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My Favourite Place In London: PAWWS

July 30, 2014

This feature is taken from our End of Summer season.

When I talk to Lucy Taylor, aka PAWWS, her voice fills with joy and cheerfulness when she discusses her love for Alexandra Palace. “I’m from North London, not too far from Ally Pally and I used to go there all the time when I was a teenager, with my friends. We’d go ice skating, there’s a huge ice skating rink there and it’s got, I think, the best views of London. If you go to the top of the hill you can see the whole of London. I still live really close, about a five minute walk, and I go there every weekend for a little walk. It’s got a nice little boating lake, there’s a deer enclosure there as well and on Bonfire Night, they have a big firework display. There are loads of gigs there too, so it’s really cool.”

Taylor was born in North London and apart from spot stays in East London, and strangely the opposite side of the world in Australia, she’s always lived in the surrounding area, partly as she loves to be close to her family. “I’m originally from Friern Barnet and I’ve lived there most of my life. I did sort of live in Australia for a while, but apart from that, I’ve always lived around north London. I love it around here. I did live in east London for a little while but it didn’t feel right! I love North London, it’s my home and my parents still live here and I like being near them.” In fact, it might be her parents that installed the love for Ally Pally that she has. “I used to go with my mum and dad. There’s a really cool playground there, we used to go on the pedalos and feed the ducks. My earliest memory really is going with my mum and dad to see the fireworks, they always had really good fireworks and it gets really busy. When I was a teenager I’d go down there with my mates. There are gardens where we used to sit around and chat.”

BTS: PAWWS

BTS: PAWWS

A classically trained piano player and flutist, Taylor started her musical career as the keyboard player for Bloc Party’s Kele Okereke during his solo stints. In fact, they met as she was teaching him to play the piano after studying towards a music degree and running into difficulties making use of it: “I was really lucky because I was teaching Kele Okreke to play the piano. He needed a keyboard player for his band and he asked me to do it, I couldn’t believe it. I was so lucky!” She stuck with Okereke for two years before deciding the time was right to branch off again into making her own solo music once again. “It was a long, slow, natural process, I didn’t know I was definitely going to do that, it kind of just happened. I think that’s a good thing because I had the experience after doing the session stuff, it set me up; it made me aware of how things work.”

It was a little over a year ago she met her current management team, who in 2011, announced they were entering into a partnership with the monster Roc Nation group. But after meeting with them several times, meetings which Taylor compares to dating, she knew they were the right team for her: “I wanted to make sure I was choosing the right person because I’ve had managers in the past and that’s an important thing to have. You end up speaking to them more than anyone else really and I wanted to choose someone that was on board and really understood me. I met with my manager David, whose part of Three Six Zero; we had a few coffees… It was like when you’re dating someone and how it takes a while to commit [laughs] and after a few meetings with David and some of the people at Three Six Zero, they seemed to be really supportive and not wanting to change anything I was doing. They’ve been amazing and they’re such a good company.”

BTS: PAWWS

BTS: PAWWS

The connections and friendships she made while touring with Kele Okereke run through to her recently released debut EP Sugar, much of which stems from a rather devastating breakup. Three tracks were written with Daniel Lindengren who also happened to be a part of Okereke’s touring band, while the title track was written with Jimmy Hogarth who has worked with the likes of Amy Winehouse, James Blunt, Duffy and Sia. “I explained to [Hogarth] what the other songs were about and we started writing Sugar. It’s the same sentiment where it’s “everybody likes a bit of sugar.”

BTS: PAWWS

It’s metaphorical really, I guess. Having it, knowing it’s bad for you and going along with it anyway. That became the theme of the EP.” ‘Outside’ and ‘Give You Love’, despite all of their up-tempo natures, deals specifically with the breakup of a relationship and being blinded by emotions within a relationship. “[‘Outside’ is] about being so involved in a relationship you can’t really see what’s going on anymore because you’re right in it. All my friends and family were telling me to get out of it because they could all see what was going on much clearer than I could. ‘Give You Love’ is another song I wrote with Daniel which is about loving someone so much that you’ll do whatever they want in order to stay in a relationship even if it’s not right or not right for you, which is a really unhealthy way to be. Both songs ended up being about that thing of when you’re involved with something so bad that you still do it anyway because you’re blinded by… Love? Or whatever it is!”

It’s always interesting when something so dark; something that appears to have truly affected one’s way of life inspires something so pure and enjoyable, which is what the Sugar EP has become. Since then things have drastically improved and Taylor is optimistic of her future, having spent much of her last year on tour and working towards a full length album, currently scheduled for release in the New Year. “At the moment, I’m writing all the time. I’ve got quite a lot of songs now and I’m working towards finishing my record. I hope to have it done by the end of September I think so that’s mostly what I’m going to be concentrating on and possibly putting out another single. It’s all really exciting!”

Make sure you pick up PAWWS’ Sugar EP by heading here. We also recommend checking out the video for its title-track (you can find it at the bottom of this page).

BTS: PAWWS

BTS: PAWWS

BTS: PAWWS

BTS: PAWWS

BTS: PAWWS

BTS: PAWWS

BTS: PAWWS

BTS: PAWWS

BTS: PAWWS

BTS: PAWWS

BTS: PAWWS

BTS: PAWWS

BTS: PAWWS

This feature is taken from our End of Summer season.

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