Bright Young Thing: Singer songwriter Zoe Brownrigg
PUBLISHED: 00:34 04 February 2012 | UPDATED: 21:00 20 February 2013
ZoÃ« Brownrigg, 18, is from Laughton. She studies at Northbrook College in Worthing. ZoÃ« is a singer/songwriter whose debut EP, Not Once Did I See Your Face, is available now at Union Music Store in Lewes
Where did you grow up and go to school?
I grew up in the small village of Laughton in a community project, a previously abandoned long-stay hospital which a group of families bought up and converted into houses. There are 24 acres of shared land between around 20 families, with a community building. Most people find that quite unusual but to me it was the best possible place to grow up, with fields and woods to explore and lots of other children my age to play with. Most of us went to the local village school, then on to Ringmer Community College and finally to Lewes Sussex Downs College.
Are you still in full-time education?
Yes, Im in my first year at Northbrook College, Worthing studying Music Business. Its a two year foundation degree which is going really well! Its always good to have a plan B, plus the skills and information Ill learn on this course will hopefully give me a head-start in the tough music industry. I could even start my own business-perhaps a record label to release my music on.
How would you describe your music? Can you share some of your influences and musical heroes?
I quite like Union Music Stores description of the songs on my debut EP Not Once Did I See Your Face as contemporary folk. I dont think the songs sound traditional enough to be true folk.
One of my musical heroes would have to be Jose Gonzales; I was about 10 when I bought one of his albums and his beautiful, intricate finger picking instantly inspired me to pick up the guitar and learn.
What has been the highlight of your musical career so far?
Probably sharing the bill with indie pop band Beirut as part of my other musical project Early Ghost, a six-piece experimental folk rock band. We supported them in the Eastbourne Winter Gardens the only UK date on their European tour. We were big fans so it was amazing to see them soundcheck and play live, plus it broadened our fanbase around the world as people had come from afar to see them.
Tell us about the songs on your EP.
They were all written in my second year of college, a turning point in my life when I joined Early Ghost and found my partner Sam. It felt like it was the beginning of a new era for me, that there was something in the air, I would wake up feeling sick with excitement but not know why. Ahead of Us Yet tries to explain that feeling. However, there are other messages too, for example Smooth Edged Stone is about my need to fly the nest and become more independent. Im so thankful to Jamie and Stevie Freeman for producing, releasing and promoting the EP. They also run a shop called The Union Music Store which has brought the local music scene to life.
Name your favourite song, book and film.
Its so hard to choose a favourite song so I looked on my iTunes and theres a joint first place for the most played song Blood and The Darkest Side, both by the Australian band The Middle East. My favourite book or books are probably His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman, I think Ive always secretly wanted to be Lyra and run around with a Daemon from world to world. I love films but I never get round to watching them, one film I will always have time for however is Howls Moving Castle, created by Studio Ghibli. Its a Japanese animated fantasy film - the narrative is very slow moving but is so beautifully made and written.
Zo is playing at the All Saints Centre, Lewes:
17 March supporting Contraband
18 March supporting Razia Aziz
Her EP, Not Once Did I See Your Face, is available from iTunes, Union Music Store or at her concerts.