Music Features

Gabrielle Aplin Owns Her Flaws

Ellen Offready

The superstar releases new music video for "My Mistakes"

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Gabrielle Aplin first rose to fame posting breathtaking covers of popular songs on her youtube channel. Today, the singer boasts an impressive list chart toppers and a certified gold record in the UK. Her ethereal voice and captivating piano melodies offer a welcome reprieve from the EDM-fueled pop trends of the day, transporting listeners to a soft world of tulle dresses and goosebump-inducing high notes. While her new song, "My Mistakes," may at first strike you as melancholy, the singer assured us that it's actually a hopeful number about owning your flaws and finding happiness despite them.

Gabrielle Aplin - My Mistake (Official Video)

Your new song is a powerful portrait of someone struggling to come to terms with their own sadness. What inspired it?

It's, for me, more about being honest with yourself and owning your flaws. I wrote it with a few people on a day where I felt like I couldn't write and was unmotivated. So we decided to do something that required us all not really trying and just being purely honest. "My Mistake" was the result!

How do you think this song differs from your previous releases? Were you trying to capture something new?

I definitely wouldn't say I tried to capture something new but I'd never tried to write a song that involved no thinking! In my previous releases, I got really into sounds and production. For me, this one was purely lyrics.

You started your career by posting covers to Youtube. What's it been like to transition to creating your own music?

It's been really great. I feel like covering songs [was] a great way to develop my own songwriting skills. I was also able to be a part of a great, supportive online community.

The music industry is so focused on rap and hip-hop right now, yet you continue to release these beautiful piano-heavy ballads. Do you ever feel tempted to move further into the world of pop? How do you maintain your artistic integrity despite outside pressures?

I never really feel tempted to do anything really. I just focus on writing good songs because I believe they're timeless and transcend current trends. I just write what I want. I definitely don't feel like I've avoided pop. My previous two EPs were typical "pop" productions. I'm inspired by artists like Robyn who write honest relatable songs that you can also move to.

Tell us a little bit about the music video for "My Mistake." Why the dress?

I wanted the video to be really reclusive. Alone but not lonely. I love the way that tulle looks on camera. It's soft and fills space and moves gracefully.

What do you want from your career in coming years? What about your personal life?

I'm a very simple person, just give me a load of dogs and some food and I'm happy! Career wise I'd be very happy for it to be ticking along as it is right now for a long time!

Ellen Offready

You tour extensively, and given how vocally demanding your songs are, do you ever struggle to deliver the same level of performance night after night? What do you do to maintain your voice?

I used to struggle because I didn't adjust my care routine to the growing demands. I'm at a place now where I'm aware of my boundaries and how far I can push myself. It's a lot about saying no.

This song is the first on your upcoming new album, what can you tell us about the album?

The new album is pretty eclectic for me. I've been writing it for a while now. I've experimented with lots of sounds, collaborated with amazing producers and I've just focused on writing songs that mean something to me and hopefully the people who will listen to them!

How did growing up in a small village influence your development as a musician?

I really love nature and things just being the way they naturally are, not over complicated. I guess, in some way, that could've affected my approach to writing.

Do you ever struggle to balance the demands of your career with your personal life? Have you had to sacrifice any of the usual rights of passage of growing up in order to pursue your career?

Maybe someone else my age would say yes, but really I don't feel like I've missed out. I didn't want to go to university. I'm not into going out on a Friday and drinking etc. I guess it could come across as boring but I just see it as knowing what I want and what I don't.

What can you tell us about your songwriting process?

I take it easy. I try to write a lot but I don't pull my hair out over it. It's always been very intuitive when I'm collaborating or working solo.

Is your onstage persona similar to who you are in real life?

Absolutely. I try to keep it laid back and honest and chat to the audience as if I was offstage.

What would you say to a young person who wants to have a career like yours?

I'd say go for it! Be yourself and have fun.

Check out more from Gabrielle on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

Brooke Ivey Johnson is a Brooklyn based writer, playwright, and human woman. To read more of her work visit her blog or follow her twitter @BrookeIJohnson.

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