Singer-songwriter Gemma Louisianna is combing her love of country music with a brit pop edge to turn her expressive poems into catch songs. Today she released her brand new single ‘Break Up With Your Ego‘, so we caught up in an exclusive interview to talk song writing on the tube, Taylor Swift and the guy who inspired the single…

How did your journey into music come about?
I fell in love with poetry from a very early age and I won a competition aged seven that saw my poem published in a children’s compilation. I’d write poems in my notebooks at home all the time when I got back from school. That same year, my grandad bought me my first guitar which lead me to turn my poems into songs and haven’t looked back ever since. You’ll often find me writing ideas for songs on the tube or humming into voice voices when I’m out and about!

Growing up who were your musical icons?
It’s going to sound very cliché so forgive me, but personally, especially my teenage years, it was Taylor Swift… but she was more than just a musical icon. I had a really hard time at school and was bullied to quite an extreme. I used to write songs in the back of my planner, and I remember so clearly one time one of the kids in French class stole my planner and started to read out my songs to the class and laugh about it. Taylor openly went through similar things at a very similar age and put them into her songs. When I listened to her music and I felt that someone understood. My song writing, especially through my teenage years became like a diary to me and Taylor was definitely a huge influence of that.

You’re about to release your fourth single ‘Break Up With Your Ego’, where did the inspiration come from?
I thought long and hard about if I should share the full inspiration behind this song, but the story is actually too funny not to share so I’ll fill you in…It actually came from a really awkward date with someone last summer, who had been in the limelight a little bit and only talked about himself or his famous friends for the entire duration of the date. He went on to pick up my guitar, topless (blaming the weather of course) and sing his own music to me for an extended period of time and I literally couldn’t get a word in edgeways. Despite this he was actually a lovely person and genuinely wanted to find someone, so his intensions were very sweet, but I thought to myself, this guy could never have a relationship with a girl right now because he’s practically in a relationship with himself. I subtly jotted down notes for the song in my phone as he was playing guitar… and ‘Break Up With Your Ego’ was written the following day.

How would you describe your sound?
I’m influenced by so many different sounds in country! I’d say my style is Modern Country meets Brit Pop. You don’t have to have that Southern American accent to have a country feel but it’s rare to hear a British sounding vocal on a country track, so I want to blur those lines a little bit. I also grew up listening to pop punk and I see bands like Old Dominion changing country music by adding in subtle sounds like that into their music, giving it an edge. I wanted to be able to do a little bit of that on this track which is why you’ll hear the softer tones of the banjo and mandolin, but the addition of the electric guitar shakes it up a little!

Can you tell us about the recording process?
I start all my songs with notes on my iPhone and I then do some basic voice notes to send over to my producer. I’ve worked with my producer Alex Maile on every song I’ve recorded, and he has this amazing talent that from a voice note he literally knows how the song sounds in my head and is able to put that into action. We’ll discuss ideas of how we want the production to sound, and then we have two studio days. One to get the instrumental arrangement and the final one to lay down the vocals to the finished track. 

Do you have any more releases on the horizon? What does the rest of 2020 look like for you?
As a writer first and foremost, this year I aim to do a lot more co-writes and work with more artists, so there are a lot of collaborations on the horizon. In terms of new releases, I have one song in particular that people seem to have a soft spot for and I’m always being asked if I’m going to record it, so that is definitely in plan for Spring/Summer this year, as well as a possible re-release of my very first single! At the end of the year I’m hoping to arrange a writers trip to Nashville which is hugely exciting!

‘Break Up With Your Ego’ is available to purchase and stream on all platforms now. Listen to it on Spotify here.

Follow Gemma on Instagram, @gemmalouisianna

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