Singer sitting pretty on own terms

Singer sitting pretty on own terms

Gabrielle Aplin's intimate sound is taking off

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Gabrielle Aplin Music_L
Photo: Warner Music Hong Kong/EMI Hong Kong
Gabrielle Aplin is an up-and-coming English singer-songwriter. She recently released her debut album English Rain to positive reviews.

Her soft vocals over acoustic instruments helped the album reach number two on the British album charts. This may sound rather familiar, yes? It's because English female singer-songwriters are so commonplace these days.

Yet that's something that the 20-year-old is acutely aware of.

"Especially in Britain, there are a lot of girls doing the same sort of thing - singer-songwriter - so it's really nice when people actually want to listen to me," she says. "What makes me different is that I don't try to be different from anyone. I believe you've just got to be yourself and it's very easy to get on with it.

"I just get on with it and don't really think about what everyone else is doing."

Being herself meant cleverly taking the slow route to stardom. Aplin wrote her first song at 14 and posted performance videos on YouTube, where she built up a fanbase. But rather than just signing with a record label, she set up her own, Never Fade Records, at 17.

Aplin was in no great rush to sign a contract as she still wanted time to figure out her own sound. She says: "It was very random. I used to put my music on YouTube and stuff, but I didn't really want to be a YouTube artist

"I told my manager that, so we decided to set up [the label] just so I could release my own music on it."

Through Never Fade, Aplin released three EPs, learning more about her music and gaining more recognition with each one.

Last year, once she was comfortable with what she was doing, she signed with Parlophone and began working on new material for her debut studio album, English Rain. But when she first went into the studio, she had no idea what she wanted the album to sound like.

"We just went in blind," she says. "We recorded about four or five songs and realised that's not what we want.

"We still didn't know what we wanted, but we knew that wasn't it. It wasn't until we did Salvation, How Do You Feel Today? and Home all in one go and they all fell together that we were, like 'OK, this is what it's going to be like'. And then we just kept going."

Aplin ended up with 12 beautifully crafted and intimate tracks which, she says, truly represent "her sound".

Besides setting up Never Fade Records to spread her own music, Aplin actually enjoys the business side of the music industry. She is actively involved in all aspects of her music from the production to the artwork and marketing.

"I studied music industry at college and I just love knowing the business side of it," she says.

"I think it's so different from any other industry. It all completely revolves around art and being creative and that's what I really love about it."

Aplin's using whatever money the label is making to help other young artists release music. "It's not all industry and stressful, it's just fun. They want to make an EP and I want to help them do it."


You might also like:

- 20-year-old Gabrielle Aplin shows she's definitely more than just an internet sensation on her debut album English Rain.

- The term "homegrown talent" has a whole new meaning with 23-year-old Lucy Rose

- Indie duo Tegan and Sara needed a new challenge so they turned to pop music which is much more complicated than it sounds.

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