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Polly Gibbons
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Polly Gibbons [January 17th 2007]

Iíd heard of Polly Gibbons and her music around 2004 (when she was just 20 years old). Protťgť of Ian Shaw, Polly was raised in Suffolk UK and has just released a soulful, jazzy CD entitled ďWhatís The Real ReasonĒ on Rugged Ram Records. Iím pleased to say I was able to interview her for Just Soul recently. Here is how it went.

Tracey: What was it like co-writing your album "What's The Real Reason" with UK's finest Soul artist Ola Onabule?
Polly Gibbons: It was a pleasureÖ.Olaís such a talented musician. The fact heís a singer/producer really helped me as he has an understanding, therefore, of what itís like trying to muster soul in a glass cube!

Tracey: How long did the CD take to make, from the initial ideas to the finished album?
Polly Gibbons: Nearly 2 years I think Ė I canít remember specifically, but about thatÖOla and I donít live so close so it was a dayís commitment!!

Tracey: Your sound seems to be moving away from straight Jazz to a more soulful, funky jazz sound, which I personally prefer as I think it suits your youthfulness. How are you finding the transgression?
Polly Gibbons: Iíve always loved funkier music and have always sung it, so I donít see it as so much of a change reallyÖI hope just to expand my audience with a new album. I always want to make music thatís accessible enough to draw all soulful music lovers in.


Tracey: How are you finding life on the road and what is a typical day of yours at the moment?
Polly Gibbons: Itís a quite a temperamental job, so one month youíre out too much & another youíre barren!! Iím a sleeper, so I sleep a lot! :)

Tracey: There seems to be much more worldwide recognition of UK talent recently. Is worldwide recognition something you would aspire to accomplish?
Polly Gibbons: I enjoy people enjoying what I do and the more, the better! Iíve been getting some interest over in the states, which is good. Iím hoping to go over there this summer. Different culturesí liking what I do is great!

Tracey: Who would you most like to duet with given the chance, past or present?
Polly Gibbons: Ooooh, hmmmm...canít choose - Donny Hathaway or DíAngelo!

Tracey: Polly, you are one of 6 siblings and was born and raised on a farm in Framlingham, Suffolk. Are any other members of your family musical and how did you get time to build on your early ideas in music?
Polly Gibbons: All members of my family are huge music fans. My Dad plays Bass guitar and we all learnt instruments when we were young but Iím the only one whose profession is music. My parents encouraged my talent & took me to live music gigs. Thereís always been great music in Suffolk. AIice Russell grew up in the same village as me.

Tracey: My sister lives on a farm and often drops off for some shopping on her tractor and gets a few funny looks. Have you ever done this or can you tell us about any funny stories from living on the farm?
Polly Gibbons: UmmmÖ.There were a few I guess Ė animals are temperamentalÖone time I was having a band rehearsal and there were some escapee pigs on the run. We all had to chase them back in the shed and the drummer got so into the chase he nearly caused a pig to have a heart attack!

Tracey: I saw you perform in Yorkshire recently and wrote a gig review for the site. You have a beautifully strong, sultry voice. At what age did you first start singing and realise singing was what you wanted to do as a career?
Polly Gibbons: Thank you. My cousin Lucy first pointed out my singing voice, I had never thought about music at all up till then. I was really encouraged by my family and then was asked to join a funk band with some friends. It just carried on from there!

Tracey: Your album "What's The Real Reason" was the first time you had co-written any of your own songs. Did you find the experience fun, difficult or both and is it something you will continue to do now you have the taste for it?
Polly Gibbons: Iíve always written songs since I first started singing. But it was the most concentrated, focused song writing I had done. I donít find it particularly fun, it can be intense and stressful in a way but it is rewarding and Iíll be sure to continue probing my brain.

Tracey: You recorded your first album when you were 18. How did that come about?
Polly Gibbons: I did a workshop with Ian Shaw who offered to produce something for me. I was delighted and we did.

Tracey: I recently chatted on My Space with Producer/MC Justaman from Hip/Hop/Jazz act The Drop. I first became aware of your music by coming across The Drop. Do you plan to do any more collaborations with him?
Polly Gibbons: The Drop has been on & off recently, but we recorded an ep & hopefully weíll do some gigging soon. Justaman & I have been meaning to make some music for sometime now, itís long overdue. I love his British beats & clever word play! Heís hugely talented.

Tracey: You have recently appeared alongside Kyle Eastwood and Frank McComb. Can you tell us about anyone you may be appearing alongside in 2007?
Polly Gibbons: At the moment Iím not sure. But Iíve just been taken on by a live music agency and should be touring in the spring. So check my site for details!!

Tracey: On behalf of Just Soul, thank you for completing the interview and I wish you an eventful and prosperous 2007.

Pollyís site is

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