British-born Etta bond is in her own lane. Her style, sound and talent has a shape shifting quality which transcends genre and artist categories. Guap caught up with Etta after her set at the last ever Secret Garden Party, which she certainly helped close in style.
Your show was great, did you enjoy that?
Yes – you never know what to expect in festivals it’s always a bit hit and miss. But it was really cool, I love outdoor stages and how when people hear music they just come to you.
Do you have any pre show rituals?
I just go over the songs over and over again like a crazy person. I mean I could have been singing these songs for like ten years and I’ll still be going over them like I don’t know them. Other than that, I just try and be as chilled as possible – not too much excitement, not too much booze before stage and I guess it’s just downtime – I try and be as quiet as possible.
How would you describe your sound?
I guess my sound is a journey, it’s hard to explain a journey – there have been so many moments with it. I think I’d just say ‘honest’, to myself, to my mood. The older stuff is stuff I perform on stage, it’s lot more sort of dancey – but I still float between the two sometimes. I always make someone else try and describe it back to me, if that makes sense.
Taking it from the beginning – how did you get into music and songwriting?
I’ve written a diary since the age of seven, I would say that was definitely something that got me used to expressing myself and I’d always loved to sing – so the two started blending together quite naturally; it was quite an organic thing and the diary writing is definitely something that sort of instigated everything.
Do you still keep a diary now?
Sort of – the more music I’m making the more that acts as my diary now. I’ll write if I’ve got something to say – but not as religiously as I used to.
What is your songwriting process?
I always write to music if I’m writing a song, otherwise it just comes out as words to me. I’ll go in the studio with someone and they’ll start making a beat and I’ll start vibing and writing to it. I’m quite quiet, I’m not loud in the studio, I’ll sit in the corner and you won’t really hear anything from me – you’ll probably think “oh my god, what’s going on over there – is she alright?” But I’m just pretty quiet and then I’ll step to the mic and that’s it.
So you have quite a collaborative approach – your track collaborations have included Wretch 32 and Plan B – are collaborations important to you as an artist?
Whoever I work with, it means something to me – whether that be production or working in any way, there’s some form of connection. In terms of collaborations with artists, if I feel like if we could say something together on a song then we’ll collaborate. I tend to make the song and if I can hear someone on it, that’s when I approach people. So many people now I feel just do collaborations for the sake of it, to prove that you know them; but for me, it’s not every day collaborate – sometimes you just have to sit together – learn from each other – you can be inspired by someone without collaborating officially. But yeah collaborating minds with artists is an every day thing for me 100%.
Your new EP is coming soon – when can we expect to hear it?
I can’t tell you when it’s out – but I can tell you I shot a new video last week – so I’ve got a new video coming out – and the EP coming out soon after that, so I’m not making people wait around for much longer!
What advice would you give young, female, emerging artists?
Stand up for what you believe in, be yourself, don’t be swayed by society’s idea of beauty, society’s idea of like what it is to be a woman – just do your fucking shit and don’t care what anyone one else has to say about it.
Finally, What would you tell your 15 year old self?
I would just tell myself to slow the fuck down – “chill the fuck out bitch” is what I’d say. It took me that long to think about that – there are so many things! But I think that encompasses so much.