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Interview: Roo Panes


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After a broken phone and a flat battery, things finally sort themselves out and I find myself talking to Roo Panes ahead of his UK tour.

The Dorset-originating singer/songwriter made his name after a campaign with Burberry and is ready to take the UK by storm with his uplifting debut album Little Giants; an album that so easily manipulates simplicity into something memorable. 

Roo Panes

It’s nice to talk to someone who lives in Dorset too and the two of us find instant common ground.

"Yeah I just love the countryside around Dorset", Roo explains.

"It’s not always specific to Dorset though. I find that any kind of countryside gives me space to think and feel," he continues before telling me how he visited my turf the other day.

After swooning over obviously the best part of the UK, conversation turns to Roo’s Burberry campaign.

"It was at a time where I was just starting out with my music, about a year in, and it was a valuable and receptive way to get some listeners. I try not to think about the amount of people who listen to my music, I think about the music and the writing and how much I enjoy it. I don’t pay much attention to figures."

Obviously, Roo’s (as seen as Andrew on the gas bill) nicknames origin was to come up in chat with a pinch of curiosity.

"It was an old nickname given to me in my childhood," he reminisces…

"There’s a character in Winnie the Pooh called Roo and he throws himself into a river and, as a kid, I did too", he chuckles.

"The nickname derived from that"

On talking about musical inspirations, Roo surprises me by telling me he doesn’t have one. "Instead I try to find inspiration in anything, everything is inspirational, whether it’s a good book or a beautiful day there’s always something you can use."

"It’s more about keeping your eyes open to the world."

From what I’m hearing, Roo is a poet who happens to sing, not a singer; it’s impressive.

Roo has recently re-released ‘Home From Home’ as a single and is one of my favourites on the album so it’s evident as to why.

‘’Home From Home’ is multi plastered. It’s got that simple concept where home isn’t a place but a sense of belonging alongside friends and family. It’s about people who are home and belong and we called my first tour that."

"Every time I was doing the lone travelling, that idea stuck in my head, that it’s the people around you that make you feel like you’re in the right place."

Chat turns and we find ourselves talking about Roo’s favourite track to perform: ‘Oh, that’s difficult’, he begins, "I love 'Glory Days' because I get to belt that one out."

There’s something literate about Roo’s work, with images effortlessly painted like poetry into the minds of his listeners, I had to turn talk to his favourite writer. On answering, I find out that it’s Thomas Hardy and I’m impressed; another Dorset lad. "I just love his writing and his love for nature, it’s beautiful."

Catch Roo Panes on his UK tour next month, it’s a must see.

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