“When I was eighteen, my sister saved me from doing a beauty course in Southampton and insisted I come up to London, stay on her sofa and go to music school,” says London-based singer/songwriter Louisa Rose Allen. “After a year of living out of a suitcase, I ended up dropping out of music school, as it became clear I enjoyed running off and writing music in a bedroom more than learning theory in a classroom!” – Foxes
In 2013, Foxes, along with acclaimed DJ and producer Zedd won a Grammy for “Best Dance Recording” for their single “Clarity.” After the success of “Clarity,” Foxes began to work on solo material, and released her debut album Glorious, last summer. The British singer recently toured through Europe, as a supporting act for Pharrell William‘s “Dear Girl Tour,” and collaborated with legendary producer Giorgio Moroder on his album 74 is The New 24.
Check out our Q&A with Foxes from The Untitled Magazine’s Music Issue 6!
The Untitled Magazine: How did you get started with music?
Foxes: When I was eighteen, my sister saved me from doing a beauty course in Southampton and insisted I come up to London, stay on her sofa and go to music school. After a year of living out of a suitcase, I ended up dropping out of music school, as it became clear I enjoyed running off and writing music in a bedroom more than learning theory in a classroom!
UM: How did you come up with your performance name?
F: I was originally Loui Rose but there were already two ‘L Roses’ around, so I had to change it. “Like Foxes Do” was the first song I wrote when I was very young. And a friend one day suggested I call myself Foxes. I laughed it off and thought it was a ridiculous name! But then for some reason, the name just stuck with me. A couple of days later, I rung my mum. I mentioned the name and she suddenly said, ‘Oh wow, that’s SO weird. I had a dream last night that a lot of foxes were running up our street, howling and making a lot of haunting, beautiful sounds and it reminded me of your music!’ From then on, I decided to go with it as mums are always right!
UM: How long have you been performing?
F: Probably about three years. I used to mess around at music school and giggle at the back with my friends. It took me dropping out and deciding that what I really wanted to be doing was writing my own music and experimenting with sounds.
UM: What inspires your songwriting?
F: I’m very visually inspired. I love film and people. I think there is so much inspiration in people and so much that isn’t documented. It always tends to come from a very personal place too. I have a big white book that documents my life and I carry it with me everywhere I go. I treat songwriting like therapy. It’s just weird having your therapy session out there in the big wide world for everyone to hear!
UM: What genre best describes the music you make?
F: The underscore of an epic dream!
UM: What was your breakthrough moment?
F: I feel like it’s all been a very steady build and moments have jumped out at me! Gossip Girl was a big one for me, as I’m addicted to that show, so watching it felt very surreal!
UM: Do you have a favorite band or musician?
UM: Do you have a mentor?
F: My grandma.
UM: If you weren’t in music what would you do?
F: I’d probably be doing something just as crazy, like training to be an astronaut.
UM: What was the most difficult performance in your career, and how did you handle it?
F: Head butting the microphone was a pretty hilariously bad moment. I head butted myself onto the microphone pretty much right at the beginning of the set… the whole audience was in fits of laughter, and I was too, but I had to act like it was all part of the performance. When really, I looked like a giant idiot.
UM: Are you a romantic or a rebel?
F: I’m definitely a romantic.
UM: How did you come up with your “look?”
F: My mum owns a vintage shop in East London (Bricklane) and is always giving me clothes. She’s always had great style, so growing up, I always stole her clothes!
UM: Do you have a favorite designer?
UM: Who is your favorite artist?
F: Andy Warhol.
UM: Do you have a motto or words of wisdom you live by?
F: I always say, “Everything happens for a reason.” It gets me through most things. “It’s character building” is a good one!
UM: What is it about music that you love?
F: I love the feeling that music can give. I love the emotion and strength you can draw from music and how powerful it can be. To be part of that is incredible… it’s such a magical thing, really.
Interview by The Untitled Magazine for The Music Issue 6
Photography by Carter B. Smith
Hair by Kirsten Bode
Make-up by Roberto Morelli
Photographed at Sutra Lounge, New york City
For more music coverage check out The Untitled Magazine Music Issue 6!