New Zealand musician FLORA is quickly making a name for herself both here and in the UK with the release of her latest single and video, ATOMIC.
Working with music producer Morten Schjolin in London, the song has already reached 80,000 streams and is on many playlists across the UK, EU and USA.
We chatted with Flora to discover what she’s been up to in the UK, her Kiwi upbringing, and what she has planned next.
Congratulations on the release of the new video! What did you set out to achieve on this project and how did it come together?
Thanks so much! For a long time, I have wanted to record, sing and publish my own music. For years it was a hobby and I had always loved singing. It all became a profession when other professionals started working with me and teaching me how to become a better writer. Along the journey I found a good style and a voice that was my own. Once I had the confidence finding that, I set out to find and pitch my songs to a producer to work with. I moved to London and met that goal when I met Morten. Out of all the songs I have written so far, Atomic is the closest to my heart, so Morten and I recorded and produced it ourselves, and here we are.
In what way does this project differ from what you've done before?
Before becoming a singer/songwriter, I had always been working in musical theatre around New Zealand. In musical theatre you’re under the direction of someone else. When it comes to freelance composing, you are essentially your own boss and take all responsibility, so there is more freedom and different challenges that you face.
Did you have a set vision in mind, or was it more an organic process?
I always planned to move to London to be more into the music scene. Me and my producer always had a set idea on how to go about promoting on Instagram etc, but when it came to the music itself, we were free as birds in the recording studio. We experimented with a lot of different melodies and rhythms and were happy with the final outcome of the single that we have released together.
Are there any major themes or messages you wanted to get across to your audience?
I like to have a lot of relevance in my writing and for it to sometimes be pretty raw. When I am writing each song, I write about what is in my head on that day and time of day, so many of my songs could be very complex and have a deep meaning, while others could be about something very simple. When it comes to Atomic, I want to share with my audience that love does not last forever even if it’s as powerful as a comic that hits you. Atomic teaches us that something so beautiful can easily be as manipulative and blind us to the truth that is right in front of us.
What was your writing process?
Weirdly, I like to write my lyrics first. I don’t know why that is but I suppose it’s because I find the most important part about music is the message itself. The music we write is how we feel and comes from our soul but the words we sing are what we want to say and teach.
Where was Atomic recorded and what was the experience like?
I recorded in Fulham, London, in a private studio with my producer Morten Schjolin. I will continue to record more songs there when I am back. Currently I am in Auckland, New Zealand, but will be returning to London for a month soon.
Can you run me through your musical background and what you've been up to in the UK?
I started off in musical theatre doing shows in Wellington, Auckland and one New Zealand tour directed by Laughton Kora. At the end of 2016, I got noticed on YouTube by record label called LV Studios who asked if I wanted to work with them as a songwriter and emerging artist. LV Studios are based in Brooklyn, New York, however we worked long distance so there were many early mornings on Skype. While working for LV, I did some freelance work for independent film companies in New Zealand who used some of my music to promote certain events happening in Wellington and international film festival entries. At the start of 2018, I moved to London where I set out to work on my own. I met Morten Schjolin who has worked with many other people in the industry. We recorded Atomic together and pitched the song to Spotify who showed a great interest in promoting it. Atomic is now nearly up to 80,000 streams and is on many playlists across the UK, EU and USA. While being in London I did many gigs in all different areas in London and that is what I’m doing here in Auckland too before I go back.
What have you discovered about the UK music scene now you’ve been over there?
Everyone is very hardworking and very driven in their craft.
How would you describe your sound to new fans?
Pop with an edge and…awesome!
What can fans look forward to next and what are your ultimate goals?
Fans can look forward to more music that is soon to come. The ultimate goal would be to continue writing and producing music for the people to enjoy.
WATCH: Flora’s New Release Atomic, HERE: