FEMME is the epitome of not compromising who you are. Previously known for being one part of the
critically acclaimed collaboration Ultraísta with Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich. FEMME has gone
on to create her own brand of alternative pop; a kaleidoscopic collection of modern day bass-fiends,
nineties chart icons and sixties girl groups. With high praise from the likes of Radio 1’s Annie Mac
and Noisey who said, “She’s basically rocket-boosting toward the stars” and a live show which boasts
glitter cannons and the potential of her arriving on a unicorn - FEMME is an artist you don’t want to
miss. We spoke with her recently to discuss her debut album ‘Debutante’, being a female producer
and never falling into people’s expectations….
So many sounds and ideas come together in your album Debutante, what were your main
inspirations whilst making the album? And how much does other culture influence your music?
I draw a lot of my inspiration from other people’s drama, stories I’ve heard or read in the news and
plot lines in my favourite films. Pop music to me is about character, I love creating an overblown
version of myself and being able to dip in and out of it, between my private life and the person I am
on record and on stage. It’s a fantasy world I’ve created for myself.
You are producer, writer, choreographer and director at FEMME HQ – what feeling did you want
this album to put out into the world?
I wanted to make an upbeat, feel-good record that challenged some of the expected norms of pop
music. I hope it’s an album you can listen to full-blast in the car with your girlfriends or dance to on
your own behind a closed bedroom door.
One of the lines from the album stands out, when you sing “You wanted a poster girl, you got me
instead.” Is this you saying FEMME is about never falling into people’s expectations?
Yes, I suppose that reference has something to do with a lot of people perceiving me as one thing
without knowing what is going on behind the scenes. A lot of people see the world I’ve created for
myself visually and sonically and presume I’m signed to a major label and have other people writing
and producing my songs, when actually I funded my own album, played every single note and
programmed every beat from a house in New Cross.
What’s your experience of being a female producer in what is known as a male dominated world?
I don’t give it much thought. I just get on with it and do my best to encourage other women and girls
out there at the beginning of their careers to start recording themselves. I think the more you know
about every aspect of what a career in the music industry involves (production, mixing, mastering,
accountancy, tour managing, marketing, etc.) the better chance you stand of sustaining a career and
being able to sleep at night. I’m not saying you need to be an expert in all these areas but best not to
go in blind, eh?
Have you seen a change in perception of women in the industry?
Yes, in some ways but we’ve still got a long way to go.
There are lots of aspiring musicians studying in Bristol, what words of advice would you give to
these people who want to make a career out of their music?
Find like-minded people who can help support and facilitate your vision. I didn’t co-write at all for
my album but I have lots of different collaborators involved in every other aspect of the project - live
shows, photoshoots, videos, mixing and mastering. You can’t do everything on your own. Also don’t
wait and sit on your best songs, you’ll always write new ones. Keep making, moving forwards and creating.
If you could step into the DeLorean time machine and go back to the start of your career what would you tell yourself?
Don’t go on Made in Chelsea.
Apparently you once climbed over Prince's wall to give him your CD and he took it? Is that true?
If so – amazing (what did he smell like?)! What’s the craziest thing that’s happened to you in your career?
I DID??? Nope, that’s not my story but he was once in a club I was in in LA. We didn’t talk and I definitely didn’t give him a CD. I’ve had a few surreal moments in my career, swimming in Beck’s pool, dinner with Louis Theroux, performing on Letterman and Jimmy Fallon...
Your live shows are the real deal; what can audiences expect to see at The Exchange, Bristol?
A shit-ton of girls, beats and bass. I might bring my glitter cannons and ride onstage on a unicorn so you know - don’t miss it.
FEMME brings her live show to the Exchange, Bristol on Thursday 29 th September as part of the live filmed series by boomsatsuma which invites artist and audience to create a live music video.
Doors open 7:30pm. Support from Saffron Records signing China Bowls and Crack Magazine DJ’s.
Advance tickets £10, MOTD. Buy from Dice, See tickets or the Exchange.