Coupdekat is the all-around creative whose passion for film, photography, music and art nestle into her own music and live shows. Serving as the co-founder of the all-female identifying collective ‘Loud LDN’, Coupdekat has worked to build a platform of over fifty members that showcases and champions artists and creatives from around the country.
Having already sold out her debut headline show and supported punk rock act Dream Wife and drum and bass duo Piri & Tommy, Coupdekat is no stranger to BBC INTRODUCING, BBC RADIO 6 and some of Spotify's most sought after playlists.
A genre-defying newcomer with her latest single 'BABYTEEF' out now and an EP to follow, Coupdekat sits down with one of her closest loved ones - her mum - to reminisce about the intimate details of being brought up in a family of music lovers and discuss the specifics of her own songwriting process.
Mum: In terms of your project/EP, what would you say comes first? The picture/visuals, words, sentiment, music or the beat/melody?
Coupdekat: I usually write a few songs and initially they are unconnected, but then because of whatever is going on in my life at that time, they usually end up connecting. I guess then some of them fit into an EP and some of them don’t and I’ll pick a theme that runs throughout the ones that fit together. I guess it’s dependent on the essence of the time and what I’m going through. A project usually evolves from a few key songs, and grows as it’s being made. Music and visuals have always been something that are very much connected for me. As soon as I finish a song, I close my eyes, and listen back to it and imagine the visuals and the music video that can go with it and the artwork. That feels like something that comes quite naturally to me.
M: How does [a] place influence your songs? Given 'ur only' and 'lost in translation' were written in Paris and 'Little Tescos' was very much born [out] of lockdown in Leighton Buzzard.
C: I think where I’m located when I’m writing songs has a huge influence. If I'm running low on creative ideas I just go outside and get the bus and take in my surroundings. For me, the world around me is the biggest inspiration. With my first EP, being in Paris was such a huge inspiration. My phone was also such an important factor in that EP because I was, of course, away from loved ones and the only way I could communicate with them was through my phone. Because of that my online relationships and my phone became such a necessity and huge subject to talk about. Now that we’re out of that, and I’m living in London, there’s been a total switch in this new EP now; I’m experiencing things in real life and trying to distance myself from my phone. I think lockdown had a huge effect on my music in general.
M: In regards to topics of interest: art and photography, which you did for A Level, and the gallery exhibitions we have been to, have any of those particularly influenced your visuals, your videos or shoots?
C: Yes, definitely. When I think about the last EP I remember I went to a Nam June Paik exhibition at the Tate in 2019 just before lockdown. The exhibition was about the rise of technology and placing technology in natural settings, like TVs in the Jungle. It was really interesting. It represents the juxtaposition between the technology world and the natural world. That exhibition had a really big impact on the EP and the visuals overall. Seeing how technology evolved so quickly over lockdown also had a massive impact because I guess that’s the biggest theme of the EP. With my newest stuff, I’ve had the opportunity to work with one of my favourite artists ever, I’d been following her for ages, her name is Kelly Ficcara, [and] I felt like Kelly’s work was absolutely perfect for the visual world I wanted to create around ‘FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY’. Kelly has been creating a new world around the EP with a Coupdekat character, [and] the character will be consistent throughout all of the artwork and videos. The Coupdekat character takes massive references from Groovy Chick. I've always loved Groovy Chick since I was a little girl.
M: There are many songs that have been important in our relationship. I consider The Smiths and The Wombats to be huge shared interests as well as Irish folk, especially Christy Moore to be a family influence. What do you think and what impact has it made on your music?
C: The interest you and Dad had in music has had a massive effect on me. Everything we did as children had background music to it, and now everything I do, I must be listening to music. I remember Dad playing vinyl every Sunday, all day - by accident I’d end up listening and that’s how I found The Smiths. The Smiths and The Cure they just hit me at [the] right time; I was about thirteen and really obsessively getting into music. I don’t think I was really into music that was being bought out by artists at that time, between 2010 and 2015, I just don’t think I was really connected to it. Well maybe Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift but no one else so The Smiths filled that young ‘fan girl’ obsession. I really have learned so much more from just listening to music and certain guitar sounds that Johnny Marr uses or how Morrisey structures sentences to make them flow than I’ve ever learnt from any music class. It helped me to instinctively know if things work or don’t rather than necessarily having the musical knowledge around it. I think there are some artists now who are one step ahead, taking on this idea of AI and new technologies and using those to the best of their ability, I’m really into that. I just found an artist called Ivri and she just sounds like the internet through music and I've also always been inspired by The 1975 too, it always feels like they know something that we don’t!