Amii Dawes: waiting for Joni Mitchell
Coming from Northampton, a city in the United Kingdom that practically breathes art and has already given the world bands like Bauhaus, Amii Dawes carves her place in the disputed world of indie-folk. Well, at least that’s what I thought. “I try not to think of my music as being any one genre. I started out a little more folksy because it felt like a safer option, you can never go wrong with a “girl with a guitar””, she says.
On the road touring Europe and the UK since 2011 and having started writing her own songs at the age of 12, Amii is, above all, an artist focused on the power of her art. Just like one of her idols, Joni Mitchell, active after 20 years on hold and about to turn 80.
She is one of the only artists that I can think of that has been admired for decades without ever losing her artistic integrity.
Amii on genious Joni Mitchell
Even having released several singles and even an EP, Amii prefers to mature her compositions before releasing them on an album. The last of them is precisely one of the most tender and innovative, “Carefully yours” (watch bellow) because it brings, for the first time, a duo, as well as a composition written by four hands. The partnership with his friend Stephen is something that Amii intends to repeat in the future. “I wrote the first verse and chorus and sent them over to him to write his responses and I think the result is rather wonderful! We definitely intend to work together again in the future“, says Amii. And so do we.
2 5 Things about Amii Dawes
RC – Hello Amii. How are things in the UK? Cheering on the World Cup?
AD – Hi! Things in the UK are, well, you know. I’m not much of a football fan but have caught a couple of the England games to get into the spirit of things.
RC- One of your most notorious influences is Joni Mitchell. Have you been following her return to the stage, what do you think of her longevity and her work?
AD – I’ve been following her return very closely, hoping that one day she will perform in the UK although it seems unlikely. Her longevity it something to be admired, whether you’re in the industry or not. She is one of the only artists that I can think of that has been admired for decades without ever losing her artistic integrity.
RC – Since 2019 you have released singles on time and this year you released your first EP. What’s missing for you to decide to release an album next year?
AD – I have enough material for an album. The main reason for not releasing a whole album is that I wanted to build up a profile first so that I didn’t spend months and months on a project for it not to be heard by people. Releasing singles gradually and slowly building up momentum seemed like the most logical way of keeping my music in people’s minds without bombarding them with a lot of material at once.
RC- I believe that the single “Carefully yours” is the first in which you share the vocals. Who is Stephen and do you intend to repeat the duos from now on?
AD – Yes, it’s a first-time collaboration for me. Stephen and I are both incredibly protective of our music and have not found the right person before to share the writing/producing roles to fit our own sensibilities. Stephen and I have known each other for a couple of years through gigging and he had the guitar part written for Carefully Yours over ten years ago. We both admire each other’s writing style so he entrusted me to write the lyrics for it. I wrote the first verse and chorus and sent them over to him to write his responses and I think the result is rather wonderful! We definitely intend to work together again in the future.
RC – Being a woman and making indie-folk music nowadays is practically being in the mainstream, considering the successful pandemic works of Taylor Swift and names like Phoebe Bridgers, Holly Humberstone and Gracie Abrams. Comment a little about this scene – do you exchange ideas with these artists?
AD – I try not to think of my music as being any one genre. I started out a little more folksy because it felt like a safer option, you can never go wrong with a “girl with a guitar”. But more recently I’ve branched out into a few different genres – Not necessarily on purpose, I think that my music nowadays reflects the stuff I listen to and the things that inspire me which are very varied. I think people give me a bit too much credit and assume I’ve put more thought into it than I have. I just write the songs instinctively and see what comes out!