Photography: Éamonn Freel
Styling: Patricia Villirillo
Words: Rachel Speed
PYLOT presents Rumours, a brand new electronic trio who are about to launch their debut EP, ‘Shapes’. Ahead of their EP launch at Miranda at the Ace Hotel, we spoke to Rumours about their origins and what makes them tick. They will be performing the EP at the launch on 7th July, and duo Loveless, who remixed “Fallout” on Rumours’ EP, are coming from Oslo to perform a DJ set afterwards. Sign up to their mailing list for free entry to the gig.
How long have you been working as Rumours? And what brought you together?
We started writing together two years ago, and the first year we were more or less just writing and experimenting. From the beginning we had a rough idea of what we wanted the project to be like, but the material was influenced by too many styles, and it had a very unclear identity. As soon as we started writing the latest stuff, I think it was pretty clear to all of us that the long process we have been through together, had led us to a point where our sound has become quite distinctive and represents our own personalities well.
Mark and Federico have been friends since they started getting in trouble together in their teens. They both grew up doing music together, and moved to London at the age of 18. Along came Marion, we all met in the last year of BIMM university at a dodgy pub jam night. Fede was a victim of one of Marion’s bad pick-up lines and the rest is history.
Tell me about the new EP. How long have you been working on it and what has inspired it?
Even though we have been working on Rumours for a long time, this EP was created in about three months, which is crazy and a very short time. When it comes to what inspired this EP, we really feed off the energy we get from making music together, it’s always such a thrilling moment to create something and share it with others, it’s what we think about the most in our everyday life, so our EP is probably a reflection of that.
How would you describe your style? What draws you to this particular style and genre of music?
Nowadays many genres are being merged with electronic music, and that is what we have been doing too. Labelling our style can be a bit tricky, but we would probably have to call it electronic pop. What stands out the most to us are the melodies that are very chilled and heartfelt, as are the lyrics, while the beat and the bass gives you a bit more of an edgy and punchy feel like a dance track would. A distinctive feature and signature in all our songs are the wide dynamic range, that and the balanced texture of Mark and Marion’s voices. We all have different musical backgrounds really, Marion comes from a more folk/ambient background, whereas Mark and Fede have always been into hip hop but we have all always been close to the club culture.
Why are you called Rumours? Inspired by Fleetwood Mac…?
Haha no, but we’ve definitely heard that one before… The name Rumours came out about four years ago. There is something quite mysterious about it, the way rumours spread easily and that they tend to be so fascinating and interesting even if you don’t know if they are true.
What do you think are the biggest challenges facing young artists today? How have Rumours overcome this?
We are currently experiencing how it is to be an un-signed up and coming act. One of the biggest challenges is having to take care of all the managing and promoting tasks all by ourselves. Those things can have a big influence on whether an artist will get noticed and taken seriously or not, and they have nothing to do with making music.
Apart from the economical aspect which can really get in the way, nowadays it’s the amount of focus and admin skills required on the business side of things that is quite scary and overwhelming. What we have definitely been good at, or maybe just very lucky with has been surrounding ourselves with a lot of good people and friends who has helped us so much by collaborating with us and lending us their skillsets. It’s good to have people around you who understand that you are busting your ass trying to make it work. We’re all in the same boat really, starting our careers and it is good that we are able to help each other out and create our own little networks.
You’re all from different European countries but formed the band in London. What do you think this has brought to the band?
Diversity obviously, it’s always good to have someone beside you who has a different background and perspective of things, it helps keeping your ideas fresh and there’s a lot of different people who get united by music, which is cool.
You use social media a lot (as we all do!) to promote the band. Do you think it’s a necessary part of being an artist now?
It’s such a necessary part of it, as we said before, you have to be “the full package” when you’re starting out as an unsigned artist and to be honest even for the already popular people social media platforms are one, if not the most important PR tools.
It’s the most direct way of growing a fan base, it’s how you brand and promote yourself, and the people that start following you can get to know you better and stay up to speed with all your work and feel that they are a part of your journey! Luckily we have Marion who is definitely the most skilled social media nerd of us.
Which bands and artists around at the minute do you admire most?
There’s a lot of great music out there at the moment, to name a few we really like Ritual, Rosie Lowe, Kevin Garrett, Nao, Sekuoia, Flume, Elderbrook, Aquilo, ARY, Tom Misch, Mura Masa, Lapsley, SHON.
What do you want to achieve in Rumours? What’s the grand plan?
We’re putting all of ourselves into this project so really what we want to achieve is to get some back. We just want to establish our name and get the chance to share what we do with as many people as possible and in as many places as possible! And it wouldn’t hurt to maybe in a few years afford to get a house on a beach somewhere.
Jokes aside, we’ll keep our heads down and give it all we have in the coming time, our first EP is coming out very soon, and a few tasty remixes from some interesting artists will follow that and so it goes – we just want to make a lot of music and keep releasing.
Are you going on tour soon? Where can people catch you live?
We have a Sofar session at the end of June (sold out), a nice and intimate stripped down set, then the big EP launch in Miranda at the Ace Hotel Shoreditch. The next gig after the EP launch will be at KOKO, at an NME night in August, they will all be huge moments for us so it would be fun if people would come down to share our excitement! (Dates at below)
Upcomming events with Rumours:
Sofar session – 30th June, secret location. (Sold out)
EP Launch – 7th July @ Miranda, Ace Hotel Shoreditch
NME night – 19th August, @ KOKO
Photography: Éamonn Freel
Styling: Patricia Villirillo
Hair: Rebecca Chang using Shu Uemura Art of Hair
Make up: Verity Cumming using OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE COSMETICS
Styling Assistants: Sofia Lai and Simone Beyene