I’m absolutely delighted to have an interview with another female artist. It’s been very male-oriented at Record Weekly lately, so I’m pleased to present Gaby Kettle. Her soothingly soulful, sensationally smooth vocals are nothing short of stunning. Let’s hear from Gaby herself…
Hi Gaby, it’s great to meet you (albeit virtually). How are you doing?
Hi, I’m not doing too badly thanks. Hope you’ve been keeping well during this time!
Let’s get straight into it. Your beautiful debut ‘Better Than This’ is a wistful, soulful melody that blew me away upon first pressing play. It’s such a dreamy, easy-to-listen-to piece. What’s the feedback been like so far?
Well, thank you so much for those kind words. I’m really glad you like it! The general feedback from people who’ve spoken to me has been pretty positive; a few have messaged me to say they’ve been listening to it on repeat which is all I can really ask for.
It’s funny because, before we recorded the song, I went through a phase where I wasn’t quite sure about it, but the more we were able to curate the song and add some layers in, I became really proud of how it turned out. The general comments are how catchy it is, so, for me, it’s a great base to start from on my streaming platforms.
I’ve definitely been rinsing the track myself! Did you always want to get into music professionally?
I think, deep down, I always knew that I wanted to pursue music; I’ve been singing since I can remember, but I didn’t really have the confidence within myself to voice that out loud. It’s only really been in the last couple of years that I’ve decided to put everything into it. I think some of that comes with being more sure of yourself as you get older. There’s always an element of fear; it’s a tough industry to crack professionally and I was worried about what friends and family would think. But I’ve learned that everyone has their own paths to follow and what matters is doing what makes you happy!
I couldn’t agree more! Who have been the biggest musical influences on your sound? Are you into any artists that haven’t directly helped inspire your own material?
My biggest influence vocals-wise has to be Lianne La Havas; she has a voice of pure velvet and her music style is just filled to the brim with soul. I’ve also taken influence from Celeste, a bit of Tom Misch and just generally a lot of female soul artists.
Throughout lockdown, I’ve been listening to a lot more lo-fi music as well, to help me concentrate, so I’m definitely thinking about incorporating some more of that into my sound.
In terms of artists that haven’t inspired my music directly, I would say that The Killers are, and will always be, my favourite band. They just always give me a wave of nostalgia to my adolescence and I might be slightly in love with Brandon Flowers! I generally have quite an eclectic taste, so I also enjoy folk and indie as well.
Lockdown and the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic continue to pose massive problems for gigging and touring. Did you have any shows you had to cancel or do you still have events in the pipeline?
I only had one show booked up in April, but it’s been so long since I’ve played that I definitely can’t wait to get back on stage. I’ve got a couple gigs in the pipeline for autumn and even some in 2021, so plenty to keep me busy!
Have you been able to spend time working on more material recently? How about personal hobbies throughout lockdown — have you got into anything new?
Lockdown has definitely been great for my music; I’ve been able to finish a couple of songs and write a little more. I started a production course a couple weeks ago to give me some more versatility to my sound and myself as an artist.
In terms of hobbies, I randomly decided to take up Arabic! Long story short, I really liked the way the language sounds and, ages ago, my mum bought me a book complete with CDs and, well, I figured there wasn’t really a better time to start! Although, I haven’t practised for a few weeks and I can literally only say a couple of phrases!
My brother and I have also been busy in the garden growing vegetables. It’s getting slightly out of control in our tiny garden and he seems to come back with more plants every time he goes to the garden centre!
That sounds fab about all the plants and veg. It’s so important to have hobbies that provide some downtime. What’s next for you musically? Can you tease any upcoming plans or releases?
I’m actually moving to Spain for a couple of months! I’m half-Spanish and we’ve got a house there, so I’m lugging my gear with me in my little KIA Picanto and we’re going to drive down now that the borders are open.
I just found that I needed a bit of breathing space, some time to reflect and reset. I feel very privileged that I’m able to do this though, as I know lockdown has hit everyone’s mental health in different ways. So yeah, I’m hoping to get some well-earned sunshine, to make as much music as possible and plan what’s coming next!