Thank you for having me, it’s a pleasure to tell you all about my new single, “Plus One“. I’m Tilly Valentine, a soulful pop artist drawing influences from R&B with hints of jazz. To give you a bit of a backstory about me, I grew up in a small town in Oxfordshire until I was 16, when I decided to move to London on my own to study music at The BRIT School.
That was really the start of my journey, where I met some incredible musicians and lifelong friends. I started songwriting by collaborating with producers over SoundCloud who lived all across the world, but we were able to connect and write songs together online. I continued writing like this as well as working with producers in London, and the rest is history!
My latest single, “Plus One”, is a dating affirmation song. It’s about manifesting that you’ll find the right person. So many of us have been in that slightly uncomfortable situation when you attend a wedding or family party, and the classic question “so when are you going to get a boyfriend?” starts to creep up.
I wanted to write a song that expresses the exciting prospects of meeting someone new, and the satisfying feeling of being able to bring a plus one to the next event.
The creative process of this song was quite different to my other tracks, and I think that made the outcome unique to my other releases. I wrote it with my good friend, Angus Parkin, who I work on a lot of my tracks with. He was actually my neighbour when I was later studying in Guildford, and we’ve worked together for years and really understand each other musically.
“Plus One” was written over Zoom, which I had never done before. It was during the time of social restrictions, so I wasn’t sure how well an online session would work, but as Angus and I are so comfortable together it flowed really well.
I actually filmed the Zoom session to capture the process, and I uploaded the video of the makings of the track on my Instagram and Tiktok if you’re interested to see how the song came together in real-time. You can watch it here.
My favourite lyric is in verse 1, “I’m sick of all my friends asking when I’m gonna find a man. My best friend said if we’re still single then he’ll be my back up plan”. It goes without saying that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being single, but everyone has joked with their best friend that if they’re both still single in 20 years time then they will just marry each other!
The song ends in a very different way to my other tracks too, as it has a long “singalong” gang vocal fade out. I love the thought of performing it at a festival and singing along with everyone.
The artwork was shot by my talented friend, Emma Hiley. This also had a very DIY approach to it, as do a lot of my artworks, and I love the authentic space that creates. The concept was to capture myself with a hypothetical and mysterious partner, representing the ‘plus one’. Our faces overlap to cover their identity, with our heads angled to create the outline of a heart.
The track was broadcast on BBC Introducing in Oxford, and I have since been selected by BBC Introducing to perform at this year’s Truck Festival, where the song will be getting its debut live performance!
I hope you love the track as much as I loved creating it. Now you know all about it, check it out below! Love, Tilly x
Words by Tilly Valentine // Follow her on Instagram + Facebook