It’s been nearly a decade since Rebecca Taylor and Charles Watson released their debut record as Slow Club. Nowadays Rebecca can be performing solo as Self Esteem. This Sunday evening she can be found at Brighton’s The Hope and Ruin but before then I have been fortunate enough to have some time to speak with Rebecca and find out more about her and her music.
Could you tell me about how you initially got involved with music and who influenced you most?
Well my dad was a musician and in a band when he met my mum. My whole childhood was based very much around music and dancing to it. I borrowed these VHS tapes of queen videos off my uncle Phil and watched them a lot as well as a tape of a Peter Gabriel tour which was pretty theatrical. I watched them over and over and became obsessed with performance but also the beauty and drama you could make with certain notes or beats. And then the spice girls obviously found me when I needed them. They helped me feel positive about my personality. And anyway all that created this monster.
Am I right in saying that you used to be in an indie band for about ten years. Could you tell me a little bit about them? What made you decide to go it solo?
My band slow club started when I was about 16. I’m very proud of what we did but I never felt comfortable at an indie level- or with the rules involved in that. I never felt ok being cool and relaxed. I wanted more. So here we are.
How are you finding the process of recording music as a solo artist?
It’s different. There are trials I’ve encountered I didn’t realise would be there. But I’m learning. I love being able to have an idea and see it through. Compromising for so long did have its effect on my gut reactions to creativity. It’s nice to feel that melt away a little. But it’s also hard to have nobody to turn to and buzz off when it’s feeling good. I’m learning though. It’s all a new second life almost. Like anything, it has ups and down.
Can you describe how you felt whilst after you’d released your first single?
It was weird because I lost my grandad the same week. He was The One person who really totally got me if you know what I mean. He was a ‘show off’ too. It felt like the beginning and like he knew I guess? I dunno. It was weird. But I haven’t looked back and I’m very focused. I’ve wanted to express myself fully for over 10 years. I’m trying to make sure I enjoy it but also be thorough.
For those who are new to your music which tracks would you encourage them to check out first and why?
There’s only 4 on Spotify I would say listen to them all while you’re on the bog in a morning
You could just listen to the record at home in your pants vaping which would always be better. I want to make it worth your while putting your trousers on.
How do you feel when you share your music for the first time? Do you prefer to share new music live where you can see the crowd’s reaction first hand or online perhaps?
I’m pretty dreadful and work on things then play them to people and stare at them and wait for compliments. If they don’t I’m like FFS what’s wrong with you. My nearest and dearest have learned to just say everything is genius. Most of these songs haven’t been heard by anyone in the wider world so I am absolutely beside myself excited to play them and hopefully receive said desired compliments.
Could you tell me a little bit about your approach to writing songs? Are you someone who is always making notes or will you lock yourself away for a period of time to focus?
I’m constantly writing but musically I do it all very quickly on the spot usually in the studio. I don’t like waste. If I’ve written it, it’s getting used.
What can those fortunate enough to have tickets expect from your live show?
All of me. In that moment I’m yours!
Over the years has your approach to performing live changed and if so how?
Over the years I found live shows to be more and more fucking boring. I always wanted to put on a show. I realise now how much people want a show. You could just listen to the record at home in your pants vaping which would always be better. I want to make it worth your while putting your trousers on.
What can we expect from you over the next twelve months?
Album coming out in March. Then touring my arse off. Hopefully more art more music more writing. More fun. More true relationships. More delicious experiences. Less worrying.