Guest of the Month: December 2016 Elsa Hewitt
She has just been announced as a Year 2 Future Bubbler, so we caught up with Elsa Hewitt to find out what her plans are since winning the Lynsey de Paul Prize 2016.
Q: You received funding from PRS Foundation – can you tell us more about how it has helped you and what you got funding for?
The Lynsey de Paul Prize has effectively opened potential new and fruitful pathways to me. It’s also allowed me to accelerate the missions that I’m already on. The funding is going towards the release of some albums and EPs I’ve been making over the past two years, as is the mentorship helping me to make decisions about how I’m going to do this and subsequently execute it well. It’s also going to fund the making of my acoustic albums that I’m planning to record next year.
Q: What have you got coming up and what are you particularly looking forward to/excited about?
Coming up are the gradual releases of two albums and one EP that are pretty much all ready to be released- they’re all collections that I’m proud of and I can’t wait for people to hear them.
Q: Who are your biggest influences and how have they influenced your work?
A wide range of music influences me and I go through different phases like I’m sure many people do. But when I’m asked about my biggest influences I always refer back to the ones who fueled my passion for song-writing as a real art form when I was a young teenager. Maybe this is because their influence is one that will probably always be reminiscent in my writing- PJ Harvey, Frank Black, Gillian Welch and Robert Smith are the first ones that spring to mind. It’s something about their authentic characters as songwriters. I have a lot of love for the ones who can keep producing interesting and different albums. If I had to name all of the electronic artists who’ve influenced me I would be here for quite some time.
Q: Where are you from and what is your local scene like? Has it played a big role on your development or your creativity?
I’m from Lewes, but I live in South East London. Words to describe the music that you might hear in Lewes are… quirky, dubby skilfully played, steeze. I felt very free to be creative and artistic growing up in lewes, and there was a lot of support for youngsters wanting to form bands and play gigs. Brighton was an amazing city to gig in as a band, those were good days. London is a vibrant place with endless good events, I’ve only just moved here so we’ll see where it takes me. I do really miss Leeds though! Such a good scene, so much good music, from all of my favourite “genres”, as well as a strong sense of community. Also I massively developed my performance skills as a singer, guitarist and even on the keys when I was living in York. It’s nice how every place you move to ends up shaping your development.
Q: If you could work for PRS Foundation for a day, who would you support and why? (apart from yourself!)
All the talented and interesting artists who are putting in a lot of time and effort to be able to keep making new music, as well as trying to go somewhere with it, or at least make it their main profession or source of income- that in itself is an achievement.
Q: What has been the best moment of your career so far?
- I’ve reached many new levels this year, I’ve worked so hard and I’m pretty happy at the end of it.
Q: Do you have any advice for music creators applying for funding and hoping to make a career out of music?
Only apply for funding when you know you’re ready and you know what you wan and need. Be frank and honest and confident in yourself, and don’t be disheartened if you don’t get it- you’ll be more ready and experienced the next time round.
Q: Could you list 5-10 songs/artists that you are listening to at the moment?
I’m usually making music at every possible moment and I listen to a lot of mixes at work… but I’ve spontaneously felt like listening to these ones at certain moments recently: