London artist Rosie Lowe is just weeks out from the release of her debut album, Control; a record which is set to take her to the next level as an artist. Having released a slew of singles that has seen her garner a widespread following (and hundreds of thousands of listens and views, just quietly), Lowe has been working hard to hone her sound ahead of Control‘s release – a record which is already sounding pretty fantastic given what we’ve already heard.
Just a couple of weeks ago, she released one of her best songs yet in the form of Woman – a powerful, commanding track that sees her embrace her womanhood in all its feminine glory. Defiant and strong, Woman quickly became one of her most hyped singles, and for very good reason.
Before the release of her record, we asked Rosie what three albums have had a monumental effect on her life, and she unsurprisingly gave us some tremendous answers. Control is out via Dew Process on February 19, and is already shaping up to be one of the best of the year.
Erykah Badu, Mama’s Gun
I’m finding it hard to know which Erykah Badu album to pick as her music has played such an integral part of my upbringing and my musical education. But I think I’ve got to go with Mama’s Gun because it was the first album I heard of hers and I still get the same feelings I did on first listen which is a testament to its greatness – it’s a timeless body of work. Every time I hear it, it brings back some of my happiest memories of my mum and my sister and myself dancing around the kitchen. Erykah was the first artist that made me believe I could do it all and see my vision through – from the writing to the production to her visuals. Songs like Cleva inspired me as a woman. There’s a freedom in her music I think is rare – it’s playful and it’s personal and doesn’t feel strained or perfected, and because of that its perfect!
James Blake, James Blake
James’ first album inspired me hugely. From the first time I heard it, it hit me how brave it is… The silence he uses – sometimes for so long it almost feels excruciating – are genius and I think he opened up a really exciting sound to the commercial music scene. James was in the year above me at Uni (Goldsmiths University, London) and I saw his final degree show where he performed lots of the songs that are on this album – I remember having tears rolling down my face through that performance. It really got me in a deep way and I still get the same feeling when I hear it now. I think this album will always be a really inspiring reference for me as a writer.
Liane Carroll, Billy No Mates
It’s funny because I forgot about this album until recently when I was suffering from a bout of insomnia and it suddenly came in to my head in “the wee small hours of the morning” (one of her songs). I put it on and a million memories came back to me from the ages of 14-17; I knew every piano phrase, every lyric, every solo and every ad lib by heart. Any gigs she used to do in Devon and London I would always be there. She’s a phenomenal pianist and singer – she used to sit at the piano chain smoking whilst playing and made everything look effortlessly cool. Probably the reason I started smoking back then! It’s funny because she’s pretty unknown outside of the jazz world and that has always baffled me because she’s so insanely talented. It just shows how hard this industry is and the sad truth that if she had been 20 years old and looked like Keira Knightly, it probably would have been a completely different story.
Interestingly, 2 of the albums I have picked have covers from Joni Mitchell’s album Blue which is another album which has to have a mention. Unsurprisingly it is such an important album for so many musicians.