With Irish and Costa Rican parents, north London pop singer-songwriter, Roxanne Kelly was exposed to a range of music from an early age. The singer now releases her debut single “Dangerous Love”: written by Roxanne Kelly, taking inspiration from personal life experiences of people close to her, the song begs for her to be taken away from what is weighing her down the most. This debut single gives hints to her Latin side with a Santana inspired style, while the lyrics paint a painful story. Roxanne has performed in the notable UK and other European venues, such as Notre Dame Cathedral, Barcelona Cathedral, the RADA Theatre, The Old Vic, BBC Hippodrome and many more. As a singer-songwriter, Roxanne has also performed in popular London venues: Gigi’s London, The Islington, Acklam Village Market, The Lucky Pig and headlined The Spice of Life in Soho.
YMX: Can you tell us about yourself as an artist? Where are you now, how you started, and what are your goals.
ROXANNE KELLY: I would say that my artistry is the portrayal of my most honest self. I write about my own experiences and of those closest to me. I find writing and singing therapeutic, relaxing and rewarding especially at the end stage of writing a song, completing the heartfelt story or message. I have been singing and performing ever since I can remember. I started songwriting when I was a teenager, using it as an outlet for my feelings. The last few years, I have performed in popular London venues like Gigi’s London (formerly The Underbelly in Hoxton Square), The Islington, The Lucky Pig and headlined The Spice of Life in Soho. Last month, I released my debut single “Dangerous Love”. I am very excited about this new venture. Releasing my first single was a major step in my journey as an artist. I want to keep releasing music and get back to performing live as soon as possible. My main goal is to write, record and perform music that people can relate to and enjoy.
YMX: Some of our readers might not be familiar with you yet, how would you describe your sound?
ROXANNE KELLY: I would describe it as sound pop with a soulful and raw vocal style. I grew up listening to a range of genres and music styles, partly due to having an Irish father and a Costa Rican mother. This debut single takes inspirations from my Latin heritage with a Spanish-esque guitar style playing throughout.
YMX: Who have been your biggest influences so far?
ROXANNE KELLY: I have so many! I have always looked up to the powerful female artists in the industry. With regards to songwriting and voice style, Adele has been my biggest influence, her writing style is very honest, which allows the listener to connect with her. Another influence is Camila Cabello for incorporating a Latin sound into her pop music. In terms of performance, Jennifer Lopez is my principal inspiration with her infectious energy. Saying that I love and am inspired by so many artists; Ariana Grande is definitely at the top of my list, as you may notice, there is a running theme of powerful female voices. However, I do also take inspiration from male artists like Justin Timberlake for his performance skills and Michel Bolton for his soulful voice.
YMX: You recently released “DANGEROUS LOVE”. Can you tell us how that project came about?
ROXANNE KELLY: I wrote “Dangerous Love” on a pretty low day, someone I know was going through a rough time due to addiction and I felt for them. I remember being sat at my piano and the line “take me away from this Dangerous Love, got no one to blame but myself” came to me and without really thinking, it quickly formed into a full song. Simply, the song is about loving something or someone that you know is bad for you but you cannot let go. Sometimes, it is hard for us to acknowledge that something we love is actually tearing us apart. “Dangerous Love” has been a few years in the making and it has changed in the genre over time, but I feel that this version has the most authentic sound for the meaning of the song. I believe the song conveys a universal meaning and felt that it would be a good first release.
YMX: 2020 has been a hard year for everybody, but the music industry and arts, in general, took a heavy hit. How did you guys cope with that, musically speaking?
ROXANNE KELLY: It has been strange being unable to perform or go to gigs to watch other rising and accomplished artists. Nevertheless, I have taken this time to really allow myself to experience and feel all of my emotions, which has been good for my soul. So many different things have happened this year both globally and personally, but 2020 has given me time to reflect and work on myself. I think in turn that has helped me with my songwriting, I’m excited about new songs.
YMX: Do you consider important working together in a team, or do you prefer working alone?
ROXANNE KELLY: I think both are very important. So far, I have written all my songs on my own, allowing myself to write honestly and freely without any filters. However, I really enjoyed working with my band and producer while recording “Dangerous Love”. I cherish them for the work they have done to help my music come together. I would love to write with people in the future to learn from them and get new perspectives.
YMX: What are you looking for, in terms of promotion? What do you think could be helpful to promote your music around?
ROXANNE KELLY: I want to be heard and known by more people. I would love to get added to more Spotify playlists and to have my radio debut. To grow a fan base, I launched an Instagram filter that has the same effect as the cover artwork with the chorus of “Dangerous Love” playing. I think it is a fun and easy way for people to hear a little snippet of the song. I would love for people to stream the song on Spotify and/or Apple Music and watch the lyric video on my VEVO channel. I also want to grow my Instagram following, for which I am working on posting more regular content.
YMX: What does playing live represent for you? a way to make yourself known or a way to express yourself?
ROXANNE KELLY: Playing live is everything to me. Being able to truly connect with my listeners and express myself honestly is powerful. I just love to have a good time and interact with the audience. This interaction becomes special and unique every time. I look forward to playing live again.
YMX: Finally, what are your plans for the future?
ROXANNE KELLY: I have two more singles coming out this year, which form part of a story series with “Dangerous Love”. I am really looking forward to the next single; it is more gospel-inspired, with some big powerful vocals. It is about me letting go of the pain and becoming more confident, which I think people can relate to. Besides, it is a fan favourite at my gigs, so I’m excited for people to hear the produced version! I am also looking to recording more songs for an EP to come out next year.