Alter The Press!


Interview: Portia Conn

Late last year, 17 year old Portia Conn signed a deal with Tragic Hero Records and LAB Records. The deal will see Portia's mature, light poppy sound being released on both sides of the Atlantic. Portia is kicking off 2010 with her debut single, 'I Don't Care', a sweet and youthful number, that sets a good impression for her EP, which will be released later this year.

Alter The Press! recently spoke Portia about signing with LAB/Tragic Hero, her new single, living in Stratford-Upon-Avon, her influences and more.

ATP: I understand you were talking about joining LAB Records late last April. What took so long?
Portia: Haha I don't really know, I think contract stuff.

ATP: Now you're signed with Tragic Hero and LAB Records, which means you're going to be releasing material in the UK and US. How does that make you feel?
P: So Surreal. It's kinda scary but when I think about the opportunity it gives me to get my name out there, it makes me realize that my plan to take over the world is that little bit more feasible.

ATP: Before signing a deal, you had only ever played 3 shows. How did you get noticed by the people at LAB Records?
P: Over Myspace. It was pure luck! My friends had been telling me to record some songs and put them up on Myspace for ages so I did and 3 weeks later I was on an adding spree and I happened to add this American girl who was going out with one of the guys on the label. She told him and before I knew it I had messages filling my inbox. I didn't know whether to believe it or not.

ATP: What is Stratford-Upon-Avon like? Has the area inspired and influenced your music?
P: Stratford-upon-Avon is a small town. If you're old, its raving. That's all I'm saying. Its inspired me to want to get out? Haha. I prefer cities. The buzzing atmoshphere is more for me. I love it when there's always something going on and there's always places to go.

ATP: Are there any bands or artists that have influenced you?
P: I really like a lot of the American pop punk bands around like All Time Low and Paramore, Hayley Williams voice just amazes me. But yeah although my music sounds nothing like theirs, they definitely inspire me in some way. Katie Malco and Elena Tonra are more influences that have a smiliar sound. I really love their music.

ATP: How would you describe your music and liken it too?
P: I'd describe it as a shitty, less country, British version of Taylor Swift.

ATP: You're just about to release your new single, 'I Don't Care'. What can you tell us about it?
P: Well I wrote it when I was feeling down about life. It's just about not having freedom and wanting to break away (in the least possible cheesy way), so i feel a lot of people can relate to it.

ATP: What do you want people to think when they hear your music?
P: I want them to think of butterflies and cupcakes.

ATP: I hear there is Rage Against The Machine-style Facebook campaign to get your new single into the top 10. Who's idea was that?
P: Well as much Mark and Nathen (LAB Records) at my label like to think it was mine - it was definitely not!

ATP: You're releasing an EP later this year. What can we expect from it?
P: Hopefully more acoustic tracks, but I'm open to experimentation with one or two as all acoustic will just sound a bit samey.

ATP: I understand you worked with Jules from The Auteur on the EP. How did that go?
P: That was awesome, he is a genius! We recorded in his flat in Brighton and I met some of the other bands on the label (LAB), like MiMi Soya, The Auteur and Lost On Campus. I think for me that was when i felt like "Woah. How did this happen?!"

ATP: What else do you have planned for the rest of the year?
P: A tour very soon, an EP this summer and an album maybe early next year.

ATP: Is there anything you'd like to say to close the interview?
P: Don't wear heels to gigs. It's not big and it's not clever.

Portia Conn's debut single, 'I Don't Care', is released on February 2nd.

Pre-Order 'I Don't Care' here.

Portia Conn on MySpace, Twitter and Facebook.

-Sean Reid

Alter The Press!