Manchester-based soulful-singer Prima has been singled out for BBC Radio 1 & 1Xtra tracks of the week for ‘Weekend’ and ‘What RU Saying?’, and she’s appeared at The Warehouse Project, Reading & Leeds Festival, and Printworks London. We caught up with her to find out more as she releases her latest single, ‘Walking Contradiction’.
I write from the heart and I try and touch on real life subjects which I’ve lived through and experienced and that will resonate with the right people.
First up, tell us about yourself - what got you into music?
I’ve loved music for as long as I can remember, being brought up in a musical household it was a big part of my life from the get go. I started playing the piano early on and my parents were a huge influence in me discovering that singing and playing keys was something i really gravitated to and they supported me. I started writing at 11 and since then writing songs has been my therapy.
Were there any particular bands or artists you took inspiration from?
I took massive inspiration from Alicia Keys, she was such an influential part of my journey. I then discovered India.Arie and fell in love with how she writes so honestly and openly so I took a lot from her. Now I’m influenced by a LOT of artists because we get to hear so much now it’s amazing. I’ve recently had Jasmine Sullivan’s album Heaux Tales on repeat and been loving Mahalia’s album Love and Compromise….
How would you describe your musical style?
Modern rnb with a touch of the 90’s. Its familiar but unique. From production to lyrics and melody. I write from the heart and I try and touch on real life subjects which I’ve lived through and experienced and that will resonate with the right people. Me and my producer/mentor JSD have been working together for the past five years and have really carved out our own sound and style. It just feels like it’s all come together in an amazing way over the last 12 months.
Prima comes from my Italian roots, short for Prima Vera which describes the beautiful season of spring. It’s a nod to my heritage but also a nod to my mantra that we are constantly evolving…. life grows in spring… it’s the season of change and growth and that’s what I’m all about.
If you could collaborate with any living artist, who would it be?
Ahhh there’s so many! I would love to collaborate with Jasmine Sullivan, there’s something about her music and the way she writes that just automatically connected with me. From one empowered woman to another!
Tell us about your single ‘Walking Contradiction’. What’s it about?
Walking Contradiction is about admitting to myself my flaws, my quirks, a search for self awareness, understanding and ultimately self love. It’s a very honest account of me and was the first time I really wrote from a place of pure truth. “Wanting love is my affliction, it’s a fix and when I’m broken I need fixing.”
I think a lot of people turn to seeking pleasure and distractions when we feel broken because it makes us feel good in the moment and I recognise that in myself. I wanted to write a song that felt emotional but from a place of strength and that’s why there’s a feeling of vulnerability when I’m admitting my flaws, “I didn’t know I was stubborn until I met you” and then knowing my worth “yea I’m a Queen, it’s official”.
When did you write it and where did you record it?
I wrote it about a year and half ago after quite an emotional conversation with a friend about how I’d love to understand myself more. And like most songs it came from opening up and just writing my feelings down. I recorded it with JSD at his studio who also produced and co-wrote the record… he really helped me to go over it all and just neaten up the edges if you will. He has been and still is a massive part of my journey, vision and sound.
How does ‘Walking Contradiction’ represent you?
It’s the perfect way to describe my personality and way of thinking. It’s a small glimpse into my thoughts and feelings and search for understanding and acceptance.
What are your hopes for ‘Walking Contradiction’?
This is just the beginning really. We’ve been sat on a stack of really strong music and this is the start of what’s going to be a busy year of releases. Tbh I just hope it lays the foundations for us to build from. Rome wasn’t built in a day and most people will only just be discovering me now. But I’m going to keep it moving and keep putting out bangers and ultimately expect to grow with my listeners. The destination isn’t important. We’re focused on the journey and making amazing music. Expect nothing but accept everything.
What else is coming up for you in 2021?
I have more releases ready to go with visuals and I’m creating new music every week in the studio. I have collaborated with Pretty Little Thing to create something really special this year and celebrate women from Manchester in music which is really cool. We’ve got a few shows locked in around the UK and are planning a big live show in Manchester my home town. We’re making some cool merch too! And I’ve been creating some really cool artwork using marker pens which I’m going to bring into what I’m doing somehow. I’m not sure how yet but watch this space haha!
Finally, if you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice, when would it be and what would you say?
“Don’t be so precious… pride comes before a fall… it’s ok not to be ok… focus on the journey and enjoy the ride.”