The idea of travelling the globe is one that many of us entertain at some point in our lives, and a fair few of us manage to do it. Some might head off and find that they only return with peeling skin, mozzie bites and a few bags of spices that raise a few eyebrows in customs. Others may return having found their elusive 'self', feel thoroughly enlightened, and perhaps they've learnt a new language. Alice Watts returned to her home in Camden town with a lot more than any of that.
Seeing the world not only shaped her personal growth, but also helped her to develop creatively. In an interview we had with the singer-songwriter, she revealed how living in Italy became a turning point as she formed her artistic identity - learning to appreciate the variety of music available. She might be soaking up classical sonatas in ancient ruins one weekend, and quaffing Guinness with an Irish band in a Roman backstreet the next. This may account for her unique flair for instrumentation that we've come to adore.
When Alice joined us at the Olympic Park this summer, she was incredible. Her striking blend of folk and soul is a delight alone, but being the experimental thinker she is, she also brought along a beatboxer for percussion. Suffice to say, we hadn't seen anything quite like that before. Whilst her recording of 'Do Not Awaken Love' may use more 'conventional' musicianship, her exploration of instruments and sound lets the track sparkle. It's one of the main things that 'Bad Day' singer Daniel Powter couldn't get enough of:
So what exactly is 'Do Not Awaken Love' about? We asked Alice herself to find out more:
-What was the inspiration behind the track and what the song is about?
I was inspired by a love poem in 'Song of Songs' [the book of the Old Testament] - 'Do not awaken love until it so desires'. It really resonated with me as I think love is truly mysterious and most beautiful when it's allowed room to grow outside of any cultural norm or expectation. The mystery is what makes it so alluring.
-Where and when did you write this song?
I wrote this song a few years ago whilst playing music in my attic in Camden and spent time experimenting with it with a variety of instrumentations. It's a versatile song as it works acoustically but also is epic with a full band too.
-Who recorded the track for you- if a producer who else have they worked with?
A friend of mine recorded it for me. Iggy B. Iggy is an engineer working at Bella Union Studios but we went up to a friend's house in just outside Birmingham in the middle of the countryside where their home studio was set up the garden in a hut. We then finished the recording in Islington.
-How do fans react to the track when you play it live?
We get a consistently great response to 'Do Not Awaken Love' no matter the line up of instruments - which does vary per gig! The song takes you on a journey so I think we manage to take the audience on that journey with us both instrumentally and lyrically so there's genuine appreciation.
-What comes to mind when you hear the song played back?
I'm reminded of the unforgettable journey we had recording it, but also the song reminds me of past love, mistakes, and lessons learnt. It gives me hope that the best is yet to arrive.
-What does your song bring to the collective on the Emerging Icons album?
I would hope this song brings a bold uplifting tune to sing along to when you're travelling, with mega beats in the climax of the song to inspire the brave. I think it will complement the variety of talented unsigned artists sharing the credits. I'm looking forward to hearing the whole album!
You can buy the 'Emerging Icons In The Park' album which includes 'Do Not Awaken Love' amongst twenty-one other amazing tracks- all for £4.49.