WE tickled the ivories with Freya Ridings, 25, to find out what her biggest ‘pinch me’ moments have been, and how she felt hearing her song played on Love Island last year.
Where: The Soho Hotel, London
Freya says she loves it when her songs are used on Love Island[/caption]
Hi, Freya! Have you ever taught anyone the piano? No! I don’t feel like I’m qualified, because I didn’t take any grades. A few of my friends from the BRIT School were classically trained and they’d say they had no idea why I would go from this chord to that chord.
Does being dyslexic affect your ability to read music?
I can’t read music. I write with my eyes closed so it’s all about feeling. Often I don’t know how deeply I feel about a situation until I sit at a piano. Lost Without You was like that. You think a break-up hasn’t affected you and then you’re crying and have written a whole song.
You became the first female singer-songwriter to have penned a Top 10 hit since 2012 when Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill was re-released…
I’m honoured, but why is that? Inspiring girls to write their stories and play their own instruments is something I’m passionate about, as it’s not championed. My parents told me to write my own music, but it made me uncool at school. So many women are told to write songs with men double their age just to get on the radio.
When did you start writing?
When I was nine. I wrote about the loneliness I felt at school being a redhead, very tall and dyslexic.
Freya says she first started writing songs at the age of nine[/caption]
You didn’t have much fun at the BRIT School…
I spent so long dreaming about going there, but I was sat alone in the piano rooms at lunchtime thinking: “Why?” I was the underdog of that year. I think they’re shocked – they wouldn’t have put their money on me.
And now you’ve got an album out – that’s exciting!
In my head I’ve been making up albums since I was 12 – you never think you’re going to physically hold one. I wrote every song on the album, which was my goal.
Freya says she writes songs with her eyes closed[/caption]
How did it feel hearing Lost Without You played on Love Island last year?
I think it’s a brilliant show, and to have it weaved into my life in a really cool way – I’d never have expected that. A few of my songs have been used this series and I love it. I must have some friends in that editing room!
You sang at Victoria Beckham’s Fashion Week party this year – what was that like?
So nice. She’s lovely and has a massive smile. I saw David Beckham outside the toilets and I couldn’t move! I do get star-struck, especially if they’re icons like Florence Welch. I met her briefly at a studio and I did not act cool.
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We love that your dad Richard Ridings is the voice of Daddy Pig in Peppa Pig!
He was away a lot filming when I was growing up so I loved it when he started doing voiceovers, because he was around more. I remember him coming home when I was 12, saying: “I’m going to be a cartoon pig”, and I said: “Good for you, Dad.” And then it became huge. I still love watching it.
What’s been your most pinch-me moment?
Getting my platinum disc for Lost Without You in the post. No one told me it had gone platinum and I thought it was fake. It’s now on the mantelpiece in my bedroom.
- Freya’s Glastonbury performance this year was the first time she’d ever been to the festival.
- She’s written some songs with Billie Eilish’s brother Finneas.
- Freya still lives at home with her parents and brother.
- Freya’s self-titled debut album is out now. Visit Freyaridings.com
- Thanks to The Soho Hotel