The Great Escape music festival - The Independent talks to four talented performers

Nina Nesbitt
Nina Nesbitt

Last week, Brighton and Hove warmly welcomed The Great Escape festival (TGE) for its 13th year, with more than 500 shows taking place across the city.

Running over three days and spanning across 61 venues, the festival featured music from around the world – with artists from Australia, Canada, Amsterdam, the U.S., South Korea, the UK and many more.

CallMeLoop

CallMeLoop

Celebrating some of the finest new talent within the music industry in 2018, the festival saw artists come together – from the unsigned to already-global success stories.

We were lucky enough to sit down with a select few of some of the stars to hear their thoughts on the festival.

Nina Nesbitt

Q: Have you played The Great Escape before?

Liv Dawson

Liv Dawson

A: “I played The Great Escape about six years ago, it was actually the first show I did with my new tour manager at 17. It’s lovely to come back years later with all the experience I have, and play amongst the other artists. I love meeting new artists just wandering around too.”

Q: You recently released a new single, ‘Somebody Special’ – can you tell us more about it?

A: “I wrote it in Nashville, when I basically split my time between writing for myself and for other artists. I initially imagined this song for someone else, but then finished it and thought ‘Actually, I think I want this one for myself’. I wanted an upbeat song on the album. It’s about when I got back with my ex-boyfriend, and that feeling you get when you first start dating someone. When even the most mundane things

become exciting, just because you’re with that person. You’re in this little euphoric bubble, I love it.”

Alexander Biggs

Alexander Biggs

Q: You have a new album on the way… what can you tell us about it?

A: “It’s coming out later this year, and it’s a journey from start to finish through the 11 songs. It’s not just a collection of tracks, but also not a full concept album. It’s about personal growth, it’s stripped back and about the lyrics, but it’s matured as I have. Moving to London definitely influenced the sound of it. Growing up in folk-filled-Scotland there’s not much else to listen to. Now in London, you get influenced by everything you hear.”

Q: Water seems to feature a lot in your artwork. Is there a reason for that?

A: “I like writing by water! I don’t know why. I always feel inspired when I’m by water.The lotus flower is my logo, which lives in the water, and the water in the flower represents how I felt writing the album. I had a pretty tricky period of my life before this album – I’d parted ways with my label, I struggled to find people to work with, I didn’t really know what to do. I was very much under the water, so this is about being

in a dark place, and coming out of it and creating something beautiful (like a lotus flower).”

Q: What are you most excited about for this year?

A: “I’m most excited for the album coming out, and festival season! I just love festivals. I love the outfits, the glitter, the sequins. I’ll be going back to America to tour which I’ll be announcing soon; and I’ll be doing more UK shows probably heading into next year now.”

Call Me Loop

Q: Where does the name come from?

A: “Loop is my mum’s nickname for me, my real name is Georgia, which then became Georgie-Loo, which then became LoopyLoo, and that lead to Loop. But now, we’re going with ‘Call Me Loop’ as it’s just something different.”

Q: You recently released the summer-ready-hit ‘Give ‘n’ Take’ – tell us about it?

A: “It’s a very personal song. I wrote it last summer towards the end of a long-term relationship. It’s the reason it’s done so well I think, because it’s so relatable. The song is about when you’re coming to that point in a relationship where neither of you are putting in the effort. “There’s no thoughtfulness, no spontaneity, no romance really. As I wrote it, it all just came out so naturally. I really couldn’t wait to hear the first bounce of it because I knew the session had gone so well, and it really felt like I’d got something off my chest. I sent it round to some friends and family and they all said ‘Yeah. This is the one.’

Q: What’s been a highlight for you so far?

A: “Different stages of my career have had different highlights. But, releasing Give ‘n’Take is definitely the best so far. That’s been the most monumental experience. The support I’ve had for that song has been incredible – and I feel like that was when we really nailed my sound, my style, everything about me really.”

Q: Your sound gives me a mix of Dua Lipa, Kate Nash and Ariana Grande...who would you say you take inspiration from?

A: “Thanks! I’ll take that! I listen to everyone you just listed really. I’m definitely a pop girl. I’ve never been the one to set trends and find new music. I was always the one playing S-Club, Destiny’s Child. I still do now! But that said, I do really love British

conversational artists, like Lily Allen. I love when people refer me to artists like that, as I didn’t expect that from my sound initially.”

Q: Can we expect an album or EP any time soon?

A: “At some point, yes! For now, we’re focusing on singles. My next single is out on May 25. I’m writing all the time, but I’m desperate to put out a full body of work. So, I think we’re going to put out an EP at the end of this year. An album will probably surface in 2019...but for now, I’m just writing on a song-by-song basis.”

Liv Dawson

Q: How was your set at TGE18?/Have you been before?

A: My set at TGE was amazing! I played last year on the VEVO stage and it was great, it’s always such a good, positive vibe and everyone was really sweet! It feels great to be playing alongside such talented artists, and Brighton always has such a buzzing energy as well as a really good music scene!

Q: ‘Talk’ is your most recent single - are you pleased with the reception it received?

A: I’m so over the moon with how many people have been listening and streaming so far! I released it with no expectation but for it to just try and reach as many people as possible, so naturally I’m really happy with the reception!

Q: What was the inspiration behind that single?

A: I wanted to write a song that was empowering but relatable at the same time, and I think it captures that. It’s based on someone having the upper hand in a relationship and knowing what is theirs is theirs.

Q: Can we expect a full body of work this year, an EP or LP?

A: I’m currently writing my album but there will be more singles as the year goes on! I’m writing so much at the moment so I’ve got lots of new material to put out!

Alexander Biggs

Q: Tell us a bit about your journey to being sat here in Brighton now?

A: “The domino effect that is my music stemmed from just putting music out online that I’d recorded in my bedroom, and it just rolled from there! “I was lucky enough to get my manager, Sabi, on board – and she’s been able to turn something good into something amazing. Then I got signed, and it’s just been pretty non-stop since then really! It’s been a lot of hard work so far, but it’s all been good fun!

“This is actually my first time performing overseas, ever! This is my first interview and performance outside of Australia, so it feels awesome to be here now.”

Q: This is your first time playing overseas… what have you been getting up to?

A: “I really do love Camden Market. It reminds me a lot of the markets back home in Melbourne, but just much crazier... Lots of smells and sights...some good, some bad! Crazy good food, too. I was quite spoilt for choice, as a vegan! I also love the Pavilion museum. It’s breathtaking, I haven’t seen architecture like that before. I can’t deal with the tubes though...I much prefer walking around and taking it all in.”

Q: You’ve done a lot of work supporting other artists, how does that compare to your own shows?

A: “I love playing my own shows, as I know people are there just for me. I get it obviously, playing support slots – people often don’t really want to know about you - so you have to try win them over. And that’s fine! But the nature of my songs requires quite an attentive audience, so shows work best when the audience is there just for me. That said, I do love supporting slots as it lets you work with really cool

artists, making friends and learning from them is great.”