Having taken home a Grammy Award for her songwriting skills, Femke returned a little earlier this year with her first solo release since 2008. Written about the moment you realise passion has turned into fully-fledged love and adoration, Femke has released her track ‘Call This’ now via her own record label, LV Music.
We got the chance to catch up with Femke and find out a little more about her music, how she’s coped in the music industry and more. Read on to find out what she had to say.
For those who may be new to your music, how best would you describe your sound?
I guess you could call it a mix between Sade and Jon Bellion when it comes to the sound. As far as influences, I think I always wanted to be a songwriter ever since I heard Paul Simon’s ‘Graceland’ record. I hope my songwriting somehow reflects that.
What challenges have you faced in the music industry so far? How difficult would you say this career path is in terms of making a name for yourself?
This might sound weird, but for some reason I don’t feel like it’s been difficult. It always seemed one thing came after another. Don’t get me wrong, there were plenty of failures, disappointments, near breakdowns etc., but even though it’s been hard, music is my passion and it was always the thing that got me through.
When I worked in LA, I worked 100 hour weeks, driving home from the studio at 3am in Malibu – I almost drove myself off a cliff because I fell asleep behind the wheel. That was a wake-up call and shortly after that, I moved to Nashville hoping things might get a little easier. Now in Nashville, I’m so thankful to be my own boss, but I sometimes still have 100-hour work weeks. But since I now work for myself, it seems to make it all worth it.
How important is it for you to have creative control over the work you produce?
Very important. The reason why I started to produce music was mainly so I could have creative control over my own songs. I have this annoying thing that I can hear the finished product in my head when I love a song and it was always so hard to explain that to people. So doing it myself made it much easier. However, I love working with people in a team effort, finding other artists, musicians, mix engineers, etc.; it gives me new and fresh ideas. I love hearing other people’s ideas and suggestions.
Where do you draw influence and inspiration from for your work?
Paul Simon is such a big influence and songwriting example for me. I was raised in a classical family. My parents mainly listen to classical music, and I studied classical accordion since I was 10 years old. So for the first years of my life I had never heard a pop song. The classical upbringing gave me a really good sense of arrangement and orchestration. When I finally absorbed myself in pop music it was like an extra box of Pandora opened. It’s been amazing to have those two very different music styles in my life.
If you could collaborate with anybody going forward, who would you choose and why?
Imogen Heap. I somehow feel she has the same drive and passion for music and creation as I have. It would be such an amazing experience.
Tell us a random, funny fact about you that not many people know.
Femke means ‘little woman’ in Dutch. However, I’m 6ft tall!
Do you have definitive aims or goals for your career moving forward?
Yes! I would like to be a producer with a very specific sound. Kind of like a female Pharrell or Max Martin. Since I just started LV Music, a record label, I’m really passionate about helping other artists with their career. My goal is to make LV Music a label that can be a standalone income form for me and my artists, and also a family and community of amazing people that can explore their talent freely. If I might reach for the stars, I would love to one day win a Grammy for Producer of the Year.
Where do you hope to be by this time next year?
Sitting in the studio working on an artist for LV Music, having a fantastic, full-time team around me.
What should we expect from you in the coming weeks and months?
Every two weeks, LV Music will put out a new song by one of their artists. I will co-write and produce each song. As an artist, I don’t know, I will keep putting out songs that tell the story I would like to tell.
Femke’s new single ‘Call This’ is out now via LV Music.