After reviewing the huge single that is Immortality, from the EP Antichrist Child, we caught an interview with artist and songwriter London King to find out more about her creative process, what inspires her, and what her hopes are for the future. Here’s how it went.
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Hey, thanks so much for your time today – and congratulations on the EP; great music and really crisp production all round. Is there an overall concept for the project, and what inspired the title and the idea?
Yes. It’s a very interesting concept that I developed over the last year. The reason for the title, Antichrist Child, is rather metaphoric. It has two meanings: when you receive loads of criticism, basically about everything, in your public and private life, you start wondering whether you’re the bad guy or simply a human with her own personality, making her mistakes. That’s how I felt when people criticised me, at times for no reason: an Antichrist, ‘the bad guy’. But it also symbolizes the dark side of fame, of performing and putting yourself out there.
Fame is a bit like a demon, disguising his dark side to lure you into some sort of ‘dreamland’. In the cover art, I am representing this demon, that is the fame, the power, success, covering her ‘dark half’ of the face, showing only her reflection, so her superficial side, and never her true face.
How do you begin when writing a song, what comes first?
Well, if I am co-writing, then certainly music comes first. Lyrics can always be adjusted. But if it’s only me, as it was on my first EP, then I start with a basic vocal melody, then proceed with lyrics, and then music.
What does the song Immortality mean to you?
Immortality has been inspired by one short story I wrote when I was about sixteen. The story of a girl that has only fame and performing in her life, and she is attracted by success and power, to the point she would sell her soul and give up true love to reach fame. This song means a lot to me, as I explore an important side of human psyche: the need to be validated, the need for attention, the need to be ‘loved’ and admired.
People would do the craziest things to achieve fame, even if it’s just twenty minutes. But the girl realises that she made a terrible mistake, as she can’t feel happiness no more, she is haunted by something and doesn’t feel truly loved by anyone in her life. But there’s no turning back for her. It’s a sad story, but it gets you thinking.
You’ve had a notably musical life, beginning with singing from 4 years old, leading on into contemporary dance and exploring various genres. What role does genre currently play for you, if any?
Genre is crucial for me, but not the only thing. As in I will never be a metal singer, or a jazz singer, but it’s important to mix and match, listen to other genres of music and get inspired by what’s around. I’d say my genre is pop, but I love to sneak in also other styles of music from time to time in my songs. I believe it gives something unique.
What have been some of your most experimental musical moments so far, and which unexpected direction are you yet to explore in music that you may like to at some point?
I’d like to rap at some point in my life, that ought to be fun and entertaining! I’d say Lost Juliet, a track from my first EP. It’s a very interesting mix, and the drums are more R’n’B, rather than pop, even though the track is pop/rock.
You have a very characterful leading voice, great range and ability and power. How have you developed your singing voice over the years, and what advice could you give to aspiring singers who want to improve their reach or skill set?
Work on your lungs! The power in your voice comes from your lungs and your chest. Warm up your voice each time, before singing. Drink warm stuff, honey and ginger tea also is very helpful for me. I have had singing lessons with one of the best in the game, Leon Berrange. He taught me so many things, and I discovered my true voice and how I wanted to sound. I’d recommend a vocal coach to any aspiring singer!
How important is live music to you, and what can audiences expect from a live show?
I like to interact with the audience during my live shows, also I like to involve them in the making of a song. I like to engage with them, almost on a personal level. Live music is very important, but, as I say many times to emerging artists, nowadays you have to gig smart. I’ve heard tones of horror stories about how venues and ‘promoters’ take advantage of artists. I always tell inexperienced artists to watch out.
How does the music scene in LA compare to that of London?
In LA people are focused, almost obsessed with making it. People have great passion, but there’s also fierce competition, and nasty people, ready to sell their mother to arrive somewhere. In London things are more chilled out, and it’s easier for bands to make it. Also, the style of music is completely different. In LA, music is more electronic, pop. In London there’s a lot of Brit-pop and indie rock going on. LA inspired a lot my latest EP.
The electro-pop style of this EP brings a colourful combination of dance and pop music. Little Broken is a personal favourite as it has a fairly unique rhythm and style that stands out to me, however Ice To The Fire is a huge song – high energy, bright and infectious. Which is your personal favourite from the collection, and why?
Immortality. It’s because it closes the EP, and in a way it’s more poetic and introspective than the others. I believe Immortality is on another level. My second favourite, however, is A Kind of Love.
Who inspires you to make music, and who do you currently admire in the music world?
David Bowie and Freddie Mercury are my greatest inspirations. They made me love music since a very young age. I like Tove Lo a lot lately, also Bruno Mars.
If you had to choose one song from throughout time that you wish you could have written – which would it be, and why?
I would have loved to write Space Oddity by David Bowie.
What are your plans for 2018, and what’s the bigger picture for you?
Keep on making music, release my new single, put out my new novel as well, and keep on growing really.
Is there anything else you’d like to say?
I’d like to thank you for this interview, also thank Aubrey, my producer, Jammy a great friend and musician, Billy, Isaac and my brother too. These are the most important people in my life. Thanks also to all the people that take time to listen to my music and support me everyday.
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