Interview with Daisy Valentine from Fuzzy Sun- Part 2

Fuzzy Sun

In last weeks interview Daisy and I spoke about how she started playing music, what it's like playing to 15,000 fans, and how special the fans are to the band. I'm now delighted to share part 2 with you, where we chat about her musical influences, the challenges facing women in the music industry, and her passions outside of music.

Debbie: Who in music, are your main inspirations?

Daisy: I love Stevie Nicks. I actually love Amy Winehouse. I know she had a sad story but she was just incredible! She had such an incredible voice and her songs….. Have you watched that documentary Amy?

Debbie: I haven’t

Daisy: Oh it’s so good.. you have to watch it!

Debbie: I dunno, because of what happened I know it’s going to be sad…

Daisy: It is sad, but I enjoyed it because I got so much out of it. I can’t remember the exact words she use’s but she says something like… You know when some people get sad they get sad and that’s it, but when I get sad I can turn to my guitar. That really sank in with me. It’s so true…. Like whatever you go through as a musician it’s so amazing you can make something amazing from this (it’s not always amazing…. laughs) but it’s amazing you can create something that other people can get something from also. It works the other way also. If you’re happy or content, you can write something about that too. For me the songs I’ve got, it’s like I have a time line of all of the important things that have happened in my life, and when I sing them, I go back to that place, to that feeling. It’s different because it’s not a picture, it’s not a video, it’s an actual feeling. You can go back to different pinpoints in your journey. It’s really cool do you know what I mean?

Debbie: I know what you mean…

Daisy: So that really touched me.

Debbie: What do you think the biggest challenges are being a female in the music industry?

Daisy: It’s difficult for many reasons… So some days when I’ve been on tour, I’ve not seen another female except for if they’ve worked on a till in a shop or if they’re one of the girls in the audience who’ve come and seen us. So it’s like, I’m with guys all day. The guys in the band are great and they’re lovely to be around…. Most of the crews, there aren’t many women around…. Whilst it’s not like this for me, I think for some women, it could be very off-putting for other women to go into a situation like that for it to be a room full of men.

Say when I was in Ibiza and I’d go into clubs when I’m DJing.. the person behind the bar is a guy, the promoter is a guy, the head DJ is a guy, all the DJ’s are guys. You know it takes a lot to go into those situations and say I’m here.

Debbie: Does it feel like you’re almost a token female?

Daisy: Sometimes it can yeah….. I went to this conference a couple of months ago and we were talking about the ratio of male to female artists in music festivals. There’s this programme at the moment that contacts festivals and challenges them on their ration of female to male artists (this was drawn up by Keychange and the PRS) – and it encourages them to make them more equal.. one of the issues that came up in this conference was when you’re a female musician and you know a festival has to meet this target; do you know that they’re hiring you for you as a musician rather than they’re asking you because you’re a female and they need to get their numbers up? That contradicts everything they’re saying about men and women being equal in the music industry.

The outcome of that discussion; was that it is going to be a very tokenistic transition for

women at this point in time. Yes being asked is great and you are talented, but there will be an element of being asked because you’re a female. But in order for there to be a change, we need to make the ratio equal. Then in the future, it will be something that is no longer a problem and they won’t be thinking I’ve got to ask her because she’s talented and female, it will just be I’ve got to ask her because she’s talented. It will change.

Debbie: I think that it depends on the genre of music or the type of festival. For example, RnB or grime definitely is more equal than say indie or electro-pop. So there is a disparity when you look at the different genres of music.

Daisy: Definitely. Definitely. I certainly found a struggle with DJing and stuff and I think that some people look at you and think you can’t DJ because you’re a girl.

Debbie: One of my favourite DJ’s is a female, Lisa Lashes.

Daisy: Really?... You feel like because you’re a female that you have to prove yourself a little bit more. Also another thing is, and this used to happen to me at Uni a lot, is that guys would say, “ Oh I really like your tunes. Do you want to write some tunes?” So you’d exchange numbers and then you’d get a text later that day and they’d be like…. “So do you wanna go for drink with me later”. And it’s not as a mate neither….You know it’s so frustrating, because you’re trying to promote yourself as a DJ and as a writer of music, as a professional, as a musician and it’s thrown back in your face. They’re just not taking you seriously…. I mean would you do that in work? Would you approach someone like that?

Debbie: So, what’s the best thing about being a female in the music industry?

Daisy: I really like the fact that I have the opportunity to make a difference and the

opportunity to make a difference to young girls and young boys. I feel like this platform is a real opportunity to speak to people about things that other people in the same situations wouldn’t necessarily get the opportunity to raise awareness about. I appreciate that, and also it’s so wonderful to do music all of the time.

Debbie: That’s phenomenal! It’s like my dream job…well writing about it anyway…

Daisy: I think having more role models for woman in the music industry will have a massive impact on this anyway.

Debbie: For part of my research into this interview I read an article from Billboard Magazine with Ariana Grande. She’d released her second album in six months and people were questioning it…she said that men do his all the time. She also said that she wanted an equal platform for women and didn’t see any reason why a woman couldn’t release an album six months after another one, like men do. So with this in mind; do you see double standards in the way men and woman are treated in the music industry?

Daisy: Sometimes…. But not all the time. For example sometimes, when we’re doing a soundcheck on stage I’ll ask for something through my monitor, I’ll say something is not right. it’s not that often but sometimes….. I’ll say something is not right and it’s ignored.

Yet the guys will ask and it gets treated differently. I think one of the issues is, and it’s not like this with everybody because this is a generalisation – but with some people it’s assumed that women don’t know as much, or we don’t understand as much and we’re not treated with the same level of respect as men.

Debbie: I think sometimes women have to work much harder than men to be considered in the same light as men so we deserve to be treated equally.

Daisy: Definitely.

Debbie: It is true though what you’re saying. Even me being a transwoman, I’ve had to fight to justify the breaks that I get because I’m a woman. I just don’t get it. If you’re a musician and you work at your craft, your practicing and your performing then why should you have less of an opportunity because you’re a female?

Daisy: Yep. It’s really tough. It’s really frustrating because at the end of the day all you want is to be viewed and respected as a musician and to be enjoyed as a musician.. and it’s just so frustrating when you feel like your gender prevents that. I’ve felt like so many times that my life would be easier if I was a guy.. and I don’t mean that in a joking way.

Genuinely because of some of the situations that I’ve found myself in… I think it also makes me think that if that’s the way I feel then I also need to be a part of the solution.

I need to be able to feel that I can contribute towards the resolution. If I feel like that, then there’s going to be other women who feel like that and it really shouldn’t be an issue. The thing that’s most important in this is the music and we’re musicians who want to work with other musicians. It shouldn’t be an issue.

Debbie: I know what you mean. I think that there shouldn’t be a disparity in relation to gender. It should come down to talent as a musician. If you’re talented and you have something to say then you should have an equal opportunity to share it.

Daisy: Definitely. I totally agree…

(High Fives)!

Daisy: Without the music what have you got?

Debbie: Definitely I totally agree. For me the underpinning thing you should be considered on, because I don’t like the word judged. You should be considered on your talent as a musician and nothing more. Not your age, your ethnicity, your gender, whatever. It’s all about what you create surely?

Daisy: I think that it just comes back to talking about these issues, raising them, getting into conversations about them. Now people talk to me about being a woman in music all the time and that just shows me that that we are at least heading in the right direction. People are talking about it.

Debbie: In my last interview with Woman You Stole’s frontwoman Hayley I asked this question, so I’d like to ask you too. I read an article last year from Fender that said 50% of new guitars players and buyers are females. With that in mind, as someone who's a female in a band do you think it's important for females to have female role models in bands?

Daisy: Definitely yeah. It’s always important. Young girls need to see that for inspiration. I didn’t know that I hadn’t heard that! Actually, you’ve quite shocked me!

Debbie: Are you surprised at how high it is?

Daisy: Yeah….I am actually! But that’s exactly the number that we want isn’t it?

Debbie: Absolutely...

Debbie: So, as a gig goer for me personally because I love live music, more often than not the last gig I went to was the best gig. Is it like that for you as an artist? Is it always the last gig that you played that was the best gig you’ve played?

Daisy: No, it definitely depends…. Erm. You know we do gigs of different sizes all the time. Sometimes we play to loads and loads of people. Sometimes we play to 50-100 people. What we assumed when we started playing bigger venues was that the bigger gigs would be the best and you know sometimes that is the case, but you sometimes get surprised by the smaller ones. I remember this one time we did this gig last year in Scunthorpe to about 50-100 people. It was brilliant! People were ripping their shirts off. They were all dancing. It was unreal! We came off stage and we were like that was unreal! So, it depends on a lot of things. The audience….. you know an audience can take a gig to another level. They absolutely make it.

Debbie: What are your passions outside of music?

Daisy: I love photography. I share that with my mum actually. I also love running and the gym. Keeping fit, I’m really passionate about that. I think it’s like a mental health thing for me actually. I know when I do exercise regularly I find it easier to stay focused. To stay positive. To just deal with things head on.. I don’t know what it is, I just find that it really helps me. Keep fit and photography. I do like all types of art really. I do wish I could do more; I just don’t get enough time.

Debbie: So, you guys are going on tour with Two Door Cinema Club soon, are you excited?

Daisy: Yeah we’re really excited! I can’t believe it actually! We watched them at YNOT and I just remember standing there watching them thinking these guys are massive you know and we’ve got this opportunity to tour with them. It’s just incredible really. I’m very grateful we’re in the position to do this. I can’t wait! Hopefully we’ll learn a thing or two from them as well.

Debbie: Is there anyone else who you’d really love to work with? Sky’s the limit…..

Daisy: I feel like you should’ve asked me that about two hours ago… (laughs)

Debbie: You know where my mind went when I asked you that question?

Daisy: Where?

Debbie: Billy Eillish.

Daisy: She is really cool. She’s very innovative and unique. She could teach you where music is now and currently. I think that she’s going to have a massive impact on the direction that the music industry goes in the next few years. You know she’s not in keeping with anything and that’s really big. I’d love to work with Stevie Nicks that would be cool. Or someone like Prince…. That would’ve been so cool.

Debbie: That would’ve been amazing! So finally, who’s on your playlist at the moment?

Daisy: At the moment I’m listening to a guy called FKJ (French Kiwi Juice) – I really love him. He’s like bluesy, soulful guitars. I really love him at the moment. Really chilled vibes. Who else…. Erm my brother was listening to Ocean Alley, again they’re guitar based really chilled.

Debbie: Do you like guitar chilled music?

Daisy: Since I’ve been in the band I’ve tried to open my eyes and ears up to other music. I’ve always been into electronic music, so I’m trying to expand into other fields and take inspiration. I’m listening to the music that the rest of the band listen to also and taking their recommendations. It’s good for me to understand where their influences are coming from.

As always I am eternally grateful for this opportunity and I want to thank Daisy and the guys in Fuzzy Sun for making this interview possible.

Fuzzy Sun's new single I Ain't Right is out now.

You can catch Fuzzy Sun on tour in Stockport as part of Mercury Rising Festival later this month, they then join Two Door Cinema Club in October on their UK tour.

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