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Talking To Daisy Chute

Fatea writer Nic Rigby catches up with the rising Americana chanteuse

Singer/songwriter Daisy Chute is just starting to make a name for herself in the Americana community.

But as far as music goes, though still in her 20s she's a bit of old hand, having started her career as a nine-year-old as the young Cosette in the touring production of Les Miserables.

As a teenager she got BBC Radio 2 airplay for a jazz album and then became part of platinum-selling classical group All Angels.

And lately as well as lending her talents to a number of film and television shows, she also provided vocals on Radiohead's latest album A Moon Shaped Pool.

The London-based Edinburgh-born singer is quickly establishing herself as a solo act while also being one of driving forces behind folk group the Heard Collective - which has brought together some of the finest young female musicians.

It's clear music was always close to her heart.

"Lots of music was around in the background. My mum is an artist and a big fan of music, particularly jazz," says Daisy.

"She said she was learning jazz piano when she was pregnant with me, and she says I came out of her womb knowing all these songs somehow."

Photocredit Neil King

Educated in Scotland, Daisy was also schooled in folk music and says the first song she wrote was putting music to a poem by Robert Louis Stevenson.

As she grew older she says her "first music crush was Jeff Buckley, but I was also a huge fan of Joni Mitchell, and Simon and Garfunkel".

In the 2010s Daisy says she decided "to focus on songwriting as a craft with the encouragement from my peers".

"I did a couple of writing retreats including one with Sir Ray Davies (who is still a mentor of Daisy)," she says.

Her new single is London's on Fire - a fierce anthem for the city in the 21st Century - inspired by a competition to write a song about the metropolis.

"I was thinking about London and thinking they wanted a happy song. But that felt a little false.

"So I delved deeper into what has been happening in London.

"There has been a lot of tragedy but also lots of creative happenings.

"There is destruction but also creation and constant expansion."

Another of her songs is Troubadour Boy about loving musician who in some sense always puts music first.

"I'm more of a troubadour boy. I would probably go further for music than I would for my boyfriend," she says.

"Sometimes you feel you have to choose a little bit between love life and music. I suppose that is what it is about. Maybe you don't need to have a choice. Trying to be in their shoes. Most of my boyfriends have been musicians so I've seen it from that side myself."

As well as writing new songs and a busy schedule of gigs, Daisy has also found time to play ukulele and appears in the new Danny Boyle/Richard Curtis film Yesterday.

"I play ukulele and sing in it. It was a lot of fun. We recorded a lot of that at Wembley Stadium. We did the night shoots that week after Ed Sheeran's concerts," she says.

The film's due out in the summer, but you can catch Daisy Chute sooner at a range of gigs on her own or as part of the Heard Collective.

London's On Fire

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