What was the inspiration/is there a story behind your track?
I originally had the chorus of If You’ve Ever Been in Love as a voice memo on my phone almost a year prior to finishing it. It was supposed to simply be a love song to my girlfriend at the time, but I struggled to complete it without it feeling clunky and forced. And so it sat there. I came back to it one afternoon a good few months after we’d broken up when I was feeling particularly low. I don’t like calling it a break-up song because that’s really not what it is. It was written as a way to process what had happened for me, but also because I felt I had a lot of things I hadn’t said or explained. A sort-of-refined teen angst.
What did your process involve?
If You’ve Ever Been in Love was the dream songwriting process because it took no more than half an hour. I remember writing the first two lines and nearly scrapping them – they felt too obvious to me – but I couldn’t stop playing the progression for the voice memo melody that was stuck in my head. There was something about the way the chords almost fell into each other that I became transfixed by for a while. I wasn’t initially trying to write a fully formed song with hooks and sections, I was writing a stream of consciousness. It was almost like a journal, which was a relief because sometimes your vision for finishing a song gets in the way of what you let come out. I decided to record a live version to share online, which was actually the first time I had fully played the track through. I had no intention of releasing the song to begin with, but I received such an amazing reaction from people when they heard the song that I changed my mind. The version on Spotify is just a decorated version of that live recording and I’m ever grateful to past me for holding on to that dodgy voice memo.
Do you have a favourite line/section of the song?
I think my favourite cluster of lines has to be:
‘and that turned over photograph I miss looking at so, ‘cause the pictures we’d take are the memories we’d make and they’re covering my room –
but it’s too late for that and it’s too late for me and you.’
I was at a party at my ex’s house a while after we split, when I noticed a photo of us I had given her as a gift was still on the side but turned face-down. I remember that really hurting; one, because I still had all our memories plastered up around my own room, and two because it was so painfully obvious that even though it was over, neither of us were actually fully letting go. I still like how real that is when I sing it.
Can you describe your sound in three words?
Heartfelt acoustic pop.
What’s the best thing about studying at BIMM?
The collaboration, hands down. I never dreamed I would meet so many incredible and inspiring people in one place that are so keen to help each other get better at what they do. It’s an amazing atmosphere.