English singer-songwriter and musician Gabrielle Aplin started her own music label when she was not quite 18, called Never Fade Records. It’s an interesting name choice for a performer that is just now in full bloom. This would be infuriating, as the success of all teenaged overachievers can be, if she wasn’t just so good. Having seen Aplin live, twice, her confidence as a performer belies her years. The fanbase ranges from late teen couples to hipsters to musically-discriminating prog-rock gentlemen old enough to be her… manager. At a show last September, I stood next to a father-daughter duo on a night out, and they both knew the words to each song.
The Power of Love, the Power of Hard Work
While you were screwing around playing Halo in your parent’s basement, Aplin was recording hundreds of acoustic covers in her parent’s bathroom, and building a massive You Tube following. And while you spent your late youth at 80s music nights, she signed with Parlophone/EMI and her soft, lovely cover of Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s 1984 song “Power of Love” went to Number 1 in the UK. One assumes she will soon arrive to take over America.
The now 23-year-old Aplin is touring the UK for the second time in a year – the venues are getting bigger and bigger – behind her sophomore album, “Light Up The Dark,” a slicker effort than the debut “English Rain”. Aplin has a confident but girlish voice, and writes a good tune, like an indie mix of Joni Mitchell, one of her influences (see below), and Florence and the Machine. “Light Up the Dark”, produced by Luke Potashnick, features the title single and the irresistible, toe-tapping ‘Sweet Nothing’. Check it out below.
Gabrielle Aplin took time out for the Beast’s Quick Six Interview*
Q: What inspires you?
The list is literally endless. I could be inspired by a colour, a
smell, a memory, a place, a person I’ve met, a story they’ve told me, a landscape, a painting etc etc. At the moment I’m really inspired by the sky. I’m learning lots about our solar system, the stars and planets (nerd alert, sorry!) and that’s inspiring me lots at the moment!
Q: Who decides on your album cover art?
I decide! I like to come in with an idea and luckily I have great
people around me to help my ideas come to life.
Q: What is an artist’s relationship to their label? What is yours?
It’s different for every artist I guess and I can’t speak for anyone
other than myself. My label relationship is great. I actually don’t
talk to them that much which can only be a good thing. They let me get
on with it most of the time and really encourage creativity that comes
directly from myself.
Q: What would you be doing if you weren’t in the music industry at
I love to create. I’d definitely be doing something creative. I’m
really into crafts, design and food. So probably something along those
Q: If you could duet, vocally or instrumentally, with anyone alive or
dead, who would that be?
1975 Joni Mitchell, hands down!
Q: What’s next for you?
At the moment I’ve just started my UK and Ireland tour for my second
album. I hope to travel internationally after this tour and spend
some time getting my music heard in other countries! Apart from that,
I’m always writing and making stuff!
Gabrielle Aplin Tour Dates
♦ Feb 2, GLASGOW, The ABC (with Hannah Grace)
♦ Feb 3, NEWCASTLE, O2 (with Lewis Watson and Hannah Grace)
♦ Feb 4, NOTTINGHAM, Rock City (with Lewis Watson and Hannah Grace)
♦ Feb 7, NORWICH, UEA (with Lewis Watson and Hannah Grace)
♦ Feb 8, LONDON, The Forum (with Hannah Grace)
♦ Feb 9, OXFORD, O2 Academy (with Lewis Watson and Hannah Grace)
♦ Feb 11, PORTSMOUTH, Pyramid Centre (with Lewis Watson and Hannah Grace)
♦ Feb 12, CARDIFF, Cardiff University (with Lewis Watson and Hannah Grace)
♦ Feb 14, BIRMINGHAM, O2 Institute (with Lewis Watson and Hannah Grace)
♦ Feb 15, BRIGHTON, Brighton Dome (with Lewis Watson and Hannah Grace)
♦ Feb 16, BRISTOL, O2 Academy Bristol (with Lewis Watson and Hannah Grace)
♦ Feb 17, SHEFFIELD, Leadmill (with Lewis Watson and Hannah Grace)
♦ Feb 19, BELFAST , QUBSU (solo)
♦ Feb 20, DUBLIN Whelan’s (solo)
♦ June 9-12, ISLE OF WIGHT FESTIVAL, Newport
more information at www.gabrielleaplin.com , follow her at @gabrielleaplin
Quick Six: PopCultureBeast lets artists choose from our standard ten questions – and we let them tell us what
they’d like you to know.