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Tips 2012: Jodie Marie | Feature | Music @ The Digital Fix
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19th December 2011 06:00:00
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Tips 2012: Jodie Marie

She won our hearts over summer with debut effort 'Single Blank Canvas' and having just been On The Road with Will Young, 20-year-old Welsh singer-songwriter Jodie Marie is likely to have captured many more. Her stunning, earthy and soulful vocals combined with old school influences might lead you to believe she's an Adele-lite, but in TMF Towers, we already like her more and we reckon she'll be your new favourite as well. Have a listen to her beautiful cover of Bob Dylan's 'Forever Young' below if you don't believe us.

Jodie Marie - Forever Young [Bob Dylan Cover] by PurplePR

We met up with Jodie last month before her support slot with Will Young at London's Shepherd's Bush Empire - her favourite tipple is dark rum and coke, fact fans - to find out what her debut album Mountain Echo, produced by Bernard Butler and Ed Harcourt, has in store for us.

Can you tell us a little bit about how you got into music?

I think itís because of my parents. They listened to a lot of blues music when I was younger and just that sort of style of things; my Dad played acoustic guitar and bass as well and yeah, it was just the influence of them being around. Being Welsh, they have the Eisteddfod, which are Welsh competitions throughout the country, and I was always doing them and singing in choirs in primary school. My choir teacher in Year Three rung up my parents and said ĎJodieís got something, she should have extra tuitioní [laughs]. In Year Three, I donít know how she could tell that, but she did somehow and then I went to tuition outside of school and went from there. I was six years old when I had that tuition, did my first little gig when I was seven and just started writing from 11. It just sort of all happened, I donít remember a time when I didnít sing, even just to myself [laughs]

It was just silly little gigs - not silly at all, itís just different to what Iím doing now, the style that I was singing. I didnít think, although I wanted to sing, I didnít think I could make a career out of it so I just did it for the love and the hobby of it. I was just plodding along, maybe earning a bit of money and most of the time, just doing it for free for charities and stuff just because I enjoyed it. I didnít really see the change until I had to do something, say I had to do a wedding and "right, Iíve got to nail this, itís not just a little gig".

Then when I got found, thatís when it became a profession. Itís not work, itís just love. Even, weíve just come off a radio tour, and itís just been fun.

Who are your influences?

I think, I just always listen to loads of old music like blues, BB King, Albert King, Robert Johnson, Eric ClaptonÖ But I love Bonnie Raitt, she is my biggest influence, especially the earlier blues stuff, all those really bluesy, rocky and more soul than what she did in the 80s. Not that I donít like it.

And also stuff like Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jeff BuckleyÖ I just sort of get stuck in the past a bit more. Itís my love, Iíd say. Not that I donít listen to stuff nowadays. From now, thereís people like Ben Howard, The Tallest Man On Earth that I love, I think theyíre great and obviously Adele, sheís brilliant, everyone loves Adele. That sort of, itís not your pop, Iím not too fussed on the popÖnever been into chart music as such. I much prefer stuff like Ben Howard, but they sound quite old in themselves anyway.

You've worked with Bernard Butler and Ed Harcourt on your debut album, how did those collaborations come about and how is the album progressing?

Itís done. Basically I started writing with Bernard Butler when I was 16, so it was from when I got found. It wasnít my management that got it set up, it was my managementís dad that actually found me in the beginning and he set up this session with Bernard Butler and it just sort of snowballed from there. It was just in the background, I was just writing and I know Iím young now but I was even younger then and I didnít really know whatÖ I sort of did, Iíd written songs at home like ĎSingle Blank Canvasí is one I wrote when I was 15/16 and itís the first song I showed Bernard but I didnít really know who he was, which was good in a way. I knew he was a good, Iíd been told, but heís just such a good writer and I donít know how it came about apart from just discussions.

With Ed Harcourt as well, theyíre just great people that Iíve written with and Jimmy Hogarth, who co-wrote with me ĎOn The Roadí. Weíd recorded the album in January and February of this year, so itíd all be done and dusted and weíd recorded it live, apart from string overdubs and stuff, but ĎOn The Roadí we didnít have, I hadnít written it. After the album was recorded, I just got a phone call from my management that said I got a chance to write with him now, heís more free than he was and I was like "yeah, great, letís do it". So I wrote with him after the album was done, just for two days, and I wanted to write a bluesy song and I knew what I wanted the subject to be about and there was no pressure Ė weíd thought the album was done Ė and we just added it to the album afterwards and itís a single as well which is quite incredible.

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What ranks as your career highlight so far?

The people Iíve worked with. I know itís kind of, itís not a cop out saying that, but itísÖ I just never thought that Iíd be doing this now. Like every day, it sounds cheesy but I do have to pinch myself because from where Iím from, thereís no one who can do that these days. Well they can, but you just donít think itís possible, itís so rural. Getting that chance, is just likeÖ And working with these incredible people and what theyíve done already in their own music, is just ridiculous.

Also the album is a highlight, getting my first album, I canít wait for it to be released. Because itís been quite positive so far with the singles, itís quite scary. I was worried about my next single after ĎSingle Blank Canvasí, so Iím just hoping that [the album] goes down well. Iím hoping that ĎSingle Blank Canvasí and ĎOn The Roadí do the album justice, people can see what that is what itís about.

Who are you looking out for in 2012?

I love listening to new music and stuff, especially on the road and stuff. I would have to say, of course, thereís Ben Howard whoís already doing well, heís kind of in the background but he deserves more recognition. Thereís a guy, a boy actually, I shouldnít say boy but heís 17 years old, and heís called Jake Bugg and I think heís going to be a smash. Itís all old sounding and sort of like Johnny Cash almost. Itís a bold name but itís just that sort of feel. It doesnít sound like Johnny Cash but itís that feel to it. I think heís going to be pretty incredible. And also, another artist whose single hasn't come out yet ['Hook You Up' is now available on iTunes as a free download], named Sylver Tongue who's quite different to all the rest I mentioned but a good friend of mine.

What are you hoping 2012 holds for you?

Because Iíve done some support gigs recently, very good ones, I would actually love to headline a tour, thatís what Iíd love to do and it do quite well. Iíve always said I donít want to be famous, I just want to be known. I would just like my music to be heard and appreciated really. Thatís all I wish for. Not that it has to be mass-scale, I just want to get my music out there and do what I do now. I just love playing. Itís great.

Jodie Marie's debut album Mountain Echo is out on March 5th. You can find out more about Jodie at her official website - jodiemarie.co.uk