Michael Green Interviews... Minnie Birch
Originally posted on 23rd July 2016 here is a Q & A with singer-songwriter Minnie Birch. She talked about her experiences writing songs & performing live.
Photo by PJ Photography
Where did it all start for you getting into music?
I've always been into music. My parents are big music fans, me and my sister used to make up dances to songs on my Dad's record player, Mr Big and Black Sabbath mostly. My Grandad has a tradition of giving all his Grandchildren a Ukulele but I didn't really pick that up until later. I got my first guitar when I was about 12, joined a band and haven't looked back since Who are your influences? There's a lot. I am a big fan of The Streets, I think Mike Skinner is a great storyteller. Ani Difranco is my favourite guitarist. I'm very inspired by a lot of the musicians from the area I live in (herts/beds), Kelly Oliver, The Caution Horses, Lino. It's nice to be part of an exciting scene. With songwriting where do you tend to get your inspiration from e.g how do you start your songs & what's your process? I write about the things that happen to me, but I am really influenced by Fairy Tales. I studied them at University and they wind their way in to my songs. I tend to always start with a story idea, with lyrics or just one line and build a song around that. I rarely start with music first.
Music video for the song 'Glitter'
How important is it do you feel it is to listen to current music as well as music from the past?
I find it really important. Particularly in folk music. There are artists and bands out there who are keeping that tradition of documenting history through music alive, singing about our time and place from a political as well as personal point of view. I think that is really important for the folk tradition but also you see it in other genres too. You can see it from folk bands like Stick in the wheel right through to Beyoncé. The time and place of a bit of music is integral to what it is trying to say.
Do you feel it is important to watch other acts perform and to watch other live music?
I do yeh. I am always inspired. I always learn something that I can apply to my own way of being a performer. Even if it is in a way where I think "That isn't me. I wouldn't want to do it that way"
That aside, I just love being an audience member. My parents let me go to gigs from a very young age, it's what I've always known as a way to have a good time, I love that a gig is a moment that can never really be repeated. Every gig is a one off. That's a special thing to be a part of.
Photo by PJ Photography
Finally what tips do you have for anyone starting out when it comes to songwriting & performing?
Just do it. Lots and lots. Just love it. If you love what you do then the rest will find it's own little way of coming together.
To find out more about Minnie and her music go to www.minniebirch.co.uk
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