I'm kind of like a vehicle really, to show people what they're capable of.
I am sure some of us have been there before where we have hopes and dreams, but those around us are telling us there is no point and that we should all just give up. For Margate based singer-songwriter Starling, despite those voices of discouragement she thought to herself ‘fuck-it’ I will give my passions a go regardless.
Fast forward to 2022, and Starling is creating some truly beautiful music with joyful tracks such as her recent track Sunshine as well as leading the way in encouraging people to realise their own potential. Starling is not just music, it is a world and a vehicle for those who dare to dream.
Taking time out of her busy schedule I had the pleasure of catching up with the lady herself to find out more as we discussed everything from music, chasing dreams to the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers!
It's an absolute pleasure to connect with you Starling. How are you?
Absolutely awesome today. How are you?
I'm doing good and am actually feeling really good because I have been totally loving the vibe of one the latest tracks you recently put out - Sunshine. How's it feel having released it into the world?
Oh, I love this question. It's such a great feeling that we got a heatwave at the same time. I tell you what, like, oh my God, the stars are aligned, it feels amazing. It actually depends how much people have heard of my music, as sometimes it can be quite dark, but at the same time my music got a bit more joyful. What's cool is that people are loving the joyful music like we could be the sunshine. I feel like through that song I found what I'm trying to say and what I'm trying to do
I found the lyrics in places to be quite poetic so do you find yourself to be a poetic person?
I wouldn't say I'm a poetic person but I would say I'm very visual. The way that I write my lyrics is like, it has to paint a picture in the listeners mind that I'm having a fight on Botany Bay, or I've just left London, or you know, it's all about the placement and the emotion and the image. I'm all about growing up on a high street or my favourite colours or the things that inspired me. Anything from the Power Rangers to certain animals like this fluffy bunny I keep because I'm all about images. And then I know that I'm taking the listener to that specific place.
Power Ranger huh? What colour ranger would you be? You totally opened the door for that one.
I opened it. I did. I've got to say the Pink Ranger - 100%.
In general, how have you found 2022 as an artist, and as your evolution has continued?
I would say 2022 is the best year so far of my life because I have a lot of clarity on what I'm doing. My team are amazing. My fans are amazing. And I want to bring up that it's in contrast to 2020, which for a lot of artists like me, it was really tough. Like you're not touring, you're in lockdown, like everyone. And it's within two years to be like, oh, we've finally started to turn a corner and moved away from that period.
I've turned it all around. I've got a deal, I've got live shows in the pipeline and I've already got a next single coming out to follow up Sunshine. So I don't know how to put it but I definitely feel this clarity. There's a lot of joyful like stuff going on, just like Sunshine says.
One of the lines in Sunshine says ‘ burning your shadow and earning your dreams’. So at what point did you own your dreams?
Oh my god, I love this question. I'm gonna say in 2014. I was always told I couldn't be a singer. I was told I didn't have a good enough voice because my voice is quite quirky. But really, I listened to all these people that had an idea of what they think of musicians should be 2014 I decided fuck it - I'm going to do what I want even though I had no idea idea how to crack the industry.
I think it was in 2015 when I actually first got a chance to go into a recording studio to do vocals for Massive Attack and on the back of that eventually I got a record deal. So I think when you decide for yourself that you are not going to listen to the discouragement, that's the catalyst for the magic to happen.
So how would you compare the vision back in 2014 to the Starling vision of today?
I would say that I'm a lot less apologetic, and I'm so much more bold. For me, it's about creating a world. For instance I plan to write a book, I have a podcast, I mentor other creatives guide them through how to make money or tips for getting the best out of their record deals, especially when they are new to the industry. Then I also got the the songs and I’ve got the fashion.
Also what I would say is 2014 was just the decision, 2015 it started to come together. 2016 -2018 It started to blossom. Then we had this two year pandemic, which was tricky but I'm back on my feet and most importantly with that I also now have clarity of what Starling as a brand represents. I'm bringing you into my world and that world is of self belief. That world is that you are so much more than you can see that you are and you're so much more capable.
You can go into shops like Selfridges or even Zara and Starbucks and hear your music.
It is insane. There's still a young girl inside of me that goes, is that really? Is that me? I was in Zara in Geneva, Switzerland with my little sister, just trying on a top, then all of a sudden I heard one of my songs! So yeah, it travels the world with you, which is pretty cool.
When you when you get an acknowledgment, not just from not just from fans, but peers within the music industry themselves how does that feel in terms of boosting your own confidence?
I've got to be honest it's a bit of an ego thing to say but when you love their work, and they love your work it actually gives you confidence that you have the capability to be as good as you want to be.
When you start out, you're the only one that believes in you. You're like, no one thinks I meant I'm doing a magazine, everyone thinks I'm meant to be a pop star, like whatever. But then when you actually get the results, you're like, okay, you get this confidence, and you get this clarity, and you get this almost reassurance where you start to realise what you are doing matters.
At what point did you start to realise actually, my music is pretty good?
I would say just in the last year
Moving forward, you already mentioned that after Sunshine, you have another song coming out too. Other than new music what are the other priorities for the next chapter?
Apart from the music, I'm going to say, I'm doing a live talk at a private member's club in London. You can come for the whole day and understand the values and like the structure I've used to get here.
I think a lot of artists need to hear how they can get to the next steps. I'm going to LA to play shows in October, I've got a song coming out pretty much every single month. I've got shows coming up in London. Then I've also got a launch of a podcast and I'm writing a book in the background as well. So a lot of stuff happening, but it all feels like it's part of the same vehicle or the same intention, which is about how do you uplevel your life? How do you get out of maybe the poverty you're born into, or the struggle or the low self esteem. Or for me, because I've been to hell and back as a younger person, I'm now in this point in my life where I starting to feel good about myself, and I want that for other people. So that's what I get to kind of teach whether it's through songs such as Sunshine, or whether it's through my program or whether it's through my talk. So yeah, for me, it's I'm kind of like a vehicle really, to show people what they're capable of.
How would you summarise your aesthetic as a Starling?
I would summarise it as bubblegum and like lots of different textures. I'd say it bubblegum 90s meets supermodel glam.
From the fans that have connected to your music knowing that they're really resonating with music that you're putting out, it must feel really humbling to know that your music is giving them strength. It's giving them smiles, but it's also giving them like, it's like you're reading their mind.
Yeah, I hope so. They're like, oh, she can see inside my mind. But yeah, it's just to be honest, it's just amazing to have fans that are excited to hear the music and can't wait for the next one. And they're just really supportive. And it's been a while now, it's been a couple years, what would of been five, four or five years of building a fan base who are with me through thick and thin. And that's, that's amazing.
If you see like your streams go, that's probably me listening to it on loop every second of the day. But honestly, it's such a good track. So like, for anyone who hasn't checked it out, what's the best way to embrace it?
On a music platform of their choice, that could be Spotify, it might be Apple, or it might be Deezer. Or it might be any one of those other major platforms. The other thing is you can just download it from iTunes, if you want to kind of own it instead of streaming it. And of course, we have a music video shot and directed by Marina Sossi as well a cool location shoot with the talented Jemima Marriott, which was shot down on the seafront in Margate where I recently moved to.
So when you were bringing together the narrative of Sunshine, but in a music video sense, how did you find being able to bring that narrative to life?
I literally just ran across the sea front. I met some guys there in the video. I'm gonna send you this video. It's just BTS. It's behind the scenes like tape. And it's literally I mean it is the Sunshine because the Sunshine is the joy. Do you know what? This is a moment. Even if there's been tough times, this is a moment to enjoy. So yeah, that's how it came together.
Well I wish you all the best and hopefully you come to Newcastle soon and I'll see you in London very soon as well. But in the meantime I wish you all the best with the continuing blossoming of Sunshine and the other future releases. To all the music fans who have supported you so far, what would you like to say?
Thank you from the bottom of my heart, and they are the people that make this possible.
To find out more about Starling and stay connected to her music visit Instagram: @starlingsworld
Article By Thushara S. Chandrasiri - Photos By Jemima Marriott