‘most of my work is not autobiographical’ | Interview with Etherbaby

Expressive, emotional vocal delivery wrapped in a bedroom vibe with a retro touch! Read our interview with the artist below.

Describe your sound in three words please!

Alt-R&B/Soul Synthpop ? 

So, who is Etherbaby, how/why was she created, what are the main things we HAVE to know about this project?

Etherbaby came out of the need to create music free of the baggage of my “self”. I just wanted to make it clear that most of my work is not autobiographical. It’s me filtering my experience through characters. The name literally means “born out of the ether”, ie out of thin air, which came out of a poem I wrote. The idea was to create a persona that exists solely in the music and for the music. I’m definitely not the first musician to do so. 

One important thing about the project is that I started developing the musical ideas when I was around 15. 3 of the songs are from 2016. The full EP will be out around the end of this month! 

Your upcoming EP is titled ‘Don’t Be Yourself, Be Happy’. We’d like to know more about the concept of the album but also about the title. What do you mean by it?

The title is connected to three things. 

  1. The idea of being free of my “self” to create music
  2. It’s also ironic in that the songs are about a couple of difficult relationships I had in which I dealt with people who were manipulative and not being them“selves”. 
  3. In the visuals I’m interested in exploring the idea of the self and how much it can be manipulated on the internet. 

Your music feels production driven with many electronic elements, detuned synths etc. Would this be a challenge when it comes to live performance?

No, not really. My music is very production driven but in my opinion, a good song should hold up whatever the accompaniment. If I have to do it with just a guitar or a piano then so be it! I’m trying to branch out into new ways of performing though. 

If ‘Always’ was inspired by a painful breakup, how do you imagine a song about the beginning of a new romance to be?

I have no idea. If I would write it, still a little bit melancholic probably, just because I’m me. New romances are full of uncertainty. 

You have a very expressive vocal delivery. Which vocalist do you admire?

My background is in jazz so most of my favourite vocalists come out of that tradition. My all time favourites are probably Nina Simone and Sarah Vaughan. The most important factor for me is the ability to create emotional intensity. I also really like Courtney Love’s vocals for this reason. Currently I’m also really into Eartheater I think she’s one of the most interesting voices I’ve heard in a while. 

If you were to write a soundtrack for a movie, what kind of movie would that be?

This is a nice question because writing a soundtrack for a movie is a long term dream of mine as I also write classical music. I think I would love to do an indie coming of age movie or definitely a period drama with cool costume design. My favourite movie is Marie Antoinette and the soundtrack is one of the main reasons why. 

What do you like to do when you are not making music?

I take long walks and take pictures. I love reading and writing (poetry). Researching obscure topics. Painting, making video collages. Spending time with the people I love. Before the pandemic I was at uni but I’m taking a break at the moment. 

Thanks Etherbaby!

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