Screen shot 2014-05-08 at 15.42.15

Pop newcomer Foxes chats to Jane Casey about her Grammy win, becoming a role model and her brand new album ‘Glorious’.

In the past year, Foxes (aka Louisa Allen) has gone from unknown British songwriter to Grammy winner – and her album isn’t even out yet.

The winning song? Clarity, a pumping collaboration with german producer Zedd. Not only did it beat out Duke Dumont and Calvin Harris to nab a statue for Best Dance Recording, but it also shot straight to the top ten in the US.

“It’s mental. I just feel like I made it up. It’s crazy!” the 25 year-old says in genuine disbelief, like it still hasn’t sunk in. The London twang and bubbly, down to earth attitude makes her instantly likeable. Qualities that are mirrored in her music. “When I was five, I had a vision board. On it I had a giant Grammy in the middle. It was everything I wanted, ever. So when you want something for that long, and you’ve dreamed about it, and then it gets given to you? I was blown away.“

Her success may seem like it was overnight, but the Southampton native, Louisa (she prefers Loui) had packed up at 18 to move to London to study music. From there, she took up the stage name Foxes and began to gig.

Why Foxes, you ask? I choose not to, since I knew the answer from countless other interviews she has already done. “I could hug you for not asking about my name,” she jokes. “I’m so sick of telling journalists the story,” she says of the reason (her mum had a dream about Foxes and suggested it as a stage name, if you must know). “There was another phase when they would ask, ‘what does the fox say?’ I would just go mute. Just no.”

While it’s hard to top winning a Grammy Award, she hasn’t let accolade go to her head. As Foxes debut album is about to be released, she is adamant that the recognition will only make her work harder. “It’s very early for me and if anything it just makes me want to prove that there is a reason that [the award] was given to me in the first place. I want to push myself to live up to the ‘Grammy winner’ title.”

Foxes with Zedd at The Grammy Awards 2014.
Foxes with Zedd at The Grammy Awards 2014.

Her debut Glorious is an infectious, finely crafted pop record with a ton of heart. While her lyrics about body image and heartache remain her own, it’s easy to see how this collection of empowering anthems will inspire many, and garner plenty more, female fans. But how does she feel about being labelled a role model?  “When I was a little girl I used to listen to so many strong females, and I used to just love that they were raw and real and not afraid to be different, to be themselves. That is exactly why I am doing it.”

The accessibility and honesty in the lyrics on Glorious, combined with powerful hooks and precision production values is a testament to her musicianship. She tells me that although this album isn’t even out yet, she can’t wait to start writing again. As for musical inspiration, she doesn’t believe in guilty pleasures. “I don’t think anyone should ever be ashamed of what’s on their iTunes” she says, and admits that right now she can’t stop listening to British artists Sam Smith and Ella Eyre.

Lyrically, she explains that she was reluctant to write songs that are about heartbreak – but it happened accidentally with Glorious. “I mean, we all go through heartbreak. It’s something I have gone through. Some of the lyrics are about myself and feeling emotionally unstable at times, but the main message is to keep trying to be as strong as you can be and get through the tough times.

“I always wanted to be really honest. As scary as that is – and it is terrifying – I just think that it is so important.”

Foxes is a part of a recent wave of emerging female musicians like Haim, Banks and Charli XCX – something that doesn’t bother her in the slightest.

“There are so many positive female role models out there, who are finally giving out a message that is real. It’s a nice change from talking about being on a dancefloor,” she scoffs.

“I’m not afraid of being compared to other female artists – I don’t see why young female artists are constantly compared to each other in the first place. We are all doing our own thing. We are all coming from places that are real for us and honest for us.”

Now, Foxes is straddling the line between mainstream pop and alternative. With Glorious about to be unleashed into the charts, many are wondering whether she will become a Katy Perry-type pop queen, or more like alt-newcomer Lorde.

“I think I’ll just be me. If that’s alright with everyone?”

Foxes debut album ‘Glorious’ is out May 9 on iTunes.

Get it here.

Screen shot 2014-05-08 at 15.37.46

© 2014 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

0 comments. Please sign in to comment.