
Making a good bowl of porridge.
4) Your favourite mash up?
The one that’s a mix of 50 Cent and an old pirate song!
5) And finally, I’m dipping my toes into songwriting now. Is there an off chance of you, Fred and I doing something together?
Yeah… I’m sure we can sort it out! I want to come to Melbourne and I’m sure Fred would be up for that.
Grab your free download of Florrie’s music
Check out our radio show: Diff’rent Strokes with Jade and Dave