The singer spoke to Love London Love Culture’s Emma Clarendon about Ida’s Christmas album ‘Believe’.
Hi thank you for taking the time to talk to me. How excited are you about releasing ‘Believe’? Oh my goodness, we are SO excited about releasing Believe! It has taken hundreds of hours of work to make happen – we set out to create a really special album for our fans, friends and family, and I really believe that we achieved that. The reaction we’ve had so far has been astounding – I feel like it’s really a dream come true.
What songs can we expect on the album? The album is a mixture of our favourite Christmas songs and carols, along with requests from Kickstarter supporters who chose that option as the ‘reward’ for their pledge. So to name a few, there is Happy Xmas (War is Over), When a Child is Born, Believe (from the Polar Express), God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen and Silent Night – a real mixture! And it’s all done with our fresh take on the classical-crossover genre: we love to marry the pure elements of classical singing with bursts of pop. It’s not really ever been done in this way before, and we’re looking forward to expanding our sound and experiment more in the new year.
Have you any favourite tracks on ‘Believe’? I have so many favourites, it’ll be hard to whittle it down; I did the majority of the vocal arrangements on the album, so I already have a connection to most of them! I think my top 3 tracks would have to be Silent Night, Happy Xmas (War is Over) and God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. Silent Night is my all-time favourite carol, and I wrote an a cappella version, mixing the well-known English with the original German lyrics: it’s very atmospheric. Happy Xmas (War is Over) gives me goosebumps! I wanted to create a stripped-back version which slowly builds throughout and gets bigger and bigger, and this track features not only over 100 young voices from stage schools in the Channel Islands, but also some of our Kickstarter pledgers who chose being a backing vocalist as their reward! I led the session in the recording studio with them, so that’s something very special to me. And God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen was my family’s Kickstarter song request, so already I wanted to create something unique for them so I included a section based on the fugue from Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor, which is very fitting as my dad is an organist. The whole song is epic and I’m very proud of that one.
I’m guessing this is an album that’s been in the making for a while – so have you been in a festive mood throughout making ‘Believe’? Absolutely! Almost rather prematurely actually, as we started working on it a couple of weeks before the end of the Kickstarter campaign, so the start of September! But I fully embrace that – I love Christmas and Christmas music so it’s so special to have something special to hold onto forever. However, because there’s been so much hard graft involved to this happen, as we’ve done absolutely everything ourselves (not being attached to a label), I think I’ve only properly started to feel Christmassy this week now that it has all come together and has been released. And the response we’ve had is incredible, which is the cherry on top!
You also fully funded the album through a Kickstarter campaign – how did you find that? Yes, we started the campaign while we were headlining a festival in Australia at the end of July: we decided on the minimum goal we wanted to reach and created a long list of rewards that pledgers could pick for their donation, and basically thanks to our wonderful fans, friends and family, we not only reached our minimum goal, but reached our stretch goal on the very last day of the campaign! We’re incredibly grateful for everyone’s generosity as, quite literally, the album would not exist without it! We’re so humbled and very aware of just how lucky we are.
It sounds like you have had a busy few months – how are you planning on spending Christmas? We are all going to be home with our families for Christmas actually, which will be so lovely! Georgi will be home in Jersey, Sarah in Ireland, Laura in Australia and I’ll be home in Scotland – a wee town called Keith, halfway between Aberdeen and Inverness. I’ve not been home in 4 months so am very looking forward to spending some quality time with the family and have a rest after a ridiculously hectic few months!
What’s 2019 looking like for Ida? We’re very excited about 2019. We spent a lot of time abroad this year (approximately half the year in total) singing in festivals and cruises, so next year we’re looking forward to having a lot more time in London and working on plans for more UK-based concerts, working on expanding our sound with other writers and producers, and maybe even start planning the next album… But shhhh, that’s top secret information…
By Emma Clarendon
Believe is available to buy now.