Chart music in the UK has changed significantly in the last 15 years. Whilst the majority of music consumers welcome the inclusion of a more diverse range of sounds under the pop music banner if you’re a new artist the prospect of creating music, without tailoring it to fit in with current trends, is daunting. It’s quite simply damned if you do damned if you don’t – if you sound too much like a current artist then you’re a knock-off and if your sound is too unique then labels don’t want to touch you as they don’t know which formula to use to market you – as there is no similar artist reference. The solution? Do your own thing and hope it pays off, which is the attitude that Italian -born artist Senhit is taking. We caught up with the stage performer turned solo artist to find out a bit more about her….
WTYB: Your early music releases were in Italian for the Italian market – how would you say that influenced your current sound?
Senhit: Being Italian, it was natural for me to start work on my music in Italian language, but I decided I wanted to experiment with the English language, and really rather than it having an influence it was simply the desire to challenge myself!
WTYB: You worked with Xenomania and Busbee on the forthcoming album – Xenomania are straight-up pop whilst Busbee is still pop but with a country music and soft jazz influence – what did they both bring to the table?
S: Meeting both Brian Higgins (Xenomania) and Busbee was such a privilege. My album is, I feel, incredibly authentic to me as an artist, but also full of fantastic collaborations with songwriters and producers of an amazing standard. I worked with these two giants after very careful research of their sound, and so the songs and lyrics are a true reflection of the artistic side of the album.
WTYB: You have a musical theatre background – is that something you would ever like to go back to?
S: Deciding to leave the theatre and musicals to make my way as a solo artist was a very difficult decision and it’s been a hard-fought road so far. I never really thought I would abandon the theatre altogether, so I like to think of it as ‘on ice’ for now. Sooner or later I’ll do another show and relive that magical time.
WTYB: You represented San Morino at the 2011 Eurovision song contest. I read that you were initially apprehensive because it wasn’t very popular in Italy. What persuaded you to do it?
S: I didn’t know much about the Eurovision song contest before, and I have to admit I had underestimated it from the very beginning! I was looking for a new challenge when San Marino proposed I represent them, and I accepted without any hesitation. I wanted to experience something completely new, and ultimately it proved to be a fantastic opportunity for me.
WTYB: I understand it is something that you would want to do again if asked. What was it about the experience that you enjoyed so much?
S: There have been so many experiences in my career that I cherish…I think having to chose another to repeat would be impossible as they have all added something special to my journey. I feel incredibly satisfied and fulfilled with my career, and Eurovision was a part of that – being able to perform to such a huge global audience.
WTYB: The UK charts are heaving with trap, house and grime music. Where do you think you fit in, in the current pop climate?
S: I feel like my music is almost a ‘miracle cure’ with something a little different from the norm at the moment. I’ve also seen some great success with a collection of UK dance remixes which are currently being played in UK clubs and in the club charts. The UK market has so many amazing artists and it’s difficult to break, but I think there’s room for every kind of music.
WTYB: If you could collaborate with any artist (dead or alive) who would it be and why?
S: I would have loved to collaborate with so many artists who are sadly no longer with us. From Freddie Mercury to Michael Jackson to Elvis. And so many that are gladly still with us – I think my dream would be Stevie Wonder – he is such an incredible artist. Who knows, maybe one day!
WTYB: Let’s talk fashion. How does your day to day style differ from what you would wear on stage – if at all?
S: Just as I like my music, I like my fashion to be a little ‘random’. I love so many stylists and brands, but no one person/designer over the other. I like to experiment, and it always depends on the mood or the opportunity. But I always find the right outfit.
WTYB: If you could be any designer’s muse whose would you be and why?
S: I would love to be the muse for Stella McCartney! I love so many designers but she is my favourite at the moment, hopefully I could provide some inspiration for her amazing creations.
WTYB: You’re touring at the moment – which one fashion item do you always make sure you travel with no matter what?
S: I love accessories, so glasses and hair of any shape and colour are always part of my wardrobe.
WTYB: The Rocky Horror Picture Show was re-made into a TV movie last year. DreamGirls recently made the leap from big screen to stage; La La Land is cleaning up at the awards shows and the live action Beauty and the Beast will be released later this year. With our current fascination with big budget musicals on the big screen and TV can you see yourself making a move into film or TV?
S: Without doubt it would be one of my biggest wishes! To lead in a film that comes from a musical – especially one I’ve performed in already…