Aimée Steven’s haunting Francophile style vocals portray sad stories of modern life soundtracked by edgy guitars, to create her own brand “red beret pop”.
The up and coming artist, whose debut track “My Name” dropped on the 22nd March, by the new and shiny label At Large records (check them out!), is making big waves on the indie scene across the UK and further afield, becoming a champion of Dave Monks with plenty of plays on BBC Radio. In our recent chat, she catches us up on the story so far and how it all began.
Speaking about her career as a musician, Aimée says, “I could say that this has always been my dream, but I’d be lying. I never connected the dots, until recently. I was in love with music from an early age, but it was never something I thought I could create. I never saw myself as a possible singer or performer, just the avid listener“.
As for her earlier memories of being involved in music, she reminisces about her childhood, adding that “Music was always around – jukeboxes, live acts and DJs at family parties. I grew up listening to everything from the Bee Gees to Roy Orbison or Barbara Streisand. However, I didn’t see an instrument until I was about 15, merely listening to music had been enough for me“.
We discuss her unique fashion sense and how much thought has been put into her style expression, “To me, music and fashion have always been linked. Since the day I first saw David Bowie, I could not deny it. Aesthetic is very important to me.
At around 18, the fashion of the 1960s and ‘70s became a fascination. I found these decades so attractive and started taking my style inspiration from Jane Birkin and Brigitte Bardot. I’ve always dressed pretty creatively, and I’ve been through a lot of phases, some of which I would rather forget“.
From fashion, we segue into her university days, some of which it seems she would rather forget, “At 18 I went to university and hated every minute. I was incredibly lonely and hardly attended my lectures. I drank a lot and stayed out late so that I could forget how rubbish everything seemed“, she recalls.
However, it was an exchange program to Spain while at university that changed everything, “As part of my course, I had to live abroad for one year, so I went to Barcelona. While there I made friends with local psychedelic music enthusiasts. This was the start of my musical creativity and I bought myself a guitar. However, as time went on I realised that my mental health was suffering in Spain, so I ended up booking a flight home and dropped out of university“.
“Music remained the one constant comfort in my life, so I decided – after much deliberation – that I wanted to start blogging and interviewing musicians at home in the UK. I ran a blog for about six months and really enjoyed it until I finally realised I didn’t want to write about music. I wanted to write the music“.
“I started writing songs, began attending more gigs, made more friends on the music scene and got involved with some local music companies. I was in my element but still wanted more. I wanted to be that person on stage. And now luckily I have been given the opportunity to record and release my songs. I can feel my confidence and my musical confidence growing – it’s time to write my next chapter”.
Aimée Steven’s new single “My Name” is out now, purchase it on iTunes here, and watch the video on YouTube below. She will be performing at Sound City, Kendal Calling, Liverpool International Music Festival and the Dave Monks Cavern Show throughout 2019, keep tabs on her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Words by Katie Vessey