AE: If you were able to go back twenty years and agree to compromise your androgyny and just do exactly what the record label said and it would mean you achieved commercial success, would you do that?
H: What I would have changed is not to be so protective and to do more interviews. I think I would have tried a few different things but I flinch at the thought of actually being molded. I will say that I have more passion now than I did at the beginning and I absolutely love what I do now more than ever.
I am working on my ninth studio album but if I had the success I so wanted all those years ago, I wonder if I still would be so hungry and I wonder if I would write as much?
AE: What can we expect from the new album?
H: The inspiration for my songs are universal themes of passion, loss, greed and lust so I think everyone can relate to them and my melodies are always rich and mostly up-tempo but lyrically quite dark much like Leonard Cohen. A lot of people are spoon-fed music and just listen to what’s on the radio and record labels tend to find artists that fit into a box, have a spark and polish them like a diamond so that the original interesting thing that it was about them gets smoothed away. I just love one of the new tracks I am working on which will be called “Ghost.”
AE: You are signed to your own record label, Randan. Do you see that as advantage as you obviously have complete control?
H: The only plus side of being signed to a major record label is the money. However, they then own the records and they can then just sit with no promotion behind them. So I am now in complete creative control of what happens, work with whom I want and now I wouldn’t want a major record deal.
It has taken years for me to shake off this stern image I was given and now I don’t even think about how I am going to market myself because I am confident as a singer and finally comfortable in my own skin.
AE: Would you ever look to sign other people to Randan?
H: I would love to do that. I have seen so much live music lately, more than I ever have and saw Janelle Monae and I thought she was stunning but only performed for an hour. I think the most impressive artists are those that can command your attention for over an hour and half just by singing. I saw Saint Saviour who was a cross between Marcella Detroit (Shakespear’s Sister) with Antony Hegarty (Antony and the Johnsons) and the child was called Kate Bush. Absolutely amazing.
AE: What do you think of lesbian festivals like L-Beach and GOGO?
H: I think in Europe there is certainly a demand and L-Beach is absolutely massive. In the UK, I really hope Gogo can continue to grow. It’s a great festival but we would need more out musicians to play it every year.
AE: Finally, what advice would you give a new artist coming onto the music scene?
H: I would say get really good at what you do and be the best at what you can do and really just write a great song. It will then come to you and always be yourself. Even if you are not sure what that is, take the time to find out. Also enjoy what you are doing because when you live in that moment it is amazing. I opened for Tina Turner in the 1990’s and was too cautious about getting every note so didn’t actually enjoy it.
You can buy Horse’s albums and check out her tour dates at www.randan.org. She will also perform at L Beach in Hamburg in April and The GoGo Festival on Sunday 19th June. Follow her on Twitter at @horsemusic.
“Great LezBritain” authors Sarah, a Londoner, and Lee, a Glaswegian, met in a gay discotheque one bleak mid winter, eight years ago and have been shacked up together ever since. When not watching Tipping The Velvet, they find time to write, run a PR company, DJ at their own club nights and love a bit of jam on toast. Follow them on Twitter at greatlezbritain.