We caught up with Bird, aka Janie Price, a South London singer-songwriter whose new album ‘Figments of our Imagination’ has just been released. She plays every instrument on the record, which was produced by Chris Kimsey, notable for his collaboration with the Rolling Stones.
Why the name Bird? It’s one of those unGoogleable artist names…
I chose it a long time ago so I didn’t want to change it just because it’s now a bit tricky to Google. With hindsight, maybe I should have thought about it! I chose the name because it’s a real South London word, but it also signifies freedom for me. I’m a bit of a nomad at heart so it suits me. Plus if you want to Google me you can always type in my real name [Janie Price]!
How would you describe your music to someone who hasn’t heard it?
Modern pop music.
Who are your musical heroes?
The Police, Suzanne Vega, Beck, Prince, Roberta Flack.
What was it like working with Chris Kimsey?
I’ve worked with him before as a session musician so it was like being with an old friend. In fact we actually grew up two streets away from each other (at different times!) He’s a great producer and taught me an enormous amount over the course of making this album.
You play every instrument on your album – why did you choose to do that?
Honestly, it seemed easier! I could put the ideas in my head down exactly the way I wanted to without having to explain it to anyone. In the end, it wasn’t that easy – I play some instruments much better than others! I’m a pretty good drummer but a bad pianist. So I had to be creative with how I used the instruments and how I recorded them.
What does Brixton mean to you?
A lot! I grew up next to Morden – my Mum (although Irish) grew up in Brixton and my Nan lived in Stockwell when she got older, first on the council estate then just off Albert Square. I saw my first big gig at the Brixton Academy, it was Pearl Jam.
Do you think South London has a particular vibe in terms of music, art and culture?
It’s really multicultural which means we have a really rich and diverse music scene in South London which I love and I think you can hear that influence on this album. The tracks are quite diverse, from jazz roots on Lucky to rock on The Dare.
Have you played in Brixton before?
I’ve played the Windmill a few times, it’s a great little venue. It’s one of a sadly dying breed of smaller pub venues. They used to be everywhere but not anymore, so it’s great to see this one surviving.
What are your plans for the future and where can we catch you live?
Hopefully I’ll get to come back to Brixton playing the Academy! In the meantime I’ll be playing at the Groucho Club in Soho in the New Year and touring the USA next Spring which will coincide with the vinyl world wide release.
Check out the video for Bird’s new single ‘Thrill Me’ below.