Interview: Five Minutes with Margot

 Photographer: Tom Adam Green

Classically trained musician turned electro-pop songstress Margot has shared her new single ‘Slow Down’ via Pink Bikini Records. The single will feature on her EP debut Make It Last (releases on the 9th of October). To date, the songstress has seen support from the likes of Spinnup, Essentially Pop, and LeFutureWave Margot has cited a diverse range of genres that she listened to growing up. Her latest single is a proof of that, with colorful bass lines and electronic, ‘Slow Down’ is sure to become your next go-to pick me up track. 

We find out more about the songstress below.

Set the tone for us. Why the arts?

I grew up in a very musical household. My parents don’t play instruments themselves but there were always records spinning in our house, from opera, to pop, to soul or rock music, I was a very musically inspired child. I think with that upbringing, it became less of a choice to be involved in the arts and more of something that I was compelled to do. It’s a part of me and I’m a part of it.

Which comes first when you’re producing – the sound or the idea?

Each song is so different so it really depends. For the song ‘Make It Last’, the first on this EP, I had the hook melody idea first then my producer Frank Slimm worked the piano part to accompany that and made it come to life from there. On the opposite side, for ‘Slow Down’, Frank started with producing something, and when I heard that, I loved it and the inspiration for the melody and lyrics came after.

Does your material feature any collaborations?

The two singles prior to this release were collaborations; the first with London singer Nikaa and the second with Maevis who I know from back in Paris. For this EP, on the instrumentals, I collaborated with Frank Slimm, who produced, mixed, and mastered all 4 songs; as well as bass player Andy Burting which played on 3 of my songs. An old friend of Frank’s, Jamie Chalmers, also put guitar tracks down on ‘Dance For You’. We had to do all of his takes over zoom calls and emails because we recorded it over lockdown, which was a pretty interesting and unique experience!

What’s on your current playlist?

Lately, I’ve been listening to lots of Raveena, Hamza, Lianne La Havas, and Etta Bond.

Tell us about the chemistry you have with your fans on stage.

I think every artist understands how important it is to feel a connection with your fans when you’re on stage. For me, it’s a chance to share something I’ve created with people who might know my music, and some who may have never heard of me before, which is so special personally. For some of the people who have come to my show, it might be a night out they’ve been looking forward to for such a long time and I want to make sure that I’m making that experience as great for them as it is for me.

What techniques do you experiment with to get your original sound?

I like to do whatever feels right, so I try and not think about it too much at the moment by doing one thing or another. Usually, by being as free and open with the process as possible, I can create something that will inevitably have ‘my’ sound. I love to add vocal layers and harmonies, so I like to get those down early in the writing process and then work the instrumental around it from there. And a groovy bass is a must!

Take us through a day in the recording studio.

I usually come in with an idea of what I’d like to go for, thinking about the vibe or mood of the song, then I start writing from there. I do most of the studio days with my producer Frank Slimm, so we record demo vocals together, and then I’ll leave it to him to add layers on the instrumental, while I listen in and finish working on any vocal bits that need work. We like to keep things relaxed as possible in the studio, and it’s always nice to have people over who are going to be involved in the songs wherever possible and create a nice connection while the songs are being written.

Was there a specific moment in your life where you thought, “this is what I want to do”?

I was finishing high school and initially thought I’d go and study law and chemistry but then I had a little pep talk with myself and asked myself ’At 70, what would I have regretted not trying?’ I moved to Berlin when I was 17 to start writing and recording and then moved to London three years later, and I’ve never looked back!

What do you keep close by while you’re playing a set?

I don’t have anything specifically material that I like to have on me, other than my own microphone. It’s more about mental preparation for me, making sure I’m in the right frame of mind and ready to give the best performance I can.

Any emerging artists on your radar?

I’ve been following Sam Tompkins on Instagram for a while now and I really like his vibe, his music, and the way he releases music.

What gets your creative juices flowing?

I like to travel as much as possible, but even just walking around London listening to music helps get my mind working, as well as seeing friends, meeting new people, that kind of thing. I’m really into the visual aspect of music, so I’m always watching lots of music videos and scrolling through tons of photos for inspiration.

Take us through your collection of gear, tech or software that accompanies your creative expression.

Before I met Frank Slimm as my producer, I would produce all my own songs on Ableton. I still start some of my own ideas on there before I take them to Frank to work on them further. Now, I’m still using Ableton, but I got a Shure SM7b which I recorded the whole EP with and I love how it suits my voice. I’ve also got a pair of Yamaha HS8s which I love, but maybe my neighbors don’t so much!

Any side projects you’re working on?

I’m always up for working on collabs with different artists. I released a couple earlier this year and I’m definitely going to have some more out soon, but nothing I can talk about quite yet!

How have you refined your craft since you entered the industry?

By releasing songs! Every time I release something, it makes me a better artist. I reach other artists I can collaborate with, I define my visual aesthetic, and it leads me to write more songs. From there it all comes back around again. I have a note in my home studio that says: “To do: Do” and it always reminds me to keep pushing forward with my music and my releases.

Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you this year?

Well, after the EP release this Autumn, I’d like to do another video before the end of the year, and then I’m going to be back in the studio as per usual working on a follow-up. I’m eagerly awaiting the news about venues reopening in London and the rest of the UK. I’ve got a set and a show ready to go, and as soon as venues are reopening, I’ll be able to get back on stage and connecting with fans again.

Famous last words?

Stay safe, wear a mask, love one another and stream the Make It Last EP out October 9th!

Make It Last EP Tracklist

1. Make It Last

2. Slow Down

3. U In Mind

4. Dance For You

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