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Spotlight interview with the enigmatic Retropxssy

The London based artist has been receiving praise from various media outlets and stations over the last number of years. With her unique and diverse sound gaining the attention from fans and artists alike we sat down with the artist to discuss her start in music, the inspiration behind her sound and her plans for the future. We also took a look at her creative process for writing lyrics and the anticipation of her first headline show.

1. Your music covers a variety of different bases not defined to a single genre. How did you find your unique and individual sound?

"By accident! I was lucky enough to start making music in a very free way, I didn’t have any set direction, just an idea of what I liked and space to experiment. Most luckily of all I was surrounded by a group of incredibly talented producers who are all into making very genre bendy stuff so we’d just start working and see what came out. It felt very organic, along the way / during this process I realised I’d fallen in love with making music and wanted to do it forever.

I try to keep that sense of freedom and playfulness in everything I do."

2. You were born in London, grew up in Bristol and are now back in your home city, was moving back home a necessary step to develop yourself artistically?

"London is where I feel I fit. It’s familiar but also makes me feel crazy excited - that anything is possible feeling. Bristol will always be a huge part of my life though, I met my support system there - friends who I still send every track to for feedback before I release it. Bristol is such a fun place as well, the rave and nightlife scene there definitely inspired me and fed my love of deep bassy music. It also reiterated to me that it’s okay to do things a little differently. I value the perspectives you get from living in different places - you don’t get so consumed. London can definitely do that."

3. The themes of your music cover a variety of relative topics including mental health and identity, do you feel like music has helped you with your own mental health as so many artists and creative individuals use their creative expression as an outlet?

"Yes! My first project is called ‘Getting Better’, and making it was a very healing process for me. I felt like I had so many stories inside me, things I had to reflect out, get out and then I was able to move on. I think just starting to make music was also healing for me - it gave me a focus and something to be proud of - I never thought it would be possible to do something like this.

Now I’m in a different space where I feel I can experiment more with different sounds and really refining my craft but if I’m angry or upset or just like wtff??!? (ie the mood of the past year) making music will be a solace for me."

4. Your latest release "Sleepy head" is a gorgeous garage infused song with an incredible lyrical flow and chorus. What was the story behind the record? Was it the intention to create a garage kind of vibe with the song?

"Firstly, thank you! I met the producer Jeremy M in the Netherlands in a chance encounter. He played me the beat from his phone and I just vibed with it. I’d never done anything dancey like that before but I almost instantly had this melody in my head. One of those ones. I didn’t know if it was going to sound good - I was a bit scared!

But people seemed to mess with it.

The song plays with juxtaposition, it’s kind of a cold light of day tune. I used to party a lot. But 'Sleepyhead' is about realising that life was taking more than it was giving but feeling trapped. I used to be tired as hell in bed but just blast garage and house and get up and go back out. Fun but unsustainable. I still go out now and love it but have found different stuff that makes me happy but doesn't completely drain me, like skating and performing live. That shit gives you a buzz. Still always have a little rum before I go on stage though hehe. For the taste!"

5. Do you produce and write your songs

"I write everything in terms of lyrics. I work with several producers closely, my muse Hairymuffinman and I also love working with Deijuvhs. This year has been sick because I’ve been able to connect with loads of new producers who are crazy talented. Shout out Henny Knightz, Jeremy M, Tr!stan and Treesmoke. And everyone who has sent me beats but I haven’t finished writing the songs yet lol. You guys are sick."

6. Last March you headlined your own show at the Fiddler's Elbow in Camden in London, a pretty prestigious but intimate venue, how was it to headline your first show? Especially in your home city.

"Unfortunately that show just coincided with the first coronavirus lockdown. I was devastated. That venue is a very special one. I really appreciate Discover Nu for putting me on too, those guys are doing great stuff. I have a headliner on the horizon, but it being these times, it’s a very misty horizon - not quite sure when it will happen - but it will. And it will be fantastic. I love performing live, it keeps me going. I have some other live stuff coming up in the early summer as well which should be sick!"

7. You're without a doubt an incredibly gifted lyricist. What is your writing process when you're working on new ideas?

"Ay thanks! More and more I’ll write to a beat. If the beat taps into my mood at the time, the words kind of pour out in this cathartic gloop. I don’t write all the time, but when I do I realise how much I’ve missed it. I try to go to the studio as often as I can though. I’m really lucky to have some great regular collaborators like JoeJas and LetKojoFly who I can experiment with and bounce ideas off. They keep things fresh.

Over time I’ve realised that writing is like a muscle, if you keep using it you get stronger, tighter. I try not to be harsh on myself when I write, I feel there’s this huge pressure for everything to be ‘perfect’ which often is tied up with being commercially ‘pleasing’. Fuck all that. There is a commercial reality and I’m not against writing songs that have popular appeal at all - they can be super fun and are very valuable in their own right.

But writing under the pressure to always always please someone else, it sucks the joy. There’s nothing quite as pure as that feeling of writing when it just flows. I have to keep reminding myself of that. I want to be successful but I started making music because it just feels organic, right."

8. Music is in a really unique place right now with live touring and shows at a standstill, what are your plans for 2021 will you be performing any online shows?

"I do have some real life 3D shows lined up in the next few months! No online shows as such, just lots of videos and merch and more more music :)"

9. Should we expect new music soon?

"YES. I have a project ready to come into the world soon."

10. Any messages for your followers and fans?

"Thanks for listening to my stuff, it still surprises me anyone does - but it makes me so so happy :). Generally, be kind to yourself. The world is especially crazy at the moment. One thing at a time, that’s what I tell myself anyway - there’s me feeling all corny and reflective. ;)"

Be sure to stream Retropxssy new single sleepy head here


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