‘I took a task as a fairy in a panto’: Self Esteem interviewed at Glastonbury | Self Esteem

For Self Esteem – AKA Rebecca Lucy Taylor – Glastonbury is the place all of it started, form of. “It was once Gary Lightbody!” she informed Alexis Petridis in the second one of the Dad or mum’s onstage interviews with musicians at the William’s Inexperienced level. “I used to be in school, he was once in one of the crucial [Glastonbury] photos and he did a Brilliant Eyes quilt.” She made a brand new musical discovery and was once impressed to spark off down her personal trail as a musician.

It’s been a protracted one: after a decade within the indie duo Gradual Membership, Taylor surrender to start out Self Esteem. She launched her debut solo album, Compliments Please, in 2019 to quiet acclaim, but it surely wasn’t till closing yr’s daring, ruthlessly self-examining Prioritise Excitement that the Self Esteem phenomenon in reality kicked off. It was once the Dad or mum’s album of the yr, and her are living presentations – which she describes, brilliantly, as “one of those terrible church” – have close to sufficient grow to be websites of pilgrimages, in particular for grownup pop lovers who need to listen their real-life reviews mirrored again at them.

In the beginning, regardless that, stated Taylor, she was once “too scared to mention I used to be gonna pass solo. I began an Instagram below the identify Self Esteem and began posting artwork and poems. It felt large to me.” She spoke candidly about her ongoing paintings to try to shed the self-consciousness and people-pleasing that characterized her first band revel in, as a way to be more true to her personal wants. “Being a girl, I think like I’m asking an excessive amount of, I’m attention-seeking,” she stated. “It’s simple to move, ‘I’m gonna stay it secure and simple and that may stay me favored’.”

As an ardent pop fan, lifestyles in an indie band was stifling, she defined. “If you’ll be able to’t be your self, you pass loopy, in any side of lifestyles. I comprehend it was once only a band however I went loopy, I couldn’t be myself. It’s arduous being from Rotherham and pronouncing this however I’m an artist, I get up on a daily basis and need to make artwork. I used to be having to make artwork via anyone else’s lens.”

It was once a chain of ruptures that had kickstarted the Self Esteem undertaking, she defined. She had break up from a long-term spouse, left London and would paintings any task going. “I took a task as a fairy in a panto,” she defined. “It was once very unenjoyable. I favored getting paid but it surely was once two presentations an afternoon, six days every week. I used to be breaking apart with my spouse and I’d put the telephone down and select up my wand.” In the meantime, she approached her new tune as though it was once “like a full-time task. The purpose was once simply to exist in any respect and it’s fucking beautiful. It’s grow to be a proper giggle.”

It was once vital to her that Self Esteem had a definite taste, she stated. “In Gradual Membership I used to battle with the reality there was once no manifesto, aesthetic – it was once simply two humans’s critiques. It’s no longer an effective way to make artwork, I don’t assume.” A part of that trademark comes from Taylor’s frank lyricism about her personal flaws – and the issues that males have informed her she is.

Self Esteem with Alexis Petridis at William’s Green stage, Glastonbury festival.
Self Esteem with Alexis Petridis at William’s Inexperienced level, Glastonbury pageant. {Photograph}: Alicia Canter/the Dad or mum

“Individuals are like, ‘It will have to be cathartic?’ And I don’t assume it’s,” she stated. “It’s arduous however I am getting exhilarated, I am getting so top off it. And I believe it’s as a result of in my lifestyles, I by no means say what I imply … In songs, humans don’t inquire from me what it’s about, and that protection makes me say what I imply and that’s what I am getting out of it. I ponder whether sooner or later I’ll simply get to put in writing songs about being in love, you know the way Ed Sheeran simply writes a tune about his female friend.”

When Taylor wrote her breakout unmarried, closing yr’s I Do This All of the Time, she knew she had “nailed it”, she admitted. In Gradual Membership, she had at all times attempted to put in writing hits and failed. When she first went solo, she investigated the sector of cowriting with different songwriters and hated it. “With Prioritise Excitement, forcibly, as a result of the pandemic, I used to be by myself. I wrote it with no sign of ending, and that’s how this album came about. And, in fact, once you prevent attempting, the universe [hands you a gift]. To not be all ‘are living giggle love’ however … ‘are living giggle love’ is vital, isn’t it.”

Track gave Taylor an outlet for the full-throated expression she had at all times sought, and struggled with in her non-public lifestyles, she stated. “It’s extra me than I’m creating a cup of tea.”

She additionally spoke truthfully in regards to the realities of being a musician and what wishes to modify within the tune trade. Unfavourable reviews with sound engineers had caused her to rent her personal technicians, “which means that I take house much less cash … It’s so unregulated and you have got to spend some huge cash to you should definitely’re gonna be alright. That’s the primary factor for me. It’s no longer a well-paid task, you must want to do it. However there may well be adjustments made so I’m no longer paying not to have a horrible time.”

Taylor was once floating concepts for her 3rd solo album, she stated. “It’s attention-grabbing going into the following bit – that is my day within the solar the place there can be extra yesses than noes and I want to profit from that. I need to execute it to its complete doable.”

Regardless that no longer moderately but, she stressed out. “I need to milk Prioritise Excitement dry!”

The overall Dad or mum are living interview is with Angélique Kidjo at 10.20am at the William’s Inexperienced level on Sunday.

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