Plumm - ‘The Shed’
(TURN SOUND ON)
Name : Plumm
Age : 21 years old
From : South London
Profession : Musician (Jazz, Blues)
Plumm, is a south London musician, who has recently released her first ep called ‘The Shed.’ She explores the fusion between different styles including Jazz, Blues and Trip Hop. Her music is evocative, creepy and jazzy that connects through her gritty and powerful voice. She is also extremely talented, with the ability to play both the drums and piano. Plumm is definitely a talent to watch!
So congratulations on the release of your first EP ‘The Shed,’ you must be really buzzing about this! Your album is called ‘The Shed,’ so we are currently sitting in your shed in the back of your garden but can you tell me a little bit more about this reasoning?
Plumm : The shed is like my workspace, my own, personal haven. Its where I write all my music, spend time with friends, listen to music. I wanted to create something that was more than just a static musical piece, I wanted people when listening to the EP to feel like their coming into the shed. It’s just my creative space that I wanted to show my listeners.
So the whole EP was home-produced, could you explain a little bit about that process and how everything was produced?
Yeah so it was written and produced on my laptop using Logic. I had a lack of studio equipment which doesn’t have to be the end-all for example all the voice and sax recordings were done on iPhone voice notes. I mean home-production is such a massive part of composition and when you actually start to put all your ideas onto a Logic project or whatever you’re using production wise, its amazing how your sound/style can change and adapt to its surroundings. My partner Ben Stelly (Bienvenue) along with the help of Niall Squire guided me through the whole process of production and who then went on to mix the entire EP.
Do you think home-production needs to be promoted more to upcoming artists in the industry?
Yeah definitely. I mean for me, the production side has enabled me to expand as an artist, it creates all these different opportunities of where my music can go, experimenting with tonalities, textures and that, pushes you to appreciate how your dynamic as an artist can change and improve.
Do you think you can tell the difference between something that has been home-produced and professionally done?
It really depends, I think what I learnt is that you just need to work with what you’ve got. By learning to compress, EQ right, use the right plug-ins etc. producers are able to create something on par with a professional produced studio sound. I think with my EP, I wanted to show that you don’t need the high end equipment to create a similar sound.
So your boyfriend, Ben Stelly who’s also an artist called “Bienvenue” helped you with producing your music?
Yeah, so he basically taught me everything I know production wise, and he mixed the EP as well. I first started to learn how to use production equipment at Brit school but especially through the development of ‘The Shed’ Ben came through and worked on it with me. He makes a lot of funk and disco music so its always an interesting partnership when you’re working in different styles but I think we work really well together and can both bring something different.
Why do you think home-production is becoming so popular at the moment?
Technology is forever evolving. We are in such a stage where the rise of technology and its capabilities, as well as the increase in available technology for musicians has increased so much. If I wanted to produce music a few decades back, the only process to record an album was to use a studio, have a producer a mixer, that would then mean a label to fund this and so forth, but now I have a recording studio on my laptop. I can write, record, produce, mix, distribute and promote my music without even having to leave my room which is crazy if you think about it, and I think creatives are utilising this.
When I was listening to your EP, I felt like a lot of the songs were about love ? What inspired you to write this album, or did you go through any situations that helped you write the songs?
I want my music to feel strong and powerful like Shirley Bassey for example or Aretha Franklin. I don’t have a sweet voice and I wanted to create moods that are a lot more dark and heavy. Love is always a common topic but I think the way I write lyrics is to focus on how someone can experience something like heartbreak but deal with it in a powerful way as a women. ‘Bitter’ for example, yes this woman has been heart-broken but she’s using her strength and power to express herself. I see such beauty in strong women who are confident in their emotions, and so lyrically, song’s like Bitter for example is a way of showing how we can have these set backs, but by dealing with them through strength we can create something beautiful and raw.
So you studied Ethnomusicology at SOAS in London, and graduated with a first! Congratulations ! Could you explain a little bit about your degree as it sounds so interesting?
Thank you!! The course is basically the anthropology and sociology of music in culture from a non-western perspective. I specialised in North Indian Classical music as its been such an obsession of mine and so I play Tabla and Khayal a form of Indian Classical Singing. SOAS was crazy as I was able to learn so much about what I wanted to get out of my music as well as appreciate and be influenced by so many musical cultures.
Do you think you might incorporate the Asian sounds you’ve learnt on your course to your music ?
Definitely. I’ve done all this training in Indian music and it would just be a missed opportunity to not use those skills and fuse them into my music. I’ve just started work on an Indian/Jazz project at the moment which I’m really excited about. At my gigs as well I’m trying to add more Indian vocal improvisation along with my jazz scatting in my music which is a real interesting and new thing for me as when I was studying I kept the two styles quite separate.
I would also like to ask you about how you play the drums? I remember when we were at school at the age of 12 years old you were playing …who inspired you? How did you get into it?
Yeah, when I was younger I just couldn’t sit still so mum thought it would be a good idea to start the drums. I got really into it from quite young and just kept it going, I did wish I played more now as I remember I was really serious about it when I was about 16 doing my GCSE’s, but as I’m developing more as an artist not just a drummer its hard to maintain that discipline in one instrument when there’s a lot of other stuff going on, like I’m focusing more on learning to produce and study Indian classical at the moment. But I know i’ll never stop playing kit, I think thats why I was adamant I wanted to play drums on the EP and to keep doing that in my music.
Have you experienced any sort of discrimination whilst playing the drums?
I mean a lot of people definitely don’t expect you as a female to say you’re a drummer….but like why? I don’t understand how its surprising just because I’m not a dude. And then when female’s are good at drumming people seem even more shocked – it’s just ridiculous.
So alongside being a musician, you’re also a drum teacher. What’s the ratio in terms of gender for your students?
So I only teach one girl and the rest are boys.
Do you think the drums needs to be promoted to females more, as people see it as more of ‘male’ dominated instrument?
It definitely does. I think there needs to be more in place for women in music , in general. I went to this amazing event the other day at Fabric called ‘Women in Music’ and it was so great to see all these female producers, musicians, DJ’s and that all in the same room like yeah man, we’re all doing our thing! So I definitely think the attitude to women in music is improving. But I think the reason why its like a ‘big deal’ for females to be drumming or producing etc. is that it began as a male space. Years ago women were barely a part of that side of the industry, like builders. And now, you know its still that attitude thats ingrained into our society, whether we actually think it or not, its still ingrained into us that we are trying to exist in a male space. Regardless if the space is still male or not, I think it can be intimidating knowing that this started as a male thing, and we are the ones changing it and equalising it out… does that make sense? hahahah sick.
You can also find her music on spotify :