Tipped for the top, new singer Seven is the under-the-radar artist about to blow. Her jazz-influenced soulful vocals sit atop electronic pop melodies that are too catchy to forget. Seven is a one-woman powerhouse, involved in every aspect of the creative process – she’s not leaving anything up to chance. Luckily for us, she’s one of the inspiring individuals appearing in our new #WORNDIFFERENT campaign, wearing the Telkes Darcy Floral boot. We caught up with her to discover just how Seven is doing things differently…
You’ve been shooting the video for your new single Thinking Of, how did it go?
Ahh it was amazing. It all went so well, apart from the makeup artist missed her flight, haha. But that was the only mishap. We shot it in France in this region where lots of royalty lived, so it’s got that decadent, regal feel to it. Yeah, I’ve just had the best few days.
I like to have full creative control and be able to express myself how I want to.
What is the song Thinking Of about?
Thinking Of is about being in love, it’s a love song essentially. The video shoot in France was about a Queen thinking about her King. It’ll be released in the next couple of months. My last single was released independently, I set up my own label to do it – so now I’m exploring options. Do I continue to be independent or do things through a major [label]? I like to have full creative control and be able to express myself how I want to – and I really respect independent artists, so we’ll see.
You’re obviously involved in every aspect of your career, what’s a typical day for you?
Well, I’ll always start with vocal exercises. Then I’ll go to the studio, I recently finished building a studio with my producer, so I’m usually in there. I’m in a real writing phase at the moment. So I’ll sit in the studio, meditating over a track and seeing what comes from that.
Where do you find inspiration?
Reading is a really important part of my process, it helps expand my writing and vocabulary and really inspires me. I’m reading Shantaram right now and the way it’s written… it’s like you’re there, it’s so evocative.
I grew up on jazz, so that’s the way I learned to sing.
How would you describe your sound?
Electronically soulful. I grew up on jazz, so that’s the way I learned to sing. But I want to make pop music – I just want to make it it the way I want it to be. I want it to be different.
Your new EP – when is it out, and what’s it about?
It’s called Blac Smoke and most of the tracks are about an old flame. So it’s like, after a fire has burned out, what comes after? Smoke. It’s basically an insight into my life and my journey so far, it’s quite autobiographical.
I’m not here to be a one hit wonder.
There are 4 tracks on it – I’ve been working on it for a year so I have bare music, but 4 made the cut. Some of them from my time in New York, when I was in artist development sessions – basically sitting by a piano, knocking out songs with no time to think. So they all just flowed out. Truth – the songs are real.
I can’t wait to release it but everything has to be right. I’m not here to be a one hit wonder. Once it’s out there. It’s a lasting legacy, I need to be proud of it.
Which artists do you admire or whose career do you admire?
Abrah! She’s amazing. The way she bleeds on a track is so inspiring. Ray Blk is an independent artist I really respect. I remember seeing her at Village Underground and just being mesmerised. I could feel it, you know? She really connects with her audience through music – plus she’s doing it independently. Also Jorja Smith, how could I forget her, she’s an amazing singer and things are blowing up for her right now.
Is it difficult being a young woman in a male-dominated industry?
Definitely. Some of your opinions aren’t being heard as a woman. That’s a bit frustrating. People don’t take you seriously as a female… I’m like ‘no, I’m a serious artist’. I don’t think if I was a male I would get the same treatment and reactions that I do. But… that’s why we need to push through. And I feel like there’s a movement now, a lot of strong females are coming through and rewriting the rules of the game. It’s exciting.
You grew up between Liverpool and Perth, where’s home to you?
London is definitely home. After school my parents said to me ‘you can either go to uni or travel’ they wanted me to expand my horizons and experience things. Obviously I chose to travel, haha. The first time I came to London I just felt like I could breathe. I’m myself here. I grew up as a teen in Perth, which is a small town – it’s the most isolated city on earth. I think for creative people, they gravitate to places like London where it’s so much more accepting of being different.
Did you always know you wanted to be a musician?
I’ve known since I was, like, four that I wanted to be a singer. Whenever anyone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up I’d say ‘a singer’. Then they’d ask what Plan B was and I’d be like ‘Plan B? What Plan B?’. That’s why I had to move to London, there’s no music scene in Perth.
I knew I was meant to end up here [London] when really soon after I moved, my first gig was in front of 3000 people, I’d only ever performed in front of 50 max before that, then my second gig was on the Sonic stage at Glastonbury. I dove straight into the deep end.
You’ve got a really unique personal style, is fashion important to you?
I’ve always had a certain style that people have commented on, I’ve always been into fashion and needing to express myself. I first got a pair of Doc’s when I was a teen, they were chunky and patent and those boots started shaping my style. I’m all about being bold and not conforming.
I was bullied horribly growing up and it made me want to stand up for those who can’t conform.
What do you stand for?
I stand for daring to be different and freedom of expression. I was bullied horribly growing up and it made me want to stand up for those who can’t conform. And they shouldn’t have to – true inspiration comes from being yourself.