If there is a chance, Louisa Maria is going to take it! From joining a band that turned into a sour note to heading out on her own, every step is a lesson and in turn, every lesson can be turned into a beautifully done song. Songs that can be found on her July 2020 release, ‘Tea For Two.’
Right around the time we connected, Louisa Maria was gearing up for a livestream event to raise money for Southmead Bristol Hospital in relation to Covid-19. Joined by Elles Bailey, Badtouch, Collateral, Kyle Elliot, and Ritchie Ray – they managed to raise some major funds, and if you missed out on that – more live events are in the works. To find out more about what’s to come and to hear about the chances she’s taken up until now, continue on below1!
Kendra: When you decided to fly solo, did the conversation with the rest of Tequila Mockingbird feel like a breakup or was everyone mature and fine with your next step?
Louisa Maria: To be completely honest with you (and I feel like enough time has passed that I can now open up about it all) it was a bit of a disappointment from day one. Unfortunately, girl bands, in my opinion, are difficult because everything becomes so personal.
When I was asked to join the band I had the impression we would write together and have equal input into the bands’ music – naturally! My solo EP from 2015 had a track called “Tell Me”. The drummer in the band wanted to recruit me and release this song as a new single under their name. This happened but from then on all new material (apart from two other songs I brought to the project “Pretty Picture” and “Fire”) was written by the drummer Josie O’Toole and forced upon myself and the bassist to record for the bands’ second album without any input or discussion from either of us!
I was not happy with this arrangement but as I’d just arrived in Australia and was going to be there for six weeks to write as well as record; I had no choice but to comply. After we toured this album the vibe in the band went sour and I felt as if I was being pushed out. My track “Pretty Picture” had been B-listed on Planet Rock Radio after they listened to three other tracks that got sent to them. I received a phone call just before Christmas 2018 from the drummer saying they’d found another singer/guitarist. This band is now on its third new line up with only Josie O’Toole keeping it going. After I left it was three or four months until the bass player, Jacinta Jay, left or was “let go.” What more can I say?
Kendra: Other than being on your own more so now than with a band, you also switched gears when it came to genre as you went from rock to pop. Are there still rock elements or even a mentality that is still present in your new material?
Louisa Maria: Oh yes by all means – the new live set which has been developed a lot more over lockdown will have a punchy and rockier approach in performance aspects and live instrumental feel! I’ll never lose that rock-chic persona! I felt like a bit of a change was in order as I’d been controlled musically for so long by Tequila that I just had to break out of it. My entire creative side was just being trodden on and I had to change gear, as it were, in order to focus and bring back that creative spark.
Kendra: You took this chance and that’s what your latest single, “One Lump of Sugar” boils down to. It’s scary though to take that leap of faith, and it’s something many struggle their entire life to do. What’s some solid advice you have for those living in fear of taking a chance on something new?
Louisa Maria: My advice would be stay true to yourself! It must not be forced in any shape or form! I took the leap of faith and so far my latest songs have charted in the singer-songwriter charts. Also, my last single, “BANG BANG DROP,” made “Track of the Week”` on BBC UPLOAD Bristol. When you notice others coming on board with something – you know you are on the right track!
Kendra: If you had to compare your overall aesthetic and sound of ‘Tea for Two,’ to a tea flavor which would it be and why?
Louisa Maria: It would be Magic Dragon. It is a fruit-infused tea packed with really good stuff including dragon fruit together with the magical flavours of rosehip and blackberry leaves. The reason being it’s full of a juicy pop seductive vibe with a Latin sensual mix!
Kendra: This year has been a wild one for everyone, but how do you feel 2020 has shaped your creativity and drive moving forward?
Louisa Maria: My life changed a lot! I felt as if I were slipping away before lockdown with my personal life and work. I swore to myself I’d never be a normal person in the sense of having a 9-5 job, getting married, and having kids and settling down. No, no, no. I’m making the most of the time to write and develop and plan for the next five years! I’m planning on moving to NYC for six months next year in July 2021. 2020 has certainly put me more in touch with what I want rather than what others around me want. I decided it’s now or never and time to pursue even more.
Kendra: Usually, this is where I ask people what they have planned in the coming months but with the world in a strange place right now, plans aren’t as concrete as they typically are. So can you can go ahead and let us know what you have tentatively planned?
Louisa Maria: I’m trying to see this entire circumstance the world is facing as another opportunity to do something “new!” I’m still working on what that is however, live streaming events and the online world has taken off during this time! There must be more for musicians to do at present – it just hasn’t been thought of yet! Supporting the NHS and local charities is something I’ve been doing to help get positive messages out there.