Youth Arts Moderator

‘Don’t try to break into the music industry, just make your own.’ Words of Wisedom from International Musician Roxanne de Bastion

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It takes a lot of guts to leave home and move to a new country with nothing but a guitar and your hopes and dreams. Luckily, for young artist Roxanne de Bastion, she has much more than just courage.

Armed with years of practice, and a fierce desire to make her dreams come true, Roxanne moved from her hometown of Berlin to London to pursue her goals in music. The hardest part of her journey she said, was being so far away from friends and family without knowing anyone in London. She had her fears about making ends meet and worked a few different jobs but her desire to do what she loved overpowered any of the hardships she faced.  She devoted all of her energy to playing gigs and open mic nights all over the city and it is finally paying off.

She draws her inspiration from everything she observes; the people she meets, the songs she hears and has a unique way of creating music. Rather than sitting down and planning out her next song she explains that her music often just appears.  ‘Although it’s always personal, sometimes the subject matter [of my music] even surprises me – so in a way it’s almost more accurate to say that the songs write me as opposed to the other way around.’

Her outlook on making music a career also makes her unique in the industry. ‘I don’t really think of it as a career goal, music is who I am. I don’t have a conscious memory of ever even considering anything else. Sure, I’m ambitious and determined and want to be successful, but the parameters of success change all the time. It’s really just about finding what it is that brings you happiness and having the courage to pursue that.’

She just released the first single Red and White Blood Cells off her upcoming debut album called The Real Thing in October. Her full album is still in the works and is expected to be released early next year. The album title refers to the last song on the record but also to the way Roxanne recorded her songs. She used minimal production and recorded most of the album live or in very few takes because she wanted it to sound more real. ‘I’m getting really bored with overproduced music, mainly because it’s used as masking tape for poor performance and songwriting so much. On my album, I really wanted to let the songs and the performances be an honest reflection of what I do.’

When asked to explain the meaning behind her single Red and White Blood Cells, Roxanne explained that her inspiration was a combination of listening to a lot of Regina Spektor, playing with electric guitars and the results of a blood test. She wouldn’t say much more than that though, she doesn’t want listeners to be limited to only seeing her meaning behind the song. She wants everyone to find their own meanings in her music.

Roxanne’s music has become popular all over the UK as well as in Germany and the United States. She somehow finds a perfect balance between confidence, determination and humility. Roxanne respects music as an art and her creativity is reflected in all of her songs. Her voice is sweet yet powerful and because she made it on her own, she is a role model while simultaneously being someone we can all relate to.

What advice does she have for other artists trying to break into the music industry? ‘Don’t try to break into the music industry, just make your own.’

Words: Joni Agronin

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