Amelia’s Magazine | Carve Every Word: An interview with Best Girl Athlete

Best Girl Athlete Cover
Katie Buchan is the Aberdeen based voice behind new talent Best Girl Athlete, delivering indie pop to your ears in one of the finest packages. It is kind of irrelevant that she is fifteen. Her record speaks for itself. If anything her age just makes you more excited about what in God’s name she will produce in the future as life brings her more experience and knowledge. Carve Every Word, released on Fitlike Records, is her debut and she’s nailed it. Layered over delicate guitar pickings and piano arrangements, Katie’s vocals are dreamy and effortless yet nonetheless powerful as she’s infused them with so much emotion. She’s clearly connected to her music, which is exactly what separates the good artists from the exceptional. Her record is radiant and playful but tender and honest too. She’s singing straight at your heart with words every living soul can relate to.

Best Girl Athlete full length
You’re 15 years old and you’ve just released an incredible debut album. How does that make you feel?
Pretty good, I guess… (Laughs) I mean I didn’t really have any expectations from it so it’s just really great that it has received such positive reviews and praise. I suppose it won’t really sink in until we get to play more live shows out of our home city of Aberdeen to see what kind of reaction the songs get. Hopefully people who have never heard of Best Girl Athlete before will come along and end up buying the album. We have shows in Edinburgh and Glasgow coming up and the chance to play in Europe and possibly America at the end of the year so that will be amazing to see what kind of reaction it gets.

Best Girl Athlete with Dad
What has been the response amongst your friends and at school?
All my friends have been really lovely and very supportive of me being Best Girl Athlete. I feel really lucky to have that network of kindness and support. We made a video for the single ‘Hills’ recently and I had some of my friends involved which was great fun and made me much more relaxed about doing the shoot. But not everything is sunshine and rainbows. I also get hassle about it at school. I think this is the reality of anyone who follows an alternative path which I didn’t really expect. Aside from that, it’s actually quite funny as a handful of my teachers have started asking me about it because of blogs or newspaper articles they’ve read. I even saw my English teacher with a Best Girl Athlete badge on, which was weird but cool.

Video for Leave It All Behind.

You work alongside your father, Charley, what’s that like? Has it made you any closer?
I don’t really think of it as working with my Dad, we just do what we do and that’s that. It has definitely made us closer than we would have been if we’d never become involved musically together though. I now spend a lot more time with him and it’s really helpful to work alongside him as he knows me really well and knows when to push me and when to let me take a step back. He’s actually really easy going which has certainly made being in Best Girl Athlete a lot easier for me. He is also surrounded by very talented people that have helped in various ways and given me an education that I wouldn’t otherwise have had. I’m really grateful for that.

Best Girl Athlete portrait
Where did you record the album and what was your personal involvement in the writing and musical arrangements?
The album was mostly recorded in my bedroom or the living room of our flat, although I have to say it sounds pretty good for it. I guess it helped in making me feel more comfortable being able to record in my home. We did have the strings arranged and recorded for us by a guy called Pete Harvey who runs a studio called Pumpkinfield Studios in Perthshire. His arrangements have really taken the music to another level. We live in a high-rise building and I don’t think our neighbours would have tolerated a string section being recorded next door to them, although they don’t seem to mind all the other instruments! Most of the album tracks were written by my Dad although I had input into track arrangements and added all the vocal harmony parts. I only started writing seriously myself some way through the album and ‘Talk’ was only the second song I had ever written. I wrote it on guitar and had my Dad’s friend Chemical Callum arrange it beautifully onto piano. I’ve written more songs since that I’m really happy with and definitely hope to have at least half of my own songs on the next album.

Video for single Hills

Has music always been in you? Is it something you’ve always envisioned doing as a job?
I remember being asked what I wanted to be when I was older and I always either answered with ‘singer’ or ‘vampire’. I always knew I liked singing and music, and as much as I hoped, I never thought being a musician would ever become a reality. It’s a million miles away from becoming a job I should say. It’s obviously helped that my Dad has been in bands and playing music for many years and, as a consequence, music has always been around me really.

What’s the dream? Where do you see yourself in say 5 years from now?
That’s a really difficult question to answer as I’m having to make important decisions about my future right now and I have to balance what I would like to do academically along with anything I might like to achieve in music. In 5 years I’ll be 20, just about to turn 21. So I’m thinking I’d like to be living in Glasgow or Edinburgh, possibly studying Astrophysics at university, and still performing under Best Girl Athlete, with more albums released. Hopefully!

You can catch Best Girl Athlete this Saturday 18th April at The Pipe Factory in Glasgow. Follow Best Girl Athlete on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with upcoming shows and releases.

Categories ,Aberdeen, ,Best Girl Athlete, ,Carve Every Word, ,Chemical Callum, ,Fitlike Records, ,Hills, ,interview, ,Katie Buchan, ,Leave It All Behind, ,Pete Harvey, ,Pumpkinfield Studios, ,Talk, ,The Pipe Factory

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