INTRODUCING: MORGANE LOLA

How would you describe your music to anyone who hasn’t heard it?

I would describe my music as cinematic pop with R&B and Eastern influences. Born of French/English parents, I have employed the French language into my writing, and often sing in a mixture of both languages Franglais. I began my debut EP with a producer who allowed me to create the sound world I wanted, a couple of years ago. It was tricky for me to find a reliable producer who had the same level of perfectionism as me,so it’s taken a while to create what I wanted. I had the vision all along, and I am so happy to know I have Kit Rice as my co-producer for this current project. We understand each other, which creates a special dynamic.

When did you realise that you wanted to make music?

I was about six maybe? That’s when I knew I was a performer/entertainer. I didn’t actively pursue it until I was about fifteen when my mum threatened that she’d stop funding my vocal training, which at the time was tailored towards classical singing. I think that helped me understand the voice more. Now I can play with different styles a lot more freely, than if I’d just solely trained classically or only in a contemporary way – I can play on the best of the worlds I know.

I’m a big believer in zero boundaries and having an extended and vivid imagination. In terms of writing, I wrote my first full song at fifteen but musical ideas had come to me since I was very young, about eight I would say. Fifteen was a big year for me, as I came out of my shell and expressed my unique quirkiness, that I hadn’t outwardly before due to immense shyness. I had to come out of my shell because life got tough, and I had to have my own back and manage things alone a lot of the time.

I’d do shows at school, and began showing my artistry live a little more outside of school. That was the year I made some nice musical connections that I intend to keep forever. Then I went to BRIT School for sixth form and I’m now kind of graduating from two unis; long story [laughs]. I originally chose to go in order to have time to fully come into myself and propel my artist profile outwards to the world, and cannot wait to be done with it already. I’m currently writing a promotional plan for my EP, and doing more live stuff so it’s all coming together. I’m coming together as a young woman now. A young artist woman [laughs]. I love the feeling when I detect inner growth.

Who or what influences your music the most?

It’s tricky. I don’t know if I have specific artists but sounds I like stick in my brain like a sponge. My biggest influences come from my childhood and adolescence. Like as a child, I was a little obsessed with musicals. I played The Hunchback of Notre Dame on repeat for so long, that my mum had to hide the tape [laughs]. I was also massively influenced by hip hop artists such as MC Solaar. He was my main rapper because not only is the music on another level, but his lyrics are so profound and I’m always touched to the core by what he has to say.

Lounge music like Hotel Costes and Buddha Bar are also high on the influences list, thanks to my dad’s taste whilst en route on car journeys. I cannot forget Indila and Natacha Atlas, mostly for the Eastern Influences in terms of arrangement and vocal style – I’d listen to certain tracks on repeat and imitate their singing, until I was able to use it in my own way. I’m sure I have way way more, but it’s tricky to pinpoint names all the time… ooh, Lana Del Rey and Beyoncé actually. I mean R&B artists such as Beyoncé and Rihanna introduced me to R&B and I also felt like I could identify as a young mixed race girl in a very white dominated environment.

Can you tell us anything about your experiences at the BRIT School?

Oh, I loved it! I was able to really come into myself in that time and push myself as an artist and vocalist – I improved and grew so so much. I came out having won the Accenture prize, where our live performances were judged by members of the music industry. But I still needed to actually get my content together, which I hadn’t fully figured out yet. I wasn’t ready. I see that now.

I think the thing that makes BRIT School special is that everyone there has had to earn the right to be there, through their talents. It’s the only performing arts state school, so all walks of life attend and that adds an exciting diversity – people don’t judge you by your background there, it’s about talent and how much you’re working it. That was my personal experience anyway!

Talk to us about your gigging history, do you have a favourite venue to play?

Hmmm, the National Portrait Gallery was pretty special. I wrote a piece based on a portrait of a Palestinian worker, whose eyes just totally captivated me with a story of pain, resilience and love. Ah, and I mean… the freakin’ O2 where I was very very much in the background for Sam Smith, but I remember my 18-year-old eyes looking out and just knowing that’d be me one day sharing my art. I’m sure there are more… but I’m not yet satisfied anyway! When I’ve done Wembley I’ll sing from the rooftops for you and you’ll know [laughs].

What do you believe makes your live show unique?

My presence and energy. There’s a lack of that these days.

May is a pretty busy month for you in regards to gigging, you have two shows coming up in London this month, would you care to tell us more about them?

Yes I started the month of May with one in Shoreditch through French promotions company, France Connection. I also have a bigger show taking place at the private Century Club in Mayfair on the 23rd of May. These gigs are in preparation for my EP release, I will be sharing the release date soon.

Do you have anything special up your sleeve for these shows?

I honestly feel like my stage presence is what works best to captivate the audience. But it’s not just my stage presence, and love of performance, but the energy. People have come up to me in tears because they found it special, and it hit a cord in them. If I can do that, I’m happy.

With all of the gigging you’ve been doing recently, have you had the opportunity to work towards releasing new music?

I am working towards releasing my music. The first ever publicly released works and concept EP on all platforms, that I will be proud of. I’m a perfectionist so that’s saying something [laughs]. I just feel like I’ve reached a level which speaks to me and a story throughout the EP that I have a concept for. It was just delayed in being mastered and pitched to the distribution company as my producer got pretty ill, bless him.But now we’re getting back on track – I’m also graduating from university soon so now I can put my full attention on it.

What is your end goal?

My end goal is, and has always been to be a world-renowned artist connecting people to love, their own power, which is essentially one’s core. I’ve just turned 22 and suddenly feel ready to face the world and to just bloody get on and do it. And trust me, I have seen and felt it happen for me and the world will catch up sooner or later.

Finally, what would you like to say to our readers?

Hey everyone! I would love it if you could check me out on Instagram @morganelolamusic. There is major strong content in the works and this year is gonna be mega for me in terms of growth without academic distractions; so watch this space! You can also head to my Facebook to my Facebook to get more details on my upcoming show at the Century Club!
Images via Morgane Lola

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