Interview: Bessie Turner
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April kickstarted the Summer of a lifetime for Bessie Turner: her debut single received a whole lotta love, landed her slots at festivals up and down the country, and then an unexpected airplay by Jo Whiley on Radio 2 lead to the release of her second single ‘Words You Say’ being moved forward a week. You could say Bessie is one to look out for. Most artists draw up their experience of growing up to produce their sound - in fact, many musicians cite that their love for music was ignited by a small spark during their childhood, that eventually turned into a burning passion. This is no different for Bessie, who feels incredibly lucky to have grown up surrounded by so much creativity and talent. “My mum would blast out X-Ray Spex, Portishead and Manu Chao. My neighbour would make up punk songs on his acoustic guitar and promote anarchy in the UK, and my grandad has always played brass in Jazz bands.” Bessie got her start by uploading her tracks to the BBC Introducing Uploader, which soon lead to radio plays and interviews with the team. Her love for music was taken one step further when Bessie, ahead of releasing her debut single, set up her own label Don’t Try. It was suggested by Richard Haugh of BBC Introducing Suffolk, after Bessie mentioned no labels seemed interested in releasing her song ‘Big Sleep’. Developing her own label paid off for Bessie. ‘Big Sleep’ gained over 7,000 views in its first 12 hours of being released. “It was like my birthday, but better!” the singer exclaims, also stating that literally 200 views would’ve made the 23 year old happy. The whole process of creating something with friends while you’re young is enough. It may feel like having the backing of a label on a release adds validity, perhaps a sense of ‘seriousness’. “We don’t always know what we’re on about” states Bessie on her label, despite its evident success. “I answer my own questions and queries and it’s down to mine and my friends opinions to what happens next, which is both good and bad.” Sure, the idea of having a team working for you, pushing you and bringing the best out of you and your music is appealing… but right now, this set up is perfect for what Bessie wants to achieve, and she has control. Her latest release ‘Words You Say’ is less chilled and folksy than her first release. The decision to go bigger with this track was because she wanted to make something she would listen to herself. Something that would grab attention and not just float by.
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