Alternative, Electro pop Singer/Songwriter, Harpist and Model, Floralyn George has followed the release of her debut EP When Light Falls Asleep with a mesmerising reimagination of Coolio’s 1995 smash hit Gangsta’s Paradise.
Floralyn was born into a family of musicians, and has been singing and playing the harp for more than 10 years. She has been performing in the United Kingdom, Macau, Hong Kong, Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece and Egypt.
Floralyn’s video for Gangsta’s Paradise can be viewed on YouTube, with the opportunity for fans to get a free download of the song.
Today in the first of a two-part interview, Andy Howells puts questions to Floralyn.
How did you get into performing and writing music?
I always wanted to become a singer and perform on stage, as far back as I can remember. I used to watch the MTV Awards on TV, thinking how one day I want to sing on that stage. When I started primary school, my mom used to run a small private school for singing and performance. That’s where I started doing my first live solo performances as a singer.
However, I always knew that I should be writing my own songs and find my purpose as an artist. First I learned how to compose, read and write music and then songwriting came much later. I’ve written enough songs for almost 2 albums since last year.
Who are your music inspirations and why?
It always has been very hard for me to say who am I inspired by because there are so many amazing artists I listen to. Also, I never aim to sound like anyone, but I actually try to do the opposite. I love electronic music, trip-hop and pop.
In my music the main thing is the vocal although, I pay lots of attention to the instrumental parts of the songs as well. Most of my inspiration comes from artists like Bonobo, Massive Attack and Years&Years who combine all these genres together in a very subtle and diverse way. One is more pop, another is more trip-hop and electronica. When it comes to vocals, I admire Sia and Beyonce, cause they are both great examples of influential female voices that I really like.
You play the harp, which as far as many musicians go, we don’t see a lot of that in popular culture at the moment. What drew you to the instrument?
I guess it was mostly just destiny? It kinda just happened this way. I was invited to audition for the Music School where I wanted to study in the Pop and Jazz department, but I was still quite young. The director of the school wanted me there as soon as possible so she offered me to start studying an instrument till I had grown up and my voice became more mature. She mentioned a few instruments and one of them was harp. At that moment I already knew that was the instrument for me. I can’t remember exactly how I knew it existed as no one around me had mentioned it before, but I’ve probably I’ve seen it on some cartoons I guess. In time, it turned out to be a great decision made by such a youngster like the one I was.
Can you recall the first song or artist that captured your attention?
Yes, when I was about 4-5 years old my brother and I used to have a cassette player. My dad is a true hard rock fan and he has his own band as well, so he has a massive collection of rock albums. In that time he gave us to play ‘Brothers in Arms’ by Dire Straits and my favourite song was ‘Money for Nothing’. This is the first song that I remember that captured my attention. I listened to it many times.
You released the beautiful EP When Light Falls Asleep last year. What was the inspiration behind the songs?
My aim for this EP was to avoid perfection, but just represent my musical soul and create something new and quite challanging for my audience. It’s this kind of a raw record which I would release just 500 copies and one day my true fans will be chasing them.
I think I achieved it! Most people didn’t expect me to release something so different from the popular stuff I used to perform. “The Burning Sea” was inspired by a live performance of Ben Howard which he did for Joolz Holland of his song “End of the Affair”. It absolutely blew me away emotionally so I wanted to find this emotion inside myself, which every performing artist should have… that ability to move people’s hearts and release them from their pain.
“Won’t be back” was the one which just “came down from heaven” as I like to say. The whole song just came to me like magic. And then the single ‘When light falls asleep’ at the time I really wanted to write a house song or something which was putting myself or the harp into a challenge. I like Calvin Harris’ song “How Deep is Your Love” so that track kinda helped me find the ending point of the song. All 3 songs are different but they come from one place. They required lots of work and dedication in the process of composition.
Were you pleased with the response the release received?
Yeah, I think I am. Some writers, like yourself, compared it with the the early stuff of Kate Bush and Tori Amos. Others compare me with Florence & The Machine or Lorde. They are all amazing artists and I am happy that the audience related with my songs.
For more details on Floralyn George check out the following links:
- Website: http://floralyngeorge.com
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/floralyngeorge/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/floralyngeorge/
- Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/5daKLnSAvNb5n5Xw2sXmGP
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/tsvetimusic
- The second part of our interview with Floralyn George will appear on Entertainment South Wales tomorrow.