Louisa Rose Allen, better known as Foxes, may be considered an up-and-comer; however, the online buzz surrounding the 22-year-old alt-pop singer shows that she’s sure to be a music main stay as we head into 2013.
With her whimsical melodies and sweet and soulful voice, the Southampton native has taken our breath away with songs like ‘Home,’ ‘Warrior’ and her latest single, ‘Echo.’ Here, Best Fit catch up with Foxes and talk about her musical beginnings, the story behind the moniker and why she always prays for Waitrose.
What’s your first musical memory?
Probably it was my Mum playing a lot of interesting kinds of music like Kate Bush and Patti Smith. And actually I just got a baby video converted from tape to DVD, and it’s crazy to hear the music in the background is similar to the music I make now. It was me as a baby crawling around to music like Portishead and Kate Bush, and it was really weird. But I guess I was subconsciously influenced by that – really strong female singers.
Since music has been a part of your life more or less literally since birth, how did you get into performing?
I’ve always been musical, ever since I was really, really young. I used to get up on the table at Christmas dinners and started singing stuff from The Little Mermaid and stuff like that. I was quite annoying in that way at a really young age. I was into musicals and things like the Spice Girls and Eminem. I just naturally gravitated towards music at a really young age.
Where did the name Foxes come from?
I had to change my name basically, because someone had a very similar name to me. With the music I wrote, [my name] sounded more country so I needed to change it anyway. But I didn’t want it to be a name. I wanted it to be something that represented the music. One of my friends said, “Foxes,” and I thought it was ridiculous. I can’t be called ‘Foxes’, I thought it was really, really silly and didn’t think it was right. But it was just stuck in my head.
It was weird because I rang my mum a couple of days later and asked her what she thought about Foxes. And she was like, “Oh my god. I had this dream last night that foxes were running up our road, and they were making a haunting beautiful sound. It reminded me of your music.” I didn’t think they make a nice sound at all, but I thought it was sweet that she had a dream about it. And mum’s always right. So I went with it, and I like that my mum had a part of the name because she was really an influence growing up.
Your lyrics are pretty heavy despite the upbeat melodies. What drew you to that type of songwriting?
I see making music as a bit of therapy for me. So I tend to put feeling into the music, and it tends to come out sort of like that really – kind of heavy in that way because it’s like talking to a therapist for me. I just get it all out. I’m a big fan of melancholy music and the happy-sad kind of thing. And I really like to create a really personal kind of music whilst still being sort of sad. Then at the end it’s a celebration and feeling happy again. I think that’s why the music counteracts the heavy parts. If it was all heavy, it would be too much.
So what’s the song, ‘Echo’ about?
‘Echo’ is about a relationship falling apart, and it’s really about the echo of the relationship. I was in a relationship that was losing the feeling it used to have, and I felt that the other person had given up on the relationship. I was kind of angry because I felt like, “Why couldn’t you stay or keep trying ’til the last echo or until you can’t do it anymore?” Pretty much I felt like he was giving up too early. I usually don’t write about relationships. I think this is the one song I wrote about it, and the rest aren’t really about that. But I guess I needed one that was purely about relationships.
Who are your inspirations?
Musically? I love Bjork, Portishead, Massive Attack. I also really like straight pop music. I really like people who do experimental pop. I love Robyn. I think Robyn is incredible – massive fan. Eminem, love him. I went through a phase where I thought I was him. And then Kate Bush, Patti Smith, loads of people, but it’s very wide.
You’ve been on the road with Marina and the Diamonds. How’s that experience been?
The 15 October was the last show, and it’s sad because it’s been amazing. It’s been incredible and was actually quite a small tour because we’ve just come off a European tour and an American tour. They’re quite intense because you go to a different city every day. It’s just been the UK, which hasn’t been too crazy, but it’s just been amazing. She has the best fans I’ve ever come across. They’re so cute. I want to take them home every night, they’re so lovely. The atmosphere has been absolutely amazing, and everyone’s been really supportive and really into the music. It’s been great, and Marina’s absolutely lovely. It’s so cool because Marina has 12 to 13-year-old girls screaming at her like she’s Justin Bieber. It’s really, really amazing to watch. They’re so cute and really lovely.
Since you’ve been on the road so much lately, is there anything that you need to have with you on tour to make you feel less homesick?
Good food. I’m so sick of service station food. I wish I had a chef. I could imagine that if you’re Chris Martin, you can bring a chef on the road. If not, you’ll have to deal with Burger King and McDonald’s. And every time we get to a service station, I keep praying for an M&S. I’m depending on it now so I’m always praying for an M&S or a Waitrose and not a W.H. Smith because they’re the worst. Oh actually, I bring my own pillow. When you’re staying at hotels, the pillows are never the same. So I bring my pillow and sadly I bring my teddy.
That’s adorable. I’d have to agree about the pillows.
Oh I know. It really makes a difference. My boyfriend gets so mad when I take my pillow because he uses that and pretend it’s me, cuddling it. But sorry I’m taking it. Yes, your own pillow is a must! And Waitrose!
How do you feel about all your success on YouTube, SoundCloud and Hypemachine?
I think it’s incredible and really, really overwhelming. It’s really strange having people almost talk about you when you’re not there. It’s really odd to have people talk about you. I don’t feel like it’s actually happening though, it’s been a nice sloped hill. It’s an amazing feeling, and I’m happy that people are really enjoying the music. I still can’t believe that people are listening to my music. It’s incredible.
So are you hoping for a bunch of 12-year-olds to scream for you like Marina’s fans?
You know what? I actually did. When we were in Amsterdam, we had a little group of the cutest girls. They were all in the front and were all singing the lyrics. This was one of our own shows, and I didn’t expect anyone to be there. Then there were 10 young girls who were screaming at the front. Then I walked outside, and they all ran towards me and were screaming. It was the weirdest experience of my life. I was like, “Why are you screaming?” And they were like, “Ahhh!” and just couldn’t speak. That’s odd, and I felt like they’d been paid. But it’s very sweet.
What’s next for Foxes?
The album is nearly finished now, which is a scary feeling. I’ve got the single, ‘Echo’, out, and then we’re doing another single in January. Then I’m on one of Zedd’s songs [‘Clarity’], which is really cool and then next year will be another single and then the album.
Foxes will play White Heat at Madame Jojo’s in Soho tonight, 23 October along with Best Fit Recordings’ FAYE and Syron. Find out more about the event here. The new single ‘Echo’ will be available on 11 November and can be pre-ordered here.