London based musician Sipprell has been causing a serious stir in the R&B world of late. Raised by her mother who was also a singer, the singer-songwriter and instrumentalist blessed us earlier in the year with the luscious ‘From Afar’, and last month dropped the critically acclaimed ‘I Could Be Loved’ EP which has seen her popularity continue to grow, and rightly so.
To uncover a bit more about Sipprell, we caught up with the South Londoner to discuss everything from influences, her creative process, taking some time away from music and her forthcoming headline show at The Waiting Room.
- Hey Sipprell, how is everything going?
Hey, I’m good thanks! Been busy with my release and preparing for shows coming up. Recently announced my headline so I feel excited about that.
- You’ve just released your sophomore EP ‘I Could Be Loved’, how have you grown as an artist since your last release ‘Letter D’?
I feel like I’ve grown a lot. The last song on Letter D, ‘King Confined’ was the first song I ever wrote on Guitar. Since then I’ve been playing a lot more and I’m writing about 90% of my songs with it these days. I’m also much more involved in the production side of things. I’m more confident in knowing what I want and I trust myself a lot more.
- Personal turmoil has been very prevalent for you these past years. Did you ever consider doing away with music completely during this time? Were you able to productively channel the grief?
I had to take a few months out and literally take it one day at a time, to try to deal with the shock. Anyone that’s had a sudden loss will understand. But then I had to get back into making music. It’s the best way I know how to process pain and it gives me a sense of purpose. It was a way I could try to turn my grief into something meaningful.
- What producers did you work with during the making of the album?
I worked with various musicians and producers. Marie Dahlstrom produced ‘From Afar’ and we produced ‘Personal’ and ‘Better’ together. ‘Personal’ was made really organically which stemmed a lot from the musicians, Samson Jatto, Andy Vickery and Rocco Palladino.
The title track ‘I Could Be Loved’ was produced by Chloe Martini. We made some magic that day and I don’t think that’s arrogant for me to say, I’m just really proud of that song!
Journey was produced by Ragz, AoD and Benjii flow. I remember how Alastair wowed us with that beautiful guitar riff in studio and how it all built naturally from there.
- The UK R&B scene in the last few years has seen a massive advancement in terms of visibility and community. Have you been witness to the change in attitudes towards home-grown talent?
The R&b scene is looking very healthy for us at the moment. There’s so many amazing artists breaking through. The genre has really opened up and we’re seeing so many different fusions of R&B. We don’t have to sound American anymore and UK artists are being respected in their own right.
- Though the sonic tapestry of your music comes from a wide range of sounds, R&B and soul music remains at its core. Who are your primary influences and how do they inform your creative process?
Growing up I listened to a lot of Rnb/Soul singers like Mariah, Aaliyah and Brandy. They shaped my vocal style a lot. Brandy also really influenced my vocal arrangements- I don’t know one R&B singer who wouldn’t say the same.
My family also played a lot of bands like The Beatles, Radio Head, The Carpenters and Queen around the house, so I’ve been inspired by many different genres of music over the years.
- In addition to being a singer-songwriter, you are also an accomplished multi-instrumentalist playing piano, guitar and violin. Do you think this is something that sets you apart from your contemporaries? Especially in era that’s increasingly becoming about image and clout over substance.
There’s always going to be a side of the industry that focuses more on image, but there’s a huge rise in artists who are known for their musicianship and who’s music speaks for itself. People are always going be hungry for music with substance and image alone will never compensate for that.
I’m not the greatest musician in the world by any means. But I love that I can contribute to my own music and stand alone when I need to. Learning guitar particularly opened up a new world of songwriting for me. The more elements I can add, like my string arrangements, the more I’m putting my own stamp on things and the more connected I feel to my music.
- On the 1st November, you supported PJ Morton at the Jazz Café. He has a heavy pedigree as a musician and songwriter, especially for music lovers. What was it like opening for him?
It was honestly one of the best gigs I’ve ever been to. PJ and his band were out of this world, and Jazz Cafe is one of my favourite venues. Opening for him was amazing. Don’t think I’ve ever sung in front of such a warm, appreciative crowd. They were true music lovers and they made me feel really welcome, so I was able to relax more and just enjoy it!
- What can people unfamiliar with you expect from your upcoming Sipprell show at The Waiting Room?
I’ll be performing songs from my first Ep, Letter D, and of course my new Ep. I’ll be with a full band and I might even throw in a couple surprises too- I can’t wait!
- What are your plans for the rest of the year and 2019 onwards?
I’m working on new material at the moment, so just want to create and release as much as possible, and I’m looking forward to doing a lot more shows next year. In the coming months my main plan is to keep warm. Very warm.