Fresh off the release of their most recent album ‘Never Slowin’ Down’, country music trio Orfila took the time out of their busy schedule to give us an insight into their latest musical offerings and more. Here is what the band which is made up of siblings Abi, Louise and Matt shared.
You recently performed at the O2 arena for Country to Country for the second time, how does it feel now lining up alongside the biggest names in global country music? Do you feel like you have ‘made it’?
C2C was such an amazing experience for us (both times!) and it was so surreal to see our names on posters around the O2 arena alongside names such as Carrie Underwood, Eric Church, Brad Paisley and Zac Brown Band over the past two years. These people influenced us and it was so cool to be on the same line up as them! We are so proud to have played these gigs but it’s very hard to “make it” in the music industry, especially as a country artist in the UK. We are happy to keep working hard because we love it and we’ll see where it takes us! We’re just enjoying the journey right now.
For fans of the genre who were not able to make the event, can you give two songs that would help people get to know you most as artists?
Two songs that we played that really sum us up would be:
-‘Hit The Ground Running’, a song that was initially written by Lou and Abi and was completed by Matt a few months later. The song is about following your dreams and not letting anyone hold you back and is our take on a more rockier type of country.
-‘It Would Be You’, which is our most successful single to date, charting at number 10 in the UK iTunes country charts. The song is about falling in love and finding that one person who you want to dance all your dances with.
After receiving multiple nominations for the upcoming UK country music awards, how are feeling about that?
We are so excited! We haven’t really been in the UK country music scene for too long so it’s such a nice feeling to be nominated and it’s humbling to know that we’ve got such great support behind us. To be nominated for three awards is so exciting; we are especially proud to be nominated for album of the year alongside record-breaking albums by The Shires and Ward Thomas. We’re big fans of these guys so it’s very special for us!
What can you tell us about ‘Never Slowin’ Down’? What sort of sound or vibe does it have?
‘Never Slowin’ Down’ is a reflection of where we are as artists. It’s our second album and is definitely the album where we feel we have found our sound. Our first album was country/folk/pop but as fans of country music we wanted to go more down this route for our second album. We wanted the album to be an upbeat, positive album that people can relate to. We tend to wear our hearts on our sleeves and wrote about different themes such as falling in and out of love, moving on, ambition, losing a loved one and bad decisions. Our major influences were Little Big Town (especially for the harmonies!) and Lady Antebellum.
The group worked with a lot of people on the album, how did you find that process?
Working with the guys on the album was a fantastic experience! They are all such talented and experienced musicians. We didn’t get a chance to meet Travis Toy or Tommy Yankton as they live in Nashville but we were in the studio with most of the other musicians when they recorded their parts. BJ Cole also recorded his parts remotely and sent them to us. Matt got to speak to him on the phone and it was so surreal to speak to someone who has played pedal steel for people like Shania Twain and Sting about playing on our album!
We also got to meet Lee Pomeroy who currently tours with Jeff Lynne’s ELO. He was incredible. He picked up the songs so quickly purely by ear. It was an incredible thing to watch! We also had a lot of fun with Liam Genockey (drums) and John Hogg (bass) when we first started recording. They were both fantastic and were such nice guys. Jessie Smart absolutely nailed her fiddle parts and it was a pleasure to work with her in the studio! Jamie Crompton and Sean Genockey (who was also the producer) were also fantastic to work with and added some great guitar work to the tracks. Although we didn’t get to meet him, Melvin Duffy also supplied some extra pedal steel on a few tracks. We learned a lot over the time we were recording and the album definitely became a collaborative project.
You stated that ‘Raise A Glass’ was written collectively, however you usually like to write songs individually before presenting them to each other.. Are there ever any instances where you do not like what your siblings have written and does this mean there are a lot of unfinished songs sitting around?
We all have own own tastes in music however we are usually on the same page when writing songs. We know the sound that we want and we each gravitate towards that. It’s almost instinctive for us now. Luckily there haven’t been any incidents of us not liking each other’s songs…yet! We are always writing so there are a few songs that aren’t quite finished and a few that didn’t make either album but we do like to keep moving forward and keep writing new songs, regardless of how many we already have.
Before you established yourselves as one of the biggest country music groups in the UK, how did you keep your faith and stay motivated?
I’m sure any musician will tell you how hard it is in the music industry and sometimes it’s hard to keep faith in what you’re doing. We have always believed in our music and we’ve been so lucky to have the experiences and support that we have had. I guess this keeps us going and keeps us motivated.
Did you always know you were going to achieve the level of success you have attained after the feedback of your first performance was so positive?
Our first performance was supposed to be a one-off so we never really expected to be where we are five years later! We’ve been very lucky to have done what we’ve done. We have always believed in what we do but it’s still quite amazing to have had the experiences that we’ve had.
What can your fans look forward to now?
Our next big gig will be our five year anniversary show in Canterbury at the Penny Theatre on 7th of July. We’ll be supported by our friends Steve Hewitt and Isabella Coulstock and we couldn’t be more excited! In the near future we are hoping to head back into the studio again as we are always writing. We will also continue to gig as much as we can!
Is there ever a little bit of sibling rivalry/competitiveness within the band?
Ha ha! Well, we are siblings at the end of the day so I don’t think that anyone would believe us if we said that we all get on 100% of the time! Luckily we are all on the same page for most of the time and we work together to pull in the direction we want to go in. Surprisingly there’s not much rivalry as such, we all appreciate each other’s talents and passions within the band. We have strong personalities and are very passionate about the band so inevitably we have the odd disagreement but nothing too major. We’re quite close so we can’t stay mad at each other for too long!