Interview: Gabrielle Murphy

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When you’re signed up as a Wicid member, you’ll get regular access to amazing opportunites such as press passes for gigs, free cinema tickets in exchange for a review, free accredited creative courses, free PS4/Xbox games in exchange for a review, press passes for events all over Wales and the UK and much more including first dibs at interviewing established and up-and-coming musicians. And, this time, we got to interview rising Welsh singer-songwriter, Gabrielle Murphy.

What first inspired you to start performing as a singer?

I have been brought up in a household where music has always been in the forefront and I have never known anything different. My father has been in bands almost all my life and they were always rehearsing in our home. My parents have also taken me to gigs since I was very young.

Did you struggle to find your identity and ‘voice’ as a singer, or did it come easy to you?

The voice was never a real problem. It is what it is. I feel fortunate to have been blessed with the voice that I have. Finding my identity on the other hand was a total nightmare. As a young teenager I didn’t even know who I was and for a few years I found it impossible to express myself. After a lot of soul searching, I’ve finally found my own identity but I then struggled as I didn’t want people to single me out as being different to everyone else. I wanted to blend in. Its only been the last year or so that I’ve had the confidence to express myself and show people who I really am.

What are the challenges of being an up-and-coming singer?

There is so much competition and not enough opportunities. I made a commitment to myself when I was 14 that I would do whatever it took to be successful in this field. I chose to forego a social life and boyfriends in order to commit to my music. I do have my moments, but on the whole, this is what I have done. I have also been very fortunate with the opportunities I have been given. Many doors have been opened for me in a short space of time.

What do you believe are the central themes in the music you write?

That’s an easy one. Relationships and raw emotions, not always my own. If you just stop and take notice of the people around you it doesn’t take long to realise that so many people have so much going on in their lives.

Is there any artist performing today that you aspire to be like?

No, but there are many many amazing artists, both past and present who inspire me.

Is there such a thing as the perfect album?

No, I don’t think that there actually is but I will not make it my aim in life to try and produce one. In my opinion, ‘Tango in the Night’ by Fleetwood Mac is probably the nearest to absolute perfection.

How do you get your hair so amazing?

Well I’ve never heard it referred to as that for a start so thank you. My mother, who is a family lawyer and mediator, has always fancied herself as a bit of a hairdresser. Me and my younger brother just let her loose on our hair. Great news for me as it doesn’t cost me a penny.

Your genre of music seems a mix of both acoustic, indie and an underlying current of pop sensibilities. Will your next work push these influences further?

That sounds so technical. In all honesty I have absolutely no idea what genre my music falls into. It really is as simple as writing what I feel. I am always amazed when people hear different influences and describe different genres in my music. To me it just is what it is.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

That is such a difficult question to answer. My ambition in life is obviously to make a career from my music. I wouldn’t be being honest if I said that I would be happy making music even if I was unable to earn a living from it. I would like to earn enough to provide my family and those close to me with financial security. I place a huge importance on being able to trust people and I am fortunate to have people I trust looking after me. I want to make sure that I can look after them.

How do you find life as a gigging teenage singer-songwriter in the South Wales Valleys?

It is very difficult to say the least. So many venues notorious for live music have closed down and therefore there are very limited opportunities. I have been so lucky to have been given so many opportunities to perform and so many wonderful gigs. The Young Promoters Network, Orchard Entertainment and of course, BBC Horizons have opened many doors for me and have been responsible for putting me and my music into the public eye. For that I will always be grateful.

You can find Gabrielle on Facebook and Twitter.

Image: gabriellemurphy

Related Article: Interview: Isobelle Molloy

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