Sapphire Henson is a star, whether the world is aware of it yet or not. We get dozens of submissions a day at Up Up Music and it’s rare that we come across such a diamond in the rough. Record Companies would be wise to listen up. In Henson we have the rawness of early Adele, the sass of Amy Winehouse, and the creative, wandering songwriting style that calls to mind SZA.
We have Sapphire Henson for what might be her very first interview.
Thank you so much for chatting with us. You have such a unique voice. You’re a star. I’m sure of it. I listen to so much music and am a musician myself. I hope that the right ears hear what you’re doing, because it’s familiar and unique at the same time. So back to that unique voice, who are your vocal influences?
Growing up i listened to a lot of Pink, Paramore, Chemical Romance(Kinda the opposite of what i listen to know) So I guess the way they are emotive with the way they sing has influenced the way i sing if that makes sense?
Now my vocal influences are Lana Del Rey Adele, Aretha Franklin and Amy Winehouse.
Paolo Nutini is also on the list. There's an Artist called Eløvor, her vocals are amazing. The shamanic/spiritual nature of her vocals has definitely inspired my own, in my song 'mind taken' you can hear it
I can definitely hear Adele in your brand-new single Leave Me Be, but it’s first album Adele, back when she was a bit more raw. How do you describe your music to people that have never heard it?
Ooh, I always find it hard to describe what it sounds like to others, it just sounds like me i suppose. If i had to describe my music in 3 words i think I'd pick Ambient, acoustic, soul
Where are you based? Do you play out live there (When we aren’t in a Pandemic, of course)?
I am based in Peterborough UK. I used to do a couple open mics here and there, I've never done a proper show or gig, but will definitely do it after lockdown, not performing and being stuck inside has made me realize how much time I've wasted not being productive when it comes to performing and going for it.
In doing my research for this interview I noticed that you put out a cover of Robyn’s Dancing on My Own. Robyn is a huge influence on my own music and that song was my introduction to her. Are you a big fan? What’s another song you would like to cover and why? What makes you pick a particular song to cover?
To be honest, the first time I ever heard the song, it was sung on X-factor by Calum Scott, I'd never heard of Robyn until then.
I wanna cover some more old songs next, maybe turn some into piano versions and try change them up a bit.
Interesting! So, it’s a cover of a cover. What song by another artist can you not stop listening to right now?
Well, id have to say 'look what you made me do' by Taylor Swift
What can you tell me about your songwriting style?
Well, I've always admired the way Amy Winehouse writes her music and liked the way she writes it like poetry.
I also like the way Lana Del Rey writes her stuff, the way she works with words, for example, in her song 'hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have' the simplicity of the chords and her clever rhymes are a perfect mix.
When I have writers block, I imagine different Artists singing my initial idea/the first draft, sometimes it makes it easier to write, I think 'what would they sing/how would they write that?
Another rule I try and stick to when writing is the' KISS' rule: keep it simple stupid. It’s a method old-school Motown writers used.
Do you play an instrument?
Piano, guitar, a little Ukelele
What’s next for you?
Well, I’m hoping to get more bloggers to write reviews, release another album, more singles, might even make a music video. I’d love to get a music video on Vevo, that would be awesome.
Listen to LEAVE ME BE by SAPPHIRE HENSON