Audiences can expect a new Joni Fuller when the Lancashire-based singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist headlines a set at The Eagle in Arundel on August 8.
She’s taken time out to re-evaluate and reassess, Joni explains.
“I started on the violin,” she says. “That’s my primary instrument, and I started that when I was five. My parents are not musical at all, and they really didn’t know what to make it of it! But I was determined that was what I wanted to do, and I did all my training at the Junior Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. I went through from eight to 18. I got all my training there, and then I started to write my own things was well.
“But then I was picked up by a musical foundation in Switzerland, founded by Phil Collins. I did a lot of work in mainland Europe through that, just gigging. I met him quite a few times, actually. At that time, he was very involved. He was really, really nice. He was always very supportive. He would give us lots of advice, and he was a really good influence. I did some backing singing and playing to support him on his tour in Germany with the foundation. I was only early teens at the time. It just gave me such a great foundation for performing.
“It was training in itself. It’s one thing playing an instrument and writing, but it is quite another to get out there and perform, and it was great. I did that for a long time.
“But then I took a step back for the past couple of years. I had just been on this treadmill of gigging and playing, and I just really wanted to take a step back and think ‘What is my sound? What is my identity?’ I still teach, but I was doing a lot of teaching. It was good to have that foundation and to build up my portfolio, but I was also writing all the time still. But I was just wanting to work out how to pitch myself.
“Since the New Year, I have been back with a new refurbished sound and live set-up. I used to play with a band, but now I do it all solo, and I use a loop pedal to allow me to play several different instruments and to build up the sound that way. It’s working really well. The response has been really good so far. People are finding it a bit different to what they are used to from me. I am still me and the essence of me, but I am a lot happier now with my sound and with my identity. When you are young, it is very easy to get swept along with what the adults are saying. It was good to take a step back and work out what it really was that I wanted to represent, and it is good to have the EP out.”
An EP that is already going down well in Arundel: “My grandmother and my granddad live in Arundel. They have lived there for several years now and run a B&B. I have been gigging on and off in Arundel for a while now, and it is good to have a little bit of a following there. I have just finished the new EP and am just starting to put it out. I gave some copies to my grandmother. She was virtually selling copies from her window!”
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