Now this is exciting – Londonist gets to interview the next big thing. If this young lady isn’t a phenomenal success any time soon we’ll eat our mouse mats.
Rox isn’t yet signed to a label she’s that raw and fresh, although the ubiquitous Mark Ronson has taken her under his wing.
Half Persian/half Jamaican, Rox manages to look both sultry and mignon at the same time, and that roughly describes her music – she pelts it out, and yet it sounds kinda sweet too. And she writes her own stuff. On her MySpace page she lists her influences ranging from Sade to Common with a heavy dollop of gospel stringing it all together. We thought we’d have a chat with her to get the full low-down:
Hey Rox: tell us about your music – what does it sound like?
My songs are like the written pages in my diary, minus the dates and the dear diary headings! They're personal, honest and all the subjects and words are real. Stylistically I think of it as classic, yet current. In terms of genre I think it differs from song to song, but I reckon its soul that ties them together.
What have been the biggest influences on your sound? Where does the Persian come in?
My biggest influence has to be love. Having it, being right in it, and losing it. But before all that, I suppose it was the music I took in around me. Gospel music from going to church every week, country music which was played at home from my grandparents, and every other genre from my dad. The artists I mainly used to listen to and still do everyday are Sade, Lauryn Hill, Mary J., and Eva Cassidy. All 4 are very different but are all equally as talented. I suppose the Persian side is yet to come in, its something I definitely want to explore in my music.
What comes first – the words or the music?
It usually starts with the music...starting with the chords, then I start sketching out a tune. The lyrics are a hard one as I like to get them right. Sometimes they flow off my tongue, other times, I have to go searchin for them, its annoying playing hide and seek. And I defy anyone who calls it writers block! Ha!
What are you up to at the moment?
At the moment I'm grinding away in the studio. Writing is such an important process, and while I have the time, I'm going to do it as much as possible especially as I feel I have so much to say! I'm also getting prepared for a lot of promo work for the single I'm featuring on called distant dreams, which is on the Nitin Sawhney record. That's going to be great fun, I can't wait to perform at the electric proms!
Where are you going with your music?
I'm going, wherever it takes me! That's the joy of the music world. You never know what's going to happen next!
Where are you based in London and what’s good about it?
I'm based in south London. I've lived here all my life! Its not all shootings, stabbings and happy slappings you know...its very up and coming! Ha!
What’s your favourite music venue in London (for performing)?
One of my favourite music venues for performing would be yOyO’s. It has such a great energy and vibe. It’s so small, and can get really crowded in there, but that's what I love about it. Also there's another great venue in Chalk Farm called Monkey Chews, which is randomly located in the middle of an estate...its great for those intimate acoustic gigs. It’s a real hidden gem!
Can you think of an unusual London location that should open itself up for gigs?
An unusual London location that would make a great music venue would have to be my back garden. It’s a nice healthy size and we've got a load of fruit trees. Oh think of the amazing gigs i could put on in summer, and you could pick some cherries at the same time. Sounds like my idea of heaven!
What’s your favourite music night out?
My favourite music night out would have to be a newly discovered one, which was introduced to me by my boyfriend. It’s called Ain't it Black in Favela Chic, Old Street. It has an amazing vibe there. Live music and then amazing djs you can shake a leg or whatever you want to, all night long. Their motto is don't pose, just dance, I love that.
Who else on the London scene should we be listening to?
There's a few people you should be looking out...one is an amazing accentric friend of mine called Paloma Faith. If you ever get a chance to see her live do it, it'll change your life. Another friend called GhostPoet who does experimental hip-hop...very talented guy. There's sooo many more, they're all on my top friends on my myspace...
Where can we see you playing next?
You can see my playing next at the roundhouse in Camden, with an orchestra. That’ll be for the Nitin Sawhney set at the electric proms, with hopefully some very special guests! I’ll be starting my gigs around November time, there may even be a 12inch for grabs as well!
Tell us your London secret…
My London secret is...I don't actually live in London! Lies, I do really!
Londonist is already a huge fan. We're watching you, Rox!