Last time we spoke to you was back in March 2013, how much has changed for you since then?

Juliet Lawson

Juliet Lawson

Oh where to begin. I made a conscious decision months ago to get some of the songs which have been bouncing around inside my head out onto an EP during the course of 2014. Also my Manager added more support on the commercial and social media side. Now I can talk with fans and media every day and keep them upto date with my plans and ideas.

Funny thing about being a songwriter, as soon as one recording is done, your onto the next batch of ideas and songs. I had a surge of writing from summer '13 to spring '14, which I'm very pleased with.

You were just releasing EP 'Songs From The Suitcase' during our last interview, how did you find the response to that?

The response was very positive, reviews were kind to the EP. The studio production was excellent but it was difficult to take that sound and band members required out on the road and make it financially feasible. The 2015 tour will be back to basics performing with my three piece band. That said I may perform solo or with my guitarist at the smaller venues which have an intimacy between audience and myself. Either way, if I'm performing my songs, I'm happy.

Now you're releasing your brand new EP 'Never Went Away' - what sort of sound should fans and new listeners expect with this record?

We deliberately recorded "Never Went Away" (NWA) around my three piece band who I'll be touring with during '15. The songs are stories about, love relationships, getting older and becoming more confident/independent. I would describe them as intimate and personal, songs people can relate too.

We have concentrated on my vocals, making sure there isn't an essence of over production which can bury the song itself.

How do you go about finding your sound for a new record and creating new material? Talk us through that process.

I'm always writing, mostly observations which take me down a lyrical track. I then work with Christian Marsac a wonderful guitarist I met in 2009 when I asked him to put musicians together for a gig bizarrely at an Art's fair. I enjoyed working with him so much, he has calm and creative presence, allowing me to deal with any nerves which allow me to concentrate on my performance. For me it was a turning point and although it took a while to get back into more recording (there is much discussion along the way, believe me) I can't think of anyone else I'd prefer to work with.

You played the EP live at Ronnie Scott's in London, what was that experience like?

Well the audience liked the songs and feedback was positive. Phew! It took me a couple of songs to acclimatize to the chatter and background noise. Overall it was a fantastic experience, it's little wonder the place is so iconic. I even have a an offer to play in Kenya!

There's a showcase at The Abbey Theatre St. Albans on December 4 - will this be a similar set?

Primarily its a showcase of the EP "Never Went Away" but the show is around 90 minutes so, yes some of my recent material mixed with old favourites. It's nice to have an audience sing along with my songs, and woe betide me if I get the lyrics muddled up, which I have been known to do!

You've mentioned before you love intimate audiences, is connecting with fans a big reason why you do what you do?

Sometimes this music thing can feel like an indulgence, but as I get older I am more and more aware, without sounding pompous, you the singer contribute to people's well being emotionally. I have been so moved over the years when someone says to me that this song, or that song has helped them, healed them. That type of reaction can be humbling. My on stage chatter is a lot lighter these days, I sure that sometimes I was a bit too heavy and morose.

You've been in the industry for some time now - what has your experience been like?

Checkered! I've dipped my toe in, found the water cold, opted out. I also paint and at times it's taken over my time and creativity. These days I'm not competing, I'm doing my own thing at my own pace, not chasing deals with record labels etc. I now have my own label Ravishing Rhymes, it allows me independence in term of how and when I release my songs. It's comforting to have some control in a world of speed, deadlines and tomorrow is too late.

Do you feel that women are now taken more seriously in the business and it's a better environment for them?

Creatively I think woman are now taking control. The internet has changed the whole structure. Artists such as Adele, Lily Allen, Sandi Thorm, Ellie Goulding have entered into peoples lives by getting there music heard online. I feel strongly about female independence in the industry. I'm lucky, although on a smaller scale with NWA I've been able to write, perform and distribute the EP without record labels and companies involvement. I take great pride in this achievement.

Whilst the music industry as a whole is more respectful and understanding towards woman, not for one minute would I say I'm happy or supportive of the continued stereotyping and sexual exploitation of woman seen in promotional videos. Take Joni Mitchell at her peak of fame, then Annie Lennox, now the likes of Laura Marling or KT Tunstall. They are successful for their music, not getting their kit off! Sorry but you did ask.

What are some of your favourite moments in your career to-date?

Oh goodness. Recording always does it for me. I thinks my current songs and those in the pipeline are the best I've done to date.

The world could end while your putting your all into that last line tucked away in that tiny booth. Looking back there have been some hideous disappointments, self doubts, rejections. Now I'm surrounded by some wonderful souls who understand me and believe not only in my new batch of songs, but albums I put together many years ago. Of course the fans, bless them. Many are on social media scattered far and wide and I'm so grateful to them, they are in contact more than ever through Facebook and my website. It does reach out this music thing.

What upcoming events and live gigs can you share some details about with us?

First of all we have the showcase event, December 4th at The Abbey Theatre St.Albans. As mentioned before we are planning a series of gigs which will be released next month. Initially around the south east then throughout the UK, and indeed overseas, so please invite me! I will also be back in the studio January/February recording another six or seven songs which will be on my new album scheduled for March 2015. Writing, gigs, studio work, this is bliss. We are also in the initial stages of discussions with festival organisers. Festivals, now that is new ground for me. So yes, lots going on it will be a busy 2015 for sure, busy, but exciting times ahead.

Juliet's new EP is called 'Never Went Away' - out this month - ahead of her showcase gig at The Abbey Theatre St. Albans on December 4.

by for
find me on and follow me on