Maxim Meyer-Horn

16 Jul 2020

Interview: British Pop Star Foxes Prepares Her Major Comeback

Foxes was only 19 when she started out as a recording artist and won her first Grammy Award six years later. Her joyful pop songs made her one of the biggest stars in the UK, but it took her four years to return with new music. During those four years, the artist took time to reflect on herself and her music but is finally ready to uncover the music she’s been working on. We had an exclusive interview with the “Love Not Loving You” singer and talked about her big comeback!

How does it feel to be back?

I was quite scared because being away for four years, you naturally worry about how the first thing you release will be and how you bring yourself back into that whole world again. I was so overwhelmed and amazed by how the reactions are and how supportive everyone was. It was nice to see that there are still so many people hungry for new music, which I wasn’t expecting.

You vanished for four years but used the time to rediscover yourself. How important was this journey for you?

It was so important for me. I felt that I really needed to connect with what I absolutely wanted and find the core of what I want to do. I needed to step back, get in touch with myself again, and realize what kind of music I wanted to make. I was thinking a lot of the phase I wanted my career to go and it was probably the best thing I’ve ever done. I was finally able to take the reins and power back of a lot of things that maybe started to feel like they weren’t in my control as much anymore.

When I started to make music again, I built my new team around me that I wanted, and it was such a nourishing feeling. Being able to have had that time to figure out how you want things to go and who you want to work with. It was very empowering to create this new team.

Did you slow down for a bit because you felt stuck in your situation?

I definitely felt that I was not particularly going down the route I wanted, and I needed to reconnect with myself. I felt as if I was running away with things that were going on and just needed to sit within myself. I had to process the things that have happened and then figure out where I wanted to go next. It was a great chance to rethink everything and start a new creative project with a current vision. It was nice to feel that I was coming back with something fresh and something that had time to develop in my mind.

“Love Not Loving You” is your first release in four years. What makes this song so special?

The funny thing about this song is that I felt that I was writing the song for myself a little bit. The song is about celebrating and showing the freedom and independency you gain when leaving a bad relationship. It has this message in it where I talk about my unhealthy relationship and it gave me the courage in the end that I could leave that situation. It’s the sort of song I would listen to after a breakup to give me that strength and feel empowered. The core of the song is pretty much from that mindset, so I’m really connected to the song because it feels like I’m singing this mantra to myself.

The song really is about standing on your own two feet. Do you feel more independent than before?

Yeah, I think I definitely do, in a good way. I think it’s important to rely on your own and not too much on others, so in that sense, I absolutely feel more independent.

The music video of “Love Not Loving You” was made with an iPhone and directed via Zoom. Did being limited in possibilities push your creativity?

It absolutely did and it was really exciting actually. I was very nervous at the beginning because I thought that we’d be struggling and wouldn’t really be able to make a music video. We really tried to think outside the box in all sorts of ways because I had to learn to put equipment up, be my own styling, do my own makeup, and really be a one-woman everything. It was really challenging but so fun to do for me.

I feel very proud of the video because I think that if there wasn’t a lockdown, I don’t think the idea would be as strong. We couldn’t do anything in person and really had to think about how we could overlay these interesting images. We wanted to come up with an idea that hadn’t been done before and how I could portray all these independent women. We wanted to overlay all these classic images and have this strong but tongue-in-cheek feeling.

The music video feels like a celebration of all the women who came before you. Where did the motivation of making a video with such an important message come from?

It came from my own feelings of wanting to celebrate strong and independent women and feel like I can stand on my own feet. I wanted to show that I can be strong on my own and survive on myself with the things I need. It came from wanting to make that statement for myself and hopefully kind of encourage others to do the same. I do love the concept and idea of these women in the past that really have something, and we wanted to represent that with the images. It’s really about looking for the core of what these women represented, and it’s absolutely interesting to me to see how these interesting men created these women themselves by painting them. The women on the paintings don’t really have a story but you can sense that they have a real spirit.

We currently live in very unstable political times. Is that something that has an impact on your songwriting?

It definitely does because the current climate will always have an impact on what I’m writing. I don’t feel like I can write or speak for anyone else but myself and how I feel, but the political climate will always influence the way I’m telling a story in my song. There’s so much uncertainty, vulnerability, and fear in the world right now. So it takes a crazy amount of courage and conversations to create an understanding of our environment.

You’ve already released two albums and are ready to unleash a new chapter of your artistry. What will the new music be like and when can we expect it?

I can’t wait to put all the music out we’ve been working on. The new music is really more coming of age because there’s, for example, an element of me taking my career into my own hands and a lot of the writing is about the process of everything I’ve experienced in the last four years. It’s a real whirlpool of emotions! The sound is definitely evolved compared to the last record, but there are also parts where I go back to the early music I made. There’s a real sense of freedom in the new songs, so I think it will be really interesting when we start releasing all these different singles because there are a lot of different sides to this album.

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