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Interview: Kiera Court

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“I should really know how an interview goes!”, laughs Kiera Court as she casually reveals that alongside her burgeoning career as solo singer-songwriter she is also at university studying journalism – mounting the pressure on my own skills as her interviewer!

Tonight the 19-year-olds music will reach a wider audience as they debut on BBC Radio Essex's Introducing show.

“So tell me about 'Cinnamon',” I ask, intrigued by the enigmatic title of Kiera’s debut song.

“'Cinnamon' is a song that I wrote… actually I had the chord progression going round in my head and I really liked the laid back way it just kept rolling and I thought I definitely want some words to go with these, and I was stuck on words for ages and then it was one morning, I was having breakfast and I had porridge but I had cinnamon on my porridge and it was just like OH!”, Kiera laughs gleefully at the memory.

“And I had to stop half-way through my breakfast and go grab my guitar!”.

“It was so weird” she recalls of the song-writing process. “After so long of being just really frustrated it just sort of came”.

But how does her choice of breakfast spice fit into the fabric of a song?

“Cinnamon is meant to be a metaphor for, when I feel all warm inside, when I have it”.

Even in the young artists voice I begin to hear the warming sensation of the cinnamon which inspired her, “It’s such a wintery spice and I just thought that’s how I can imagine a wintery romance to be, waking up in the morning and just feeling warm – I quite like that spice!” she adds, laughing in retrospect at how this smallest of addition to her breakfast routine led to something so progressive for her career.

“It’s literally is about cinnamon!”

“Maybe porridge will be your lucky charm in the future!” I propose, envisaging this fresh-faced artist backstage before the start of her first tour with a bowl of porridge on her knee. “Yeah!”  proclaims Kiera enrolling in my daydream, “I’ll be demanding them everywhere I go like, ‘I’m not a diva but if there are no oat then I’m sorry!’”

Asking Kiera to take me back further in her career as a musician I learn how her early love of poetry, and then later interest in journalism, have each inspired her approach to song-writing.  

“I’ve kind-of always wanted to do music,” Kiera recounts. “But I felt that journalism interested me, and I’m one of those weird people who actually reads a newspaper in the mornings!”

“So I was like yeah I think that’s really interesting I’d like to do that, but I never thought music would be a possibility, and then I started writing again and it just became really infectious.”

“I used to write when I was younger, you know poems and things like that – which is quite embarrassing!"

“But then after a while I just went, hang on a minute, why am I telling myself this isn’t realistic, what the hell? I’m going to write poems again.” And it’s from there it seems, in her first year at university, that Kiera’s started to realise the depths of her passion for song-writing.

“It is from personal experience, but also, because I write for journalism a lot of my songs are other people’s stories or aspirations”, Keira explains when I ask about her inspirations.

“People say to write about love you have to be in love or you have to have fallen in love before, but I get quite confused myself about whether I have been in love or not, but then I know that if I haven’t been in love I would really like to be and I can kind of imagine how I would want to feel. So I’ll write about a situation which might make me feel that way and then it’s like I’m having the relationship,” Keira laughs again, totally absorbed in realising her own self-made romances.  

"It’s great, it’s like, that just satisfies me - I don’t need a man!”

Asking about her performance history Kiera tells me how she first started performing only months ago in September of last year at her university’s open-mic nights.

“I’ve not actually performed a cover!” laughs Kiera not acknowledging her own bravery at getting up on stage for her first ever solo performance, and singing only her own creations.

“People seemed to put down their beers and listen,” she explains modestly, not adding any further details to this brief picture of what must have been a most successful debut performance.

“It’s mainly for the enjoyment I get out of it. It’s like finding a love in your hobby, there’s some things I feel like I have to do and I don’t want to live to work, and if my passion could turn into actually what I do then I would be one of the luckiest people” says Kiera, more solemn now that she has been throughout the interview as her mind is steered toward the future.

“And everyone would like to be successful I know they would, but I try to think of it as being more about opportunity for great experiences and then possibly more things to write about”. 

Keira’s solemn tone changes in an instant when I enquire about a dream venue she would like to see packed for her performance ‘Oh my God if I could, this is so aspirational beyond belief!"  

“If I could play at Brixton Academy I would be, that venue… I have a book on it!” Keira rushes on enthusiastically, fuelled by her own extravagant but by no means impossible aspirations.

“It’s got all these facts about Brixton and I’m like ‘did you know it was bought for £1?’ and people are like ‘no really?’ and I’m going ‘yeah it’s in my book!’” she sighs. “ I love that venue so much, that green flashing dome is definitely in my mind!”

Kiera’s debut song 'Cinnamon' will be aired on BBC Radio Essex on their introducing show between 8-9pm this evening. Or if you’re not around to catch it you can follow Kiera’s journey on Twitter or Facebook under the username @KieraCourtt and listen to all of her available music on her SoundCloud page.

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