DOORSTEP INTERVIEW: Immy Williams | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Welcome to Doorstep Interview, where we find out more about the amazing bands and artists we have right here in the north east. This time, the lovely Immy Williams tells us about her upcoming plans and her life balancing being a student with being a musician.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Who are you, where are you from?

Hey hey. I’m Immy Williams, 18, from Newcastle. I’m a singer and piano player obsessed with song writing, constantly lugging my keyboard from venue to venue across the North East in the midst of bliddy A-Levels.

What inspired you to first start making music?

I don’t actually remember when I first started to sing or make up my own little tunes. My parents raised me on music. I also have a lot to thank The Beatles, The Smiths, James Taylor, Bowie and Carole King for (just to name a few) – I grew up listening to their music and their lyrics and musicality is what inspired me to start writing my own material.

Who would you say are your biggest influences?

I tend to grab inspiration from anywhere I can really. When I go to gigs (local, buskers nights through to sell-out arena shows) I’m always learning. When it comes to influence from other artists I would say my top three are probably Carole King, The Beatles and, more modern, London Grammar.

How would you describe your sound?

With just piano and vocals my sound is fairly simple. Audience have drawn comparisons with Hannah Reid (London Grammar), Lana Del Rey, Norah Jones and Tori Amos. Whilst extremely flattered, I like to think I have my own style and bring a lot of originality to my songs.

“Nothing can take away a musician’s passion to perform or create, but making it your job seems to be seen as a ‘sacrifice’ or a ‘gamble'”

Where do you see yourself fitting into the local music scene?

The music scene up here is so vibrant at the minute: you just need to go to a local venue to see for yourself the sheer amount of raw talent. I’m very pleased to be a part of it. I love often playing venues such as The Cluny, ThinkTank and smaller quirky venues like SurfCafe in Tynemouth. Everywhere you go there’s music and I think Newcastle needs more acknowledgement as a city swarming with talent.

Tell us a bit about your live performances. What can we expect from a gig by Immy Williams?

It’s usually a very chilled atmosphere. For example, you won’t see any moshing at one of my gigs… It’s usually fairly intimate and that’s one of the many things I love about what I do – being able to engage with the audience and have them be as much a part of the experience as the music itself.

Can you tell us what gigs you have planned in the region in the near future?

As this is final A-Level year for me I’ve been attempting to cut down on gigs recently until summer. However, if I stopped playing entirely I’d probably implode so I have a few lined up: I supported one of my favourite artists Marika Hackman at the beginning of April and on the 11th I supported the wonderful Ren Harvieu at Think Tank. Then on May 22nd I’m honoured to be opening the show for Tessera Skies and Bridie Jackson and the Arbour at the Sage. Just after exams I’m opening Mouth of the Tyne Festival at Whitley Bay Playhouse on July 9th then in the summer I plan on perhaps releasing some new stuff, doing a bit of collaboration, lots more writing and festivals.

What do you think has been your biggest achievement so far as an artist?

Back in December I released my debut single The Ocean and managed to sell-out the launch gig which was my first headline show – it was pretty overwhelming to say the least. Just before that, supporting the legendary Martha Reeves and the Vandellas has to be up there with one of the most surreal things I’ve done. I also supported one of my all-time favourite bands Little Comets at their intimate show in Newcastle late last year, rounding 2014 off perfectly.

Have there been any major challenges so far in your musical career?

Nothing can take away a musician’s passion to perform or create, but making it your job seems to be seen as a ‘sacrifice’ or a ‘gamble.’ The money side of being a musician has been notoriously rubbish unless you’re a ‘lucky one.’ Whilst the internet is an amazing tool to get your music noticed, it means everything is readily available and the need to pay to listen to music is not so great. We need money at some point! Also, as anyone can use the internet as a platform for their music, the competition is intense purely because of the vast amount of people aspiring towards the same sort of thing.

What else have you got planned for the future?

This summer is not one for resting. I’ll be non-stop writing, recording and performing; trying to get myself back on a musical track after A-Levels. I’m hoping to move down to London in September to study Music at Uni which is all very exciting. Got a good feeling about the next couple of years!

Immy Williams supports Tessera Skies and Bridie Jackson & The Arbour at the Sage Gateshead on Friday 22nd May.

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