How did you make your start in music?
"I started gigging young, my first paid gig being Dumfries Arts Festival when I was 11, in the back of an articulated truck on the high street. It's all I've ever really done or wanted to do and the only thing that makes me feel alive and real. I find inspiration and comfort in the music and stories of Nina Simone, Alabaster dePlume, Ella Fitzgerald, Sybille Baier, Bettye Swann, the beautiful (and not so beautiful) people in my life, Scotland, time...everything is a poem or song.
I guess I'm most proud of quitting my bar job and becoming a full-time musician. It was a terrifying decision but I had to do it and now I feel like I'm making some sort of space for myself. And both occupations are precarious; a zero hours contract or sporadic gigs? It's hard but its worth every bit of anxiety. I'd urge all musician bar wenches/tenders to quit and make art full time!"
What are your expectations of playing Paisley for our festival? Is it a place you’re familiar with?
"I've played in Paisley a couple of times and have family very near so I know it quite well. It's a beautiful town and the people are salt of the earth! It's always a soul-affirming time when I'm gigging in Paisley.
I think the SAMA takeover will be a really gorgeous run of shows which makes it evident how much the Scottish music scene has to offer and how robust and healthy it is at the moment. I'm delighted to be part of it."
For first time viewers, what can be expected of your set, how would you want the music you make to be best described?
"If all the muses assemble on the night then people should expect to be transported to a warm, comforting, celestial corner of dark Kenya."
You also do poetry! How did you start that and has it ultimately changed your music?
"I would say all songwriting is akin to poetry but not all poems are songs. I love language, wordplay, vocalising and how you can build a whole world with words and melody. Consuming poems and prose comforts me, provokes me and I think makes me in turn want to do the same to others."
What do you have coming up for the rest of the year, where can people find you?
"The rest of the year I'm working on a play with the wondrous Belle Jones which we'll be sharing a work-in-progress of in April. I've also started a collective, Astir, with my two pals and incredible musicians Susan Bear and Kim Moore so we're releasing a record under that label and collaborating on more art. I'm also working on my own wee piece of theatre and releasing the EP (finally!) and touring in the summer. My main goal is to record the EP and tour it. I'm a solitary cat so it takes time but once I birth this record it'll be swiftly onto the next one and hopefully more of that if I'm lucky."