Hattie Briggs is a Gloucestershire based singer-songwriter and BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award Nominee 2014. The 22 year-old quit Oxford University in the 2nd year of her Russian degree to concentrate on her musical career in January 2014. Since then, her music has been played on TV, on BBC Radio 1, 2 and 6Music as well as many regional BBC radio stations. She released her debut album ‘Red & Gold’ last year. The album includes a cover of Eva Cassidy’s version of ‘Fields Of Gold’, produced by Eva's brother, Dan Cassidy, who also plays a violin solo on the record.
Hattie released her debut EP ‘My Shepherd’s Hut’ in November 2013, and has subsequently had 5 singles in the iTunes singer-songwriter chart, including ‘Pull Me Down’ that reached number 19, and ’Old Eyes’, that features jazz musician Alec Dankworth.
Inspired by the likes of Joni Mitchell and James Taylor, Hattie recorded her debut album at Monnow Valley Studios, and it was produced by Waterman (Joss Stone/Uriah Heep/Emma Ballantine). 2016 already promises to be an exciting year for Hattie, her currentUK tour sees her play Ten Feet Tall, Cardiff this evening (May 6) she recently answered questions from Andy Howells.
How did you get into playing music?
I remember singing along to my parents CDs in the car and at home from a very young age. It was something that came naturally to me and I never really thought about it as a skill. When I was 5 I started learning the recorder and later moved on to the guitar and the cello. I can't remember a time when music wasn't a big part of my life, but things became more focused when I started writing my own songs at 17. From then on it became an addiction and something that I can't turn off.
How would you describe your sound?
It's a fusion of folk, pop, americana and quite a few other genres as my influences are pretty broad ranging. My recordings are very immersive, warm and full of rich instrumentation.
Who are your music inspirations?
Primarily the singer-songwriters I grew up listening to - James Taylor, Eva Cassidy, The Beatles, Elton John, K D Lang, Joni Mitchell, but more recently First Aid Kit, James Blake, Katie Melua, The Weepies, The Civil Wars, David Gray and loads of others.
What can people expect from your forthcoming show?
I'll be playing as a trio so there'll be lots of harmonies along with cello and extra guitar. We'll be performing songs from my debut album "Red & Gold" as well as newer songs from my forthcoming album "Young Runaway". I play guitar, uke and keys so there'll be a good mix of upbeat numbers and slower more chilled out tunes.
Can you tell us about your current release?
My second studio album "Young Runaway" comes out on July 8th and has a definite summery feel to it. It has more of a pop/americana vibe than my first album but is still very much in the "singer-songwriter" genre. It's much more upbeat and percussion driven than "Red & Gold", which had more of a contemplative folky vibe.
Who are you currently listening to?
The Weepies, Lewis & Leigh, Hozier, John Smith, Seafret, Adam Holmes...
Where can people find out more about your music?
By visiting my website www.hattiebriggs.co.uk
- A version of this Q&A by Andy Howells appeared in The South Wales Argus entertainment supplement The Guide on May 6, 2016