[Photo Credit: Josh Shinner]
is a teen British singer/songwriter who is only getting more and more attention in the music world. On her debut album, Writing of Blues and Yellows,
out September 23rd, she shares her appreciation for natural beauty with dreamy acoustic instrumentation and a voice that is imbued an emotional eloquence that goes well beyond her actual age. We got the chance to ask Billie Marten about her unique sound and the realities of being an upcoming young artist.
You've described your music as being folky with some indie elements. How did you find and develop your sound?
It sort of happened subconsciously I guess. I didn't try too hard to be something I'm not, or go too heavy with production at the start or anything. In production, the root of everything is the guitar and vocal - so it hopefully always sounds natural and not too polished or futuristic.
Where do you draw the inspiration for your music from?
A lot of it comes from surroundings and the different settings I'm in; also other people's lives or way of writing that I find much more interesting than mine help. I tend to get a lot of sentiments from old poems or books.
What would you consider to be the highs and lows of being a teen singer/songwriter who is quickly making herself known?
Obviously, it's extremely difficult for people (including yourself) to take you seriously. So that's a downside - but I imagine that happens with anyone whose music isn't necessarily sweet or commercial all the time. The upside I guess is you can always blame the mistakes and awful music you might put out to your age ha. Although I'm very conscious of not leaping into things too quickly and making sure I'm doing what feels right.
What is the story behind the title of your album? What would you say is the message or story that you're trying to share with listeners?
The title came from what I see when I hear the songs. I tend to hear music in colours or names in colours, or places in objects - all the senses are jumbled up. The most prominent colours were blues, yellows and greens, although that title was just too long. I wouldn't say there was a clear direct message, but the sentiment across the record is sort of the same. There's a lot of Romantic mentality in there, appreciating the natural world etc. But sometimes the songs don't mean any of that and it's just me getting things off my chest.
What is it like releasing a debut album? Is it as surreal as it sounds?
I still find it super silly. Not many humans get to do it, so I'm eternally grateful that I've actually got one in existence.
What advice would you give teens who are looking to pursue music like you are?
Trust the gut, put your music everywhere on the internet even if you think it's shoddy. (It's probably not).