Singer/songwriter Roxanne de Bastion is swiftly making a name for herself with strong lyrics, a stand-out voice and superb melodies. As she releases a live session of her song Rerun, Fatea writer Nic Rigby caught few moments with her.
Roxanne de Bastion had a superb 2017 winning over the crowd at Cambridge Folk Festival and an acclaimed album Heirlooms and Hearsay described in Fatea as "ground-breaking".
This year she's about to release a book, will be going on to tour the US, is playing The Lexington in London and is set to support Marillion at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall.
Roxanne is clearly excited about her plans for 2018 which include recording a new album
"Last year I spent a lot of time on the road mostly. At the moment I'm busy writing lots of new songs. I'm going to record the album in May. I'm recording down in Devon at a beautiful studio,"
Roxanne is planning to again work with Peter Miles, of Middle Farm Studios, who co-produced Heirlooms and Hearsay.
"It was great to work with him. It's such a nice space and he has a brilliant network of musicians," she says.
The album Heirlooms and Hearsay is partly inspired by Roxanne grandfather Stephen de Bastion, who found his life derailed by war-torn Europe and managed to survive the Nazis and the communist takeover of Hungary.
"I never met my grandfather but he was a pianist and we have his piano so I always felt that connection to him," she said.
"When it was time to think about the album and what I needed to say it was at a time that you couldn't help but notice the rise of extreme right ideas in this country and in Germany and America," she says.
"It just made me think of my grandparent's generation who weren't as lucky as we are to live in a tiny patch of land that is relatively free. Their world changed from one day to the next."
This became the central theme of the album.
"It fell into place and I knew it was the story of the album and I asked my dad if he had any recordings of my grandfather because I had never heard him play and it was so moving hearing him play for the first time, so I thought it would be nice to include it on the album," she says.
"I really wanted to create an album. It's not catering for the digital market. All the songs flow into each other and it really is meant to be consumed in that order."
She says she enjoys mixing light and shade in her songs.
"I quite like having juxtapositions, like it's a very happy upbeat song, but the subject matter can be a bit dark. I quite like messing with contrasts," says Roxanne.
Her songs are strong lyrically and melodically and she has made no secret of the early influence of the Beatles on her work.
"I fell in love with the Beatles when I was very, very little and never fell out of love," she says.
"I think it's so rare that you have more than one amazing writer in the band. There were three unique and different styles.
"It was John Lennon's hard-hitting honesty that really resonated with me."
But she adds: "I have to say George Martin is just as much an inspiration as the Beatles are. I'm so not classically trained but George Martin is my window into classical arrangement."
This year will also see the launch of her first book which she calls "a wee book" called Tales from the Rails which will collect some of the best blogs she written over her years as an independent artiste travelling by train.
She's also planning to continue running one-day conferences, called From Me to You, to help new performers.
I asked her what her advice would be to a new artiste just starting out.
"Make the kind of music you want to make. The only time I get writers block is when I think what other people might think," she says and adds: "And be nice, be a nice person."
Roxanne's book Tales from the Rails can be pre-ordered at http://www.roxannedebastion.com/book/
Roxanne plays The Lexington in London on 16 April http://www.wegottickets.com/greennote/event/429432
Nic Rigby - Words
Neil King - Pics