Chrissie Huntley is a force to be reckoned with, soaring vocals, intricate riffs and singalong-worthy melodies, Chrissie has it all. Not only are Chrissie’s songs beautiful, they are absolute bangers too.
Chrissie! It’s lovely to chat with you again. It wasn’t long ago that I spoke to you about Me, Myself and I. Your sound is constantly evolving from slow R&B jams to this newest pop sound. Your newest track, Groundhog Day was written in lockdown, how did you find your writing changed during this time?
So lovely to speak with you again too! Thanks for having me.
I think it was a multitude of things. For example, lockdown initially felt limiting due to not being able to do any in-person writing sessions; however, moving these into an online space actually became hugely liberating, as it meant I could write with anyone in the world without even leaving my bedroom!
From doing so, I ended up writing on Zoom with producers in Australia, Germany and here in the UK, which allowed me to really feel like I was able to make music I really wanted to make, with people who understood where I wanted to take my sound.
We may be small statistics in the music industry, but we are far from small!
You’ve definitely used lockdown to your advantage. I saw a few little snippets of your home studio in your closet too, a lot of musicians used the time to learn new skills such as production. Did you have a go at learning any new musical skills?
Yes! I was gifted my beautiful butterscotch yellow Fender Strat by my boyfriend when I finished my music degree in lockdown. I played her everyday and began writing a lot more on the guitar. I suppose this is another way in which my writing process changed. In the past I would often write a topline, take it to a band, then to a producer. Now, I write a chord progression/loop on guitar, then a topline, then take it to a producer, then a live band.
Don’t be nice. Be kind, of course, be authentic and be professional- but don’t be “nice”. Don’t stifle your opinion in order to be “nice”. Don’t limit your creativity in order to be “nice”. Don’t hold back in order to be “nice”!
You’re very open about your own mental health struggles, especially how lockdown affected you and your mental health. Groundhog Day seems to act as an oxymoron with how bright and bouncy the songs sound, with the lyrics talking about the frustration and mundanity of isolation. What does it mean to you, to be able to share this song with the world?
It’s funny- whilst this song was born as somewhat of a mental health coping mechanism in lockdown, it’s probably one of the more lighthearted tracks I’ve written. I think getting it out on paper showed me almost how absurd lockdown was, how magnified daily minutia became and how- albeit frustrating- amusing the whole experience of spending time just trying to decide how to spend time was!!
Since lockdown has ended, the world is booming with live music again. You’ve had your own struggles with rescheduling events, how does it feel to be playing live music again? And have you got any more gigs lined up?
My goodness - words cannot describe how good the first gig back was. My headline show at the Grain Barge in August had been rescheduled FIVE times, but when we finally got the go ahead it was so so worth the wait. It was completely sold out and my first headline show back in 2 years, which just made it even more special.
And yes! I’ve got a very busy December coming up! In terms of ticketed events, I’ll be performing on the BBC Introducing Stage at the BBC Christmas Festival in Wiltshire on 11th December, as well as a full-band, Christmas Spectacular at the Cloak & Dagger in Bristol on 16th December!
What female artists are you listening to at the moment?
I’m an absolute sucker for strong soul voices so I’m listening to a lot of Jojo’s new album, plus I have recently become a huge fan of up-and-coming UK artist Charlotte Jane. Her voice is absolutely unreal and I love her writing style. She is hugely underrated so if you don’t know, get to know! OH and finally, Bristol artist Tessa King - another unreal vocalist with some absolute bangers. Check her out.
What can we expect from Chrissie Huntley in 2022?
Lots more new music!!! I have many irons in many fires which I’m so excited to put into action in the new year. I’m hoping a songwriting trip Stateside is on the cards for 2022, as well as some dream collaborations for an EP I’m working on… so watch this space! I’m also going to be starting up teaching singing lessons in the new year, so hit me up if you’re looking to train your voice!
What advice would you give to female musicians entering the industry?
I’m actually going to reuse a bit of advice that my uni principal gave us at graduation recently….. don’t be nice.
Be kind, of course, be authentic and be professional- but don’t be “nice”. Don’t stifle your opinion in order to be “nice”. Don’t limit your creativity in order to be “nice”. Don’t hold back in order to be “nice”!!! I spent many years not being true to myself or not taking up space in writing sessions, meetings, gigs etc… for the sake of seeming “nice”. Fuck that. I only ended up doing myself a disservice in the long run.
So my advice would be: take up space, use your voice, take your seat at the table and challenge those who challenge or underestimate you. We may be small statistics in the music industry, but we are far from small!
Stream Groundhog Day here: