In anticipation of Victoria Owsnett's debut release 'Thrones,' I catch up with her to discuss all things music; from songwriting to influences. 'Thrones' proves for a powerful pop single with a synth basis, a combination that is sure to prove popular and catchy upon its release. Leading synth-pop band 'Axls,' this single will premiere the solo venture Owsnett intends to explore as a singer/songwriter.
Can you tell me how the inspiration for 'Thrones' came about, and how you turned that inspiration into a song?
The lyrics of the song are from the perspective of someone who is at the bottom of the popularity hierarchy, being looked down upon by those at the top. This was a very real experience for me growing up and I wanted to put it into words. As time goes by, I see that no one is actually better than anyone else and that it's all a façade. The lyrics then take a turn and describe how it feels to be at the top after so long at the bottom, the new 'top' being that you're grown enough to understand you are good enough as you are. I think the message is an important one as so many young people grow up thinking they're not as good as everyone else. Social media has not helped with this either, as a lot of the time, it seems like a competition to prove you're living the best life. The name of the song was decided before any lyrics were even written! I had the idea that these 'higher-ups' all sit on thrones, looking down at people from them. I then had to figure out a way to write this theme into the song. That's when I came up with the line "take a closer scan at that golden throne, it's just a plastic shell," which ended up being a focal point of the song. My co-writer, Adam Roberts, suggested I call this song 'Monarchy.' I did consider it, but it reminded me a bit too much of the 'Charles II King of Bling' rap from Horrible Histories.
Do you think there is anything missing from the charts at the moment that you would like to add?
My guilty pleasure is dance music from the early 00s; I loved Scooter and t.A.T.u when I was younger especially! I would love to hear more music like that in the charts again. I want to feel motivated and happy when I listen to the top 40 and that's the way to do it! Although I do appreciate a good slow song, I think the charts can sometimes get a bit clogged up by them. I think the world is sad enough at the minute, we need happier songs to keep us going. I would also like to hear more variation in the charts. It would be amazing if the top 40 was made up of 40 different artists, to give people a chance to hear more kinds of music. But when 10 of those 40 are Ed Sheeran, 8 are Eminem - not saying their music isn't chart-worthy - and 6 are from the latest musical movie, it's quite hard to hear a good range when listening to current pop music.
What usually kickstarts the creative process for you?
One thing that really gets me in the mood to write songs is hearing an amazing song and thinking 'God, I wish I wrote this!' For example, just before I wrote 'Thrones' I was listening to 'Amateurs' by Fickle Friends and I loved it so much! It really got me pumped up and I wanted to channel the energy into writing something. Fickle Friends, who have had a massive influence on me, who everyone should check out are just one of the bands/artists which inspire me every day. I'm a sucker for a female vocalist, so listening to artists such as Lorde, Banks, PVRIS, Grimes, Nero, London Grammar and CHVRCHES always gets me in the mood to make music. To give a shoutout to some non-female leads, Years & Years and The Weeknd are also big influences. Setting aside the mainstream scene, I also have an incredible local scene to inspire me. Hearing my fellow local artists absolutely smash it really gets me in the mood to create and write. Some of the local artists I've been loving at the minute include Future Humans x Afnan Prince, John Dole, Moodbay, Hivemind, Zela, Sapien Trace and Holy Braille. That's just the very surface of the huge pool of local talent. I find most of the local bands through the BBC Introducing Radio show, which is such an incredible platform for emerging artists. To list a few 10/10 songs form my local scene which I have had on repeat recently:
Moodbay – I Got You
Future Humans x Afnan Prince – Saltburn
Zela – I think I Might’ve Killed Someone
John Dole – Collective Thoughts
Getting into the physical aspect of being creative, I usually write songs as I go along rather than planning out lyrics and writing a song around them. My songs always start with a fresh FL Studio project. I'll find a synth voice I like and start playing things on my keyboard. Then once I have a few seconds of music, I'll start singing nonsensical lyrics in a melody I like. Once I've established a melody, I will then start replacing my nonsense with actual, meaningful lyrics. From there I build up the body of the song and the lyrics as I go.
Do you think that what we hear in 'Thrones' will act as a staple sound for you as an artist, or will you look to explore other avenues? What do you hope people will take away from your music?
'Thrones' gives a good idea of my solo sound, which is generally electro-pop, but I do have some slightly different, collaborative projects in the worlds. My upcoming work with The Last of the Fallen Angels will show a darker side and I have another collaborative track coming out soon which is more dance-pop. My first collab, 'Time Stands Still,' with US musician John John was a lot more lo-fi/bedroom pop. I'm really enjoying working with other artists as it gives me the opportunity to explore different genres and sounds. The songs that leave the biggest impression on me are the ones that have a unique quality. I'd love for people to hear my music and think 'this is a bit different.' I also appreciate a song that gets you pumped up and excited, I'm hoping 'Thrones' can be that song for other people.
Thrones is available to stream on Spotify HERE
Check out Victoria on Facebook HERE