Focus: Borelle | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Who are you and where are you from?
My name is Borrelle and I’m originally from the West Midlands, but live and make music here in Newcastle upon Tyne!

What is it you do?
I am a singer-songwriter who likes to sing and write songs on the ukulele and baritone ukulele.

How long have you been doing it?
I think my music-writing started when I began learning the piano at school when I was 11 or 12.  Growing up in a family who loved music helped a lot- I was surrounded by the sounds of Bob Dylan, The Who, The Beatles, 10cc, Lily Allen (the list goes on). So, I think these two things combined made me realise the potential of music, and that I can make music…my own…! I have always been into art and drawing, and at that age drawing comics was all I did. The piano just became another creative outlet for me, another way to tell a story. I quickly realised learning the piano wasn’t another chore like homework; I can actually, express myself on this thing, haha!

After picking up the piano, I was fully deep in my Youtuber phase. This was, I admit, an embarrassingly big part of teenage life. One of the people I watched was ‘doddleoddle’ (also known as ‘dodie’) – and watching her play the ukulele online definitely awoke something in me. I was like… well I can’t play the guitar because my hands are too small, but I can try and give that thing a shot. So I went to the music rooms during school lunchtimes and taught myself how to play it. The ukulele gradually became my main instrument and I slowly started to see myself becoming, dare I say, a songwriter?! It always felt like a silly vision that I kept at the back of my mind during school, but it was a dream. And now, thanks to Generator’s First Notes programme, I was shown all the ropes of releasing music! I am so grateful to them, because now here I am with my second single coming out on 14th September!

What inspires you?
Ah, this question is tricky; I can never give a solid answer! I feel like my inspirations come in quick bursts and can take any form: my surroundings, my actions, words people say, animals, and music. I like putting phrases together, rhyming, and working with imagery. And I like noticing things and writing it in my notes app with the intention of using it as a lyric one day. I go about writing my songs not always with a specific intention in mind because I think that can sometimes put me in a box. I like to let the words and the sounds flow, and I chase that feeling of making a song feel just right and making it just hit home.

Tell us about your music.
My music is in the indie-pop genre! I really like my songs to be catchy and upbeat- it’s my priority for my music to be engaging. I want people to bop their heads to my songs, I want them to think, hey, how did that song once go…? Oh yeah… *hums a tune* I’d say my music is for fans of: Lily Allen, mxmtoon, Glass Animals, Clairo, Remi Wolf, Gus Dapperton and dodie.

I primarily like to sing about my relations, anxieties, and various difficult experiences and learning curves. I like to make something enjoyable out of what I sing and be silly and playful with my lyrics too. That’s where my music feels powerful and significant to me, and it’s how I process a lot of my life. When the down days feel so down, I don’t want to wallow, I want to channel it and understand it, and so I write something. From that point of view, I suppose my music comes out of a place of restlessness, like, enough of this stupid feeling! Let’s pick up the ukulele and sing something good. And then I am soothed.

What have you got coming up in the future?
I have an acoustic ukulele song coming out on the 14th September, my second single, called Whatever, which I recorded with Sam Grant. It’s a song about gleefully accepting that you cannot control your life and wrestling with that fact. It’s inspired by a silly family memory from when I first learned the word ‘whatever’ as a small kid. Every evening I would subject my family to a performance of singing (but mainly shouting) the word over and over on a tiny toy guitar. I like to think the song has a similar vibe(!)

I also will be performing at the Cumberland Arms on the 8th October too! So come along to that if you are interested. And I am also working on recording a new song as well… so stay tuned!

Where can people find out more about you?
You can find me on Instagram @borrelle_ and also, if you want, you can listen to my first single Until I Blink, which is out on every streaming platform!

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