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Flo Morrissey Is A New Kind Of Old Soul

Music

Jun 17, 2015

It might be a total cliche to call someone wise beyond her years, so we’ll put it this way — Flo Morrissey definitely isn’t your average 20-year-old. Chalk it up to her childhood growing up amidst eight (!)  other siblings in London, but the singer and songwriter somehow manages to encapsulate the teenage experience in an entirely new way through music. Her debut album Tomorrow Will Be Beautiful is filled with soaring, gorgeous tracks with emotions as raw as the stuff you used to write in your diary — but articulated in a way that people of any age can relate to. Just before her album drops next month, we chatted with Flo in New York about “hippy dippy” stuff, Tumblr, and her love for Jane Birkin.

Hey Flo, welcome to New York! What have you been doing since you’ve been in town?
I’m here for work, but the other day I was able to explore around a bit. I went to this super hippy dippy shop in the East Village where they sell crystals, and I ended up buying a cactus and some jewelry. I went a bit crazy.

Congratulations on your debut album. Can you tell us a little bit about it?
Thanks, I’m so excited. I started writing the album when I was 15 and now I’m 20, so I guess you could say it’s sort of a snapshot into my teenagehood. It’s strange for me because — I know this sounds annoying — but I’ve felt older than my age for a while. This isn’t your stereotypical teenage record; it’s more of me exploring these feelings I had at the time. It’s about feeling older, but also wanting to hold onto this innocence you had as a child. I hope everyone can relate to it.

Where was it written?
It was written in my bedroom at home. I demoed the songs on my computer and then I sent them to my manager. I never collaborated with anyone before or gone into a proper studio before the album. I wrote all of the songs myself, and this was something I felt very strongly about. Especially for my first album, I wanted it to be as personal as possible.

Did you always want to be a singer?
I did, but for me, it’s never been a conscious choice. It’s really something that I’ve felt that I have to do. I don’t know what else I would do with myself. I had never done a tour before the beginning of this year, and the experience of engaging with people all over the world has been such an amazing experience. I always said I wanted to be a singer growing up, but I always assumed that it would be in opera. In England, they teach kids classical singing in school, and although I didn’t end up being a classical singer, it still sometimes creeps into my music. I learned guitar when I was 14, and then eventually started sending my songs to some of the blogs. I guess you could say my career sort of started on the internet.

You have a Tumblr, too.
Yeah, I use my Tumblr mostly for inspiration. I love posting old black and white photographs. Also on Instagram, I’ve met a lot of new friends. I think it’s important to realize this modern balance of keeping things sacred and not oversharing, but also using this experience in an authentic way. I enjoy seeing what other people have to offer on these other platforms.

How does your personal style relate to your music?
It’s not too much of a conscious choice for me. I’ve always worn bracelets, I’ve always dressed pretty bohemian. I’m obsessed with the ‘60s and ‘70s, and I take inspiration from the photos from those times. As I grow older, though, I’ve become more simple – I still wear jewelry and stuff, but I like to be more womanly about it.

Who are your style icons?
Jane Birkin, Francoise Hardy, Alexa Chung, my parents! I love how they dress. Even my younger siblings, I dig into their stuff. I also love how Devendra Banhart dresses. I always take little pieces from around the world and make them my own.

Flo Morrissey’s debut album Tomorrow Will Be Beautiful drops July 17th on Glassnote Records.