Music

“I’m not Madonna”: VC Meets Scarlett Randle

“I’ve been trying to get up earlier in the morning. It’s hell at first, but I think it’s just better for me right now” says Scarlett Randle, the singer-songwriter who hails from Newtonhill, a town six miles south of Aberdeen with a tiny population of just over 3,000 residents. The songstress has been quietly building up a fanbase with her honest, almost vunerable, lyrical tone across Scotland since she first came to prominence  with a support slot for post-hardcore legend, Jonah Matranga. However, a recent change in circumstance and mindset has been the catalyst for a progression in writing, with full band performances and a definite  amp up in volume.

With new single ‘Berlin’ already featuring on Spotify’s featured playlists only weeks after release, it seems the change has done the artist no harm. “Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always loved doing acoustic gigs, but things just starting changing for me and I wanted to add in electro and started using my harmony pedal more” says Scarlett, when asked about her move from acoustic to more structured full band tracks. “I wasn’t really happy with the sound I had, and my flatmate Robert does audio production. We started writing together a lot more at the turn of the year and developing a sound that I was not only happy with, but also comfortable with its  direction” . As with any artist, a change in sound is often accompanied by an excitement and determination to progress it to reaching an audience.

“Definitely” replies the 21 year-old when quizzed on whether the reason for the increase  in shows comes from a blossoming confidence in her new tracks . “I want to put my name to these songs. I’m proud of everything I’ve done acoustically, but I’m excited by this and proud of it – so I want to get it out to people and see if they feel the same!”. A recent support slot for dark pop artist Seafoal at Nice N Sleazy received  the reception that any artist would want from their new tracks in a live arena – with Small Music Network commenting that Scarlett brought ‘sheer warmth and elegance with a heck of a personality that was easy for everyone to feed off’ whilst also praising the songs ‘Her’ and ‘Just Right’, proclaiming that ‘within half an hour, we were newly made fans, looking forward to her forthcoming EP’.

She is drawn  to community in her personal life and still feels she owes much to her move to the city where she has spent the last three years. Living  with her band mate in the East End, she cites the move as being something that helped her progress as an individual, as well as an artist: “I gravitate towards creative cities and Glasgow has such a good community”. With an indication that the move was not for personal gain, but more to surround herself with a supportive and open scene, she continues: “I love Glasgow. It’s a beautiful city to look at asthetically, but I’ve always loved it because of the people”. Far from dropping her anchor or pitching a tent though, she admits that her plan: “is not to stay here forever”, although she is happy to give us her presence for a little while yet: “right now I’m happy that I came and that I’m here”.

The single ‘Berlin’ is not just a tale of a place she enjoyed visiting as a one-off holiday, but homage to a city that she came within inches of gracing with her heartfelt stories on a more regular basis. “I went to Berlin for my 21st and I just loved it. Robert said it felt like we were on holiday, but also at home”. She loved it so much that she planned a move there, and even managed to obtain a house to rent in the German capital before circumstance meant things didn’t go quite as planned. That personal disaster though became the accelerator for finalising her EP and forging  a way to develop her sound. “We even included little bits of street sounds and the noises you could hear outside the clubs in Berlin as part of the EP” – this again shows Scarlett’s eye for keeping part of the story of her life alive in a public forum, allowing herself that time to re-evaluate and recycle  the difficult memories, even when they may be difficult to dwell upon.

The aforementioned vulnerability and honest y that come with her lyrics are evidenced by the fact that, unlike many new artists, she doesn’t feel a pseudonym is necessary: “it kind of rhymes doesn’t it? I thought maybe using just Scarlett, but I’m not Madonna! Each performance I do is different…but  it’s still me. I think it’s all about honesty. If you stay honest to yourself, it should hopefully never go wrong, so I just use my real name.” It’s clearly working for her, as Scarlett’s audience has always been able to really connect with her music. Her willingness to display her more private emotions proudly upon her frequently colourful sleeves is proof that, as she so aptly stated, with honesty you can never really go wrong.