Singer and songwriter Josephine Sillars is our New Voices act at Rally & Broad: Dance While The Sky Crashes Down! at Stereo, Renfield Lane, Glasgow on Sun 29th March, 2.30pm alongside Apocalypse Redux, No More Tiger, Hannah Jane Walker and Calum Rodger. Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/rally-broad-dance-while-the-sky-crashes-down-glasgow-tickets-15875663537
1: You’ve said in past interviews that the first thing you do when creating your songs is work on the lyrics. Here at R&B, we’re always interested in how writers write. Rally needs to clean her entire flat before writing; Broad needs a quiet room and dedicated alone time. What helps spark yer writing?
This is a really hard question because genuinely most of my songs have been written under totally different circumstances. I do write well when I’m alone or on the move though. The bus is probably my favourite place to get lyrics started, and then once I’ve got the basic ideas or the hook down, I’m probably quite similar to Broad – a quiet room and dedicated alone time.
2: You moved to Glasgow from the Highlands. Where do you consider home?
Hmm… I don’t quite consider Glasgow home because I’ve only been here for a year and half, and I live in the West End which is full of students. Also, I’m not settled in the one place yet – I’ve been in my current flat since last summer, but I’m moving out in a few months, as are my current flat mates.
I also don’t really consider the Highlands home anymore because I haven’t been there for a year and a half and it feels like a lot has changed. So – I suppose to answer your question; I don’t really consider anywhere home because everything is open to change at the moment. Now quick! Onto the next question before we get crippled by the tale of my lack of geographical identity.
3: The life of a gigging singer-songwriter can be a mixed bag. Best gig/ worst gig – spill!
There have been so many gigs I would consider ‘Best Gig’. Last year I played Amsterdam and Sweden, and toured Scotland, all of which were amazing experiences. Honestly, last night (the 4th) I played a gig at the uni raising money for Donate for Dignity, and it was fantastic, and I’m really happy it. I don’t think there’s an obvious best gig, because I genuinely enjoy pretty much all of them.
Worst gig: a place called Inn at Lathones in St Andrews. I was 16, horrendously sick, but I’d been booked months in advance and was getting paid so I didn’t want to back out, but it was just awful. I was just so unwell. The crowd were really kind, but I was not having a good time.
4: You spent a lot of time campaigning last year. How important/ effective is it when artists lend their voices to political campaigns, in your opinion?
I think it is very important and can be very effective when artists lend their voices to political campaigns. Art can be a way for a person, who may not have been politically active before, to get involved through a medium they understand. That’s certainly how I felt last year with National Collective. I knew that I wanted to campaign, but I wasn’t sure how – and I honestly felt inspired by the arts movement they were supporting and found it really easy and fun to get involved with. I believe this can be the case for any type of campaign because art can inspire, get people engaged and get people talking. If you’re an artist with a cause you care about, I think it’s important you lend your voice to it and show others what you see in it.
5: What is next for Josephine Sillars?
At long last, I’m releasing my EP! I’m very excited about this. I’m doing a tour at the end of the month to promote it, which you guys are a part of – and after that, I’m not completely sure. I’ve applied (and will be applying) for a lot of music programmes and opportunities such as Wide Days and XpoNorth. Hopefully something will come of those, and if it doesn’t I’m just going to keep gigging and keep writing. I mean, I’m also doing a full time degree, but music is what I really want. So what’s next is whatever comes my way.
6: Finally, Dance While The Sky Crashes Down is our theme this month. How might you interpret that in yer set/ with a specific song (if at all!)
I LOVE THIS THEME. I am interpreting this theme as dystopian, the-end-of-the-world and apocalyptic. I was really into all that stuff when I was younger, and so part of me really wants to bring back a heap of songs I wrote when I was 15 because they perfect for that take – except, I’m doing this as my EP launch. So I’ll probably end up playing some songs from that. In which case – my song ‘Hurricanes’ fits the bill – it’s about revolution.