Photography: Robin Clewley / robinclewley.co.uk

If you had to describe your style in a sentence, what would you say?
I’d describe my music as alternative folk. It’s very emotionally strung with vividly poetic lyrics.

Have you always wanted to create music?
I’ve always loved music, but didn’t really delve into it too much until I was around 14. I had sung for years and used to write poetry. I wanted to be able to add that to an instrument, so I made it my mission to learn the guitar. I played day in, day out for hours on end and, once I was able to form a few chords, I was able to write my own songs and it blossomed from there. I entered a competition with my first ever song – Peter Pan – and ended up winning which gave me a huge boost of confidence to really delve into music as a career.

Can you pinpoint a live gig or a piece of music that initially inspired you?
Joni Mitchell is someone who I take a huge amount of inspiration from; Both Sides Now is a classic. I listened to her earlier version of the song then later found she’d re-done it in her later life. It was even more emotional than the first time I heard it – like her career had come full circle and the song had even more depth and meaning. The lyrics really spoke to me and there was something about the tone of her voice that made me want to cry.

LYDIAH Image 2

Do you have a favourite song or piece of music to perform? What does it say about you?
One of the first pieces of music that really resonated with me is Landslide by Stevie Nicks. I can remember listening to it when I was 13 and being blown away. It’s just always resonated with me personally and still does now, so I always slip it into a set. No matter how many times I play it, I still get the same feeling as when I first heard the song.

What do you think is the overriding influence on your songwriting: other art, emotions, current affairs – or a mixture of all of these?
It’s definitely a mix. I tend to write foremost from personal experiences and emotions, though. It’s just natural for me to do it that way. I feel that everyone pulls from personal experience, even if it’s not a conscious decision, although mine definitely is. I get to be completely vulnerable this way; it’s almost therapeutic to spill everything onto a page. It’s raw and honest and I find there’s not enough of that, lyrically, these days. People can always draw from your emotions. If you’re connecting with a song that you’ve poured your heart into, then the people listening to it will too.

“It’s almost therapeutic to spill everything onto a page. People can always draw from your emotions” Lydiah

If you could support any artist in the future, who would it be?
It’s always been a dream to support Damien Rice. I think my life would be complete if I accomplished that. There’s another artist not too dissimilar called David Keenan who I think is just an incredible folk influenced singer/songwriter. He’s grown really organically in the music scene and I admire that. More recently I’d say Sam Fender. His lyrics are so hard-hitting – really depressing, but relevant and raw. I admire him so much for writing around these subjects since I write around very similar topics.

Do you have a favourite venue you’ve performed in?
My favourite venue to perform in is 81 Renshaw. It was the first venue I had a real gig in, so it’s always going to be special. The whole atmosphere is just so welcoming , not only the musicians, but the audience are so respectful and genuinely interested in what you’re performing.

Why is music important to you?
Music has helped me massively. My entire life revolves around it. It has such great power to move people. If I can help someone out with what I write I think that would be an incredible feeling. You can write a song and sing it to a room full of people and they’ll all connect with it in different ways. I think it’s incredible.


soundcloud.com/lydiah_official

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