Published on November 30th, 2012 | Jonny Abrams
MTV Brand New for 2013 Unsigned nominee Ciara Haidar (a.k.a. Loverproof) brings her soaring, sophisticated pop back to The Nest in Dalston tonight – click here to add your name to the free list for the show – so we fired her over some questions in the hope of finding out a little bit more about her…
How long have you been writing, performing and recording music for?
I’ve always played a mixture of solo shows and full band shows and wanted to freshen up the line-up with a new band behind me. So I stripped it back to just myself and a rhythm section with David Talisman on drums and Gavin Bowers on bass. We had our first show back in April and have been going from strength to strength since then, I hope…
How would you describe your music, if pushed?
I am always so inarticulate when answering that question. My music has always been pop, first and foremost. It’s really the only kind of writing that comes naturally to me. But I tend to veer towards the darker side of it and definitely the melodramatic. You can decide where that leaves you.
Where are you based, and what do you use to record with?
We’re all based in east London and have recently relocated ourselves to David’s man cave for rehearsals. I keep threatening to go in and tidy it when he’s not around…
In terms of recording, most recently I’ve been working with Charlie Andrews, who was finishing off Alt-J’s album when we started out. He has a little studio in Brixton. He’s a very talented man with real musicality and probably one of the nicest people you’ll find sitting behind a mixing desk.
Is there a full album in the works? If so, what can you tell us about it? (Feel free to be as abstract as you like…)
At the moment we’re still at the demoing point with the songs. I have been trying out different sounds in the studio, but really I want to be able to capture the live sound on record, which isn’t the most original statement. I want to let my voice guide the sound, so the songs aren’t over-saturated with background noise. Working with Charlie has helped and trying things that I’d written off before. Although he did attempt to get me to use a synth, and that, I’m afraid, was where the line was drawn.
Where can we hear your music online?
You can find me on SoundCloud, www.soundcloud.com/loverproof
Which have been your most exciting gigs and/or overall moments so far?
I think our first show at The Nest in Dalston was great. Mostly because it’s always exciting to play out new stuff and hear it yourself, properly, for the first time with an audience. Also, the sound there is incredible, which helps. Being invited to play for Ray Ban at the Isle of Wight Festival was a highlight too. I did an acoustic set back stage and considering the free bar, the audience seemed attentive. It’s always been one of my favorite festivals with a strong line up each year, so it felt good to be a part of that.
Are there any obscure and/or up-and-coming acts that you’d like to recommend or give a shout-out to?
I’d have to say The Night, who are currently on tour with the Mystery Jets. They make beautiful pop music with a definite Fleetwood Mac thing going on, which is always good. I’ve known Sophie Rose, the singer, for a long time so I’m glad to see they’re doing well. Also a songwriter called Sam McCarthy who is one of my favorite performers ever.
Finally, if you were forced to spend the rest of your days in solitary confinement, but were allowed to bring the entire works of five different artists along to tide you over, whose would you choose?
Everything Phil Spector ever touched, Fleetwood Mac, Shostakovich (when I want to be very depressed and Russian), Simon and Garfunkel, Nas.
Loverproof, thank you.