It’s a new week and time for track of the week!
What better way to celebrate May 17th (and lockdown easing even further in the UK) than a brand new track from Chrissie Huntley? ‘Supposed to Be’ explores heartbreak and raw emotions with powerful lyrics and a heady concoction of soul, pop and R&B.
We sat down with Chrissie to find out more behind the track, her inspirations and how the songwriting process works.
What was your inspiration when you began writing the track?
This track is a classic out-pour of teenage heartbreak wrapped up in three and a half minutes. I actually wrote the song about six years ago when I got dumped just before Valentine’s Day. My housemate at the time suggested I let my emotions out on paper through poetry or lyrics.
I’d never really written any songs before so it was a first for me! At the time, I had no intention of releasing it; it was more like a free therapy for me to work through my feelings. It was only in 2020 that I decided it was time to breathe some new life into it and turn it into a record. I’m really proud of where it’s at now – I feel (well, hope) it’s matured a fair bit since my teenage years.
Are there any artists that inspire you when writing?
Lots! The production of this track in particular was inspired by R&B/soul artists like Sabrina Claudio, Sinéad Harnett and NAO. But more recently, a lot more pop music has influenced me; artists like Emily Burns, Charlotte Jane and Violet Skies. However, my all-time inspiration in music (and in life) has got to be Lianne La Havas!
What is key to your sound and how do you make your music stand out?
I try to ensure my tracks have a real focus on the vocal. An amazing Swedish singer named Molly Hammar recently launched a campaign called Bring Back Vocals, which aimed to reclaim the focus from all the whistles and bells of music production that can ultimately remove the human behind the vocal track, and bring it back to the vocalist’s actual craftsmanship. For me it’s the ‘real’, emotional vocals that have the power to really resonate with and move people, so I strive to give a powerful and emotive vocal performance in all of my tunes (oh, and I love a heavy bass!).
How does your songwriting process work?
It depends. Sometimes, I write poetry/general musings down in the notes app in my phone to later turn into lyrics; other times, I get inspired by a song/melody/general concept and write a topline, just acappella; or, more recently, I’ve taught myself how to play guitar, so I will often write a chord progression first and add the topline later.
“Each song I’ve written has come from a different place.”
Each song I’ve written has come from a different place. If it’s quite a raw, honest subject matter, it has usually come from something I’ve written in my notes one time on a bus or something. But if I’ve written a guitar part first, the words tend to just form as I go and it ends up being less personal, and often even fictional. That way is quite fun as it tends to be a bit of a surprise at what the song is going to be about.
Describe your sound in 3 words…
Smooth, sparkly soul.
How has studying at BIMM helped you develop as an artist?
Before I came to BIMM, I had zero knowledge about the business side of being an artist. I had also never gigged before in my life – I remember being in one of my first lectures and having no idea what a “DI” was! So, looking back on myself then to where I am now really is night and day.
I still have so much to learn as the industry is always moving and changing, but without BIMM, there’s no way I would have had the amazing opportunities to develop my artistry, both in my recorded work and performing live.
What’s next for you?
This release is the first in several single releases I have scheduled for the rest of the year. So, if you like the sound of ‘Supposed to Be’ then keep an eye out for those.
I also have a headline show at The Grain Barge in Bristol on July 1st, which I’m super excited about. It’s my first show back since February 2020 so it’s going to be such a welcome return to the stage. I can’t wait!