Natti Shiner on the new Fickle Friends album and her favourite things

PUBLISHED: 09:47 27 March 2018 | UPDATED: 09:47 27 March 2018

Fickle Friends with vocalist Natti Shiner in the centre (Photo by David Titlow)

Fickle Friends with vocalist Natti Shiner in the centre (Photo by David Titlow)


Hove-based vocalist and songwriter with hotly tipped band Fickle Friends Natti Shiner discusses her favourite things

The debut album has been a long time coming – how much did it change in that time?

I think the delay is the best thing that could have happened – when we signed our deal the songs we had weren’t good enough. We went to LA with [producer] Mike Crossey and started writing so much music.

How important is Brighton to the band?

We all went to music school in Brighton [BIMM]. You do lots of cool gigs in front of a group of people who are your friends. We ended up playing outside Brighton to build a fanbase. Playing Concorde 2 has been on our bucket list. We thought no-one liked us here but last summer we played Patterns [in Marine Parade] and it sold out!

Is there a gig in Brighton you particularly remember?

My first gig in Brighton was three days after I moved in – I’ve lived here for six years now. My friend James was obsessed by Noah and the Whale. I saw them at the Corn Exchange and fell in love with [frontman] Charlie Fink.

What music are you listening to at the moment?

I curate playlists for Coca-Cola aimed at 13 to 25-year-olds so I have to keep my head in the game. I love listening to The Beatles when I’m cleaning the house – which is very rare. When I make a curry and have people around my go-to album is Beck’s new record Colors. I love it so much – it’s so pop.

What was the last film you saw?

Paddington 2 is probably my film of 2017 – it is so amazing, to the point I wanted to see the Museum of London’s behind the scenes exhibition.

What was the last exhibition you saw?

You Say You Want A Revolution? at the V&A which was all about the counterculture of music, film and fashion through the 1960s. It was one of the best exhibitions I have been to.

Was there any music which made you want to start writing songs?

I didn’t really want to be a singer or musician until Avril Lavigne came out. Before that I thought it was all lame, then this girl came out who was so rad and like me – I wanted to do what she did. I started learning the guitar and writing songs by myself. When the first Ellie Goulding record came out I could see myself going down that road. But I wanted to be in a band – I didn’t want to do it all by myself.

How do you spend your time on the road?

First hour you have a laugh then everyone sets off into their own world. I’m in the front listening to podcasts mostly. My favourite three are: Song Exploder, where they take a song from the beginning to the end about how the song came to life and the production elements; And The Writer Is, where they interview the greatest songwriters in the world which is really inspiring; and Ear Hustle which goes into high security US prisons to guys who have been incarcerated for 20 years, and talks about prison culture.

What book are you reading at the moment?

I have recently read three Haruki Murakami books, and Yuval Harari’s Sapiens which is a brief history of mankind. It was interesting for the first couple of hours, then became the most difficult book ever. I’m currently reading the new Bridget Jones, Mad About the Boy – it’s the trashy book before the next Murakami.

Fickle Friends’ debut album You Are Someone Else was released by Polydor Records on Friday 16 March. 


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