Aisha Chaouche released her debut album Safe last Friday. Chaouche’s effortlessly mellifluous vocals veer from soulful to gut-wrenching and everything in between amidst an enveloping backdrop and piano playing, programmed drums, sub-bass, cello, violin and an obsession with reverb and delay. This haunting concoction stops you in your tracks with its lovelorn meditations, reminiscent elements of the confessionals of Cat Power and the intricate sounds of Bjork yet starkly personal, plunging into your past and coming up for air.
Aisha spent her childhood growing up in Swansea before moving to Bristol where she studied at BIMM music college. Signing to Late Night Tales’ sister label Night Time Stories on the strength of a Soundcloud demo, Chaouche’s debut single ‘I’ll Lose My Head’ was released in May 2017. An exquisite exploration of inner worlds and emotions showing vividly showing off Chaouche’s outstanding vocal talent and multi-layered songwriting talent.
Safe was mixed with now live band member Ben Johnson and features updated versions of her singles released to date. Combining vocals, performance on piano and synthesiser with triggered samples and loops; the trio of Aisha, Greg Stoddard and Ben have translated the subtleties of the album to the live stage. Following a series of one-offs and supports, the group are planning more dates in the near future. Chaouche is a formidable talent with the ability to stop you dead in your tracks.
We sent Aisha our twenty questions here are her responses.
Hi, how are you today?
I’m feeling bang average thank you. How are you?
What’s the weather like?
Cloudy, pre-storm vibes I think. Perfect for writing moody dark emotional numbers.
How do most of your songs start life? A piano part? A chord? Or melody?
Piano, strings or like a weird drone thingy I’d say.
Have you ever been starstruck?
I haven’t I’m afraid. I don’t get out much.
The Royal Family: should they stay or should they go?
I have mixed feelings about those guys.. I’ve heard that they are lizards?
If you weren’t doing this, what would you like to be?
An astronomer. I love looking up at the stars.
What’s your favourite book?
Night School by Richard Wiseman. It taught me how to lucid dream.
What were you like at school?
My mother withdrew me just after primary school, because I hated it.
What’s the music scene like back home?
Dead. That’s why I moved to Bristol.
Best gig you’ve played so far?
I really enjoyed supporting Rae Morris at the Marble Factory a few weeks back. It was great to hear the set on a big sound system.
What’s your favourite single?
Favorite single? Oh boy.
What do you listen to in your tourbus?
I’m not sure yet, I’ve never been on one. But probably Enya.
What were your favourite artists growing up?
I loved listening to film scores, Thomas Newman, Hans Zimmer. And also The Carpenters.
Who would you want to play you in the film of your life?
Vinyl, CD, Download or stream?
What’s the best cover version you have ever heard?
Sufjan Stevens live version of Hotline Bling.
Tell us about your recent release?
It’s called ‘Safe’ and it’s my debut album.
Any hopes for 2018?
More music, more gigs. And to go to Snowdonia with my BF.
What would be your dream collaboration?
What’s the strangest thing that has ever happened at one of your own gigs?
Weeellll.. I’ve only done like five. So not much to choose from. But the laptop deciding to break at soundcheck on the second show was pretty weird. We’ve gone strictly hardware since then.
Thursday 19th July: Larmer Tree Festival, Wiltshire
Saturday 21st July: Bluedot Festival, Cheshire
Sunday 19th August: Green Man Festival, Brecon Beacons
Order ‘Safe’ here: http://s.latenighttales.co.uk/safe/