ICYMI INTERVIEW // Introducing Gazel
Updated: Sep 25, 2019
Words by Hannah Ryan
Genre-blending artist, multi-instrumentalist and producer GAZEL has shared the remixes of her latest single, ‘Rain Is Coming’ – the latest track to be taken from her upcoming debut album Gazel’s Book Of Souls, out October 4th – as well as announcing a run of headline shows to celebrate the album’s release. ICYMI catch up with her to find out just what's going on.
You’ve been described as Kate Bush to Robyn by CLASH - how would you describe your sound?
Normally people describe my music as a mix of pop, world and folk music. Trying to compare it to other music is a somewhat fruitless exercise – Just listening to it is a better idea
Who has influenced your sound both technically and lyrically?
My lyrics are inspired most by the works of the philosopher Alan Watts and mythologist Joseph Cambell. The sound of my music is inspired by world music.
How have your Turkish roots inspired you and are there differences from british culture, in which you have drawn inspiration from?
There’s elements of middle eastern music in mine, but there’s also influences from west Africa, far eastern and Latin music. My album has massively varied instrumentation – from steel drums and sitars to alaskan flutes and digeridoos.
You’ve mentioned before that the whole philosophy of Gazel is that music has been used for story-telling over centuries but can get left behind - a movement which will not be the case for you. Could you elaborate on this?
My music is part of a story that I’ve written about a young girl who is seeking to clear her grandfather’s name after he is accused of burning down her village. The story is myth-like in nature, and is a way for me to explore the structure of the subconscious mind – which is the main inspiration for my album.
You’ve recently shared the remixes of your latest single ‘Rain Is Coming’ - how would you describe the remix?
There are three remixes from my childhood heroes Pangaea, Mixhell and I’ve also remixed the song myself. All three remixes are very different, mine sounds quite tropical!
This is the fourth single from your debut album ‘Gazel’s Book of Souls’ can you talk us through the album and the story behind it?
It’s a concept album with the story of a young girl from a small middle eastern town who travels through the different realms of the subconscious mind. Each song from the album is sung from the perspective of a different Soul – a character that dwells in the town’s collective psyche.
How are you going to portray your ‘Book Of Souls’ live on stage - talk us through your vision for your live performances?
I’ve been developing my show for around 3 years, so it’s already quite close to being my vision for it. For this tour I’m hoping to incorporate even more of the story into the live show, bringing it into the semi-theatrical realm.
Is there a message you are hoping to project on your upcoming tour?
Do you know who you are?
You have received extensive radio support from Huw Stephens at Radio 1 and Tom Robinson at 6Music - how important is media in order for you to develop as an artist?
Quite important !
What is the biggest goal for you as an artist?
To leave something behind me that benefits people forever.
What’s next in the pipeline for Gazel?
Gazel’s Book of Souls – coming October 4th!
Any other comments?
Thank you so much for having me!
British icon that has inspired you?
Best track to get ready to go out?
Depends where you’re going
Studio or touring?
Dream Glastonbury headliners?
I really like Nick Cave
One record you would keep forever?
Andrew Bird – Are You Serious