We speak with ethereal South London singer-songwriter; Plumm.
If you're in the UK be sure to get tickets to her EP launch party at Peckham Audio on 28th May 2022! Most recently she has dropped the singles 'Flame to Flame' & 'Pivot' leading up to her much anticipated new project...
Heavily influenced by the likes of Robert Plant, Nina Simone and Massive Attack, music has been Plumm's way of life since day one. In addition to an impressive array of solo music, the talented singer also contributes mystical vocals for the groundbreaking Levitation Orchestra, an artistic ensemble that has taken the London jazz scene by spiritual storm.
Plumm's debut EP 'The Shed' captured a sense of divine femininity, weaving effortlessly between jazz and clean-cut blues with powerful ease. Co-produced and mixed by Bienvenue, it was fully recorded, art-worked and released from the Shed's four walls; an ethos very in line with her artistic intentions of embracing the DIY nature of creativity.
Plumm plays tabla, gamelan, drums and piano - though her voice has long been her instrument of choice. One of the techniques she has picked up and explored extensively as a vocalist is the 'scat.' A jazz vocal technique derived from solo vocal improvisation that harnesses a complete presence and awareness of the musical moment. This ability to feel its potential and then respond instantaneously to it is no mean feat and comes from a desire to freely experiment with her vocal capabilities from a young age.
The last couple of years has also seen the rise of Levitation Orchestra, a mystical 13 piece jazz ensemble. Formed by Cykada trumpeter Axel Kaner-Lidstrom, the group features an array of musicians both well-established and coming up within the London jazz scene. Their debut album Inexpressible Infinity (2019) was a hybrid extravaganza of spiritual and meditative grooves Followed by Illusions and Realities (2022).
How are you feeling so far in 2022?
2022 is feeling at lot more fruitful than 2021. The last couple years has been a lot more seed planting and working on resilience with how changing our environment as creatives has been. Now in 2022 I feel like I’m beginning to watch those seeds grow and have had things in place that now are coming to fruition. I’m excited for the rest of the year! Excited to release a lot more art, work with talented extraordinary people and keep growing the plumm tree.
How important do you find it to be surrounded by positive like-minded creatives?
For me London is bloody great. As quite an extroverted creative, living in a city that is full to the brim with talent and opportunity its amazing. There’s always shows to go to, friends running Jam nights, midnight sessions in basement flat of friends studio, big huge venues with crazy light shows, small tiny ones that have unbelievable sound systems, the list is endless. I am inspired by my environment. I feel blessed to call this place home. My inspirations are the people around me. Seeing everyone thrive in their own beautiful way and to be part of a community is everything to me. I’m a big performer and improviser so London as a young musician is where I’m supposed to be.
Tell us about the process of working within Levitation Orchestra and the idea of transcendental energies resonating in jazz to elevate consciousness through music and sound?
Levitation is a great project. We are big family vibes. Its an orchestra formed purely on collaborative creation. We compose all together, everyone puts in their talent and we work together on music and trust and community. We then perform our work as a series of shows, it changing every time as a lot of our work has strong improvisational impulses, so when you see the show you are seeing something completely unique.
We then record our baby, make the album and then never return to it, we keep it moving. Sometimes new people come in, some people leave to fulfil all the other amazing things they have on in their lives and we start again like an ever changing cycle of creation, performance, distribution. Its truly one of a kind! I always think of us like X-Men lol. I was brought in a couple years ago by Axel, after Levitation had already had a season. It was daunting at first to be surrounded by all these talented nutters but you realise then why you’re a part of it and now they are all my family.
How does a connection to spirituality and nature enhance your artistic and personal evolution?
I think I am just so addicted to creation and music that I must be tapped into something. My personal evolution is drawn by inquisitiveness, hybridity, making moods and soul. I like to dance with light and shadow, I like to be a chameleon, I like to push boundaries and I feel the music that I’m currently making is whats going to convey that. After such a long time in a lockdown situation we are all feeling a release and an opportunity to connect and form and develop. Its really exciting.
Tell us about the new upcoming project?
So my single - Flame To Flame which came out recently is my first single since 2020. Crazy right! Myself and producer Oneninenine; who worked with me on ‘Pour in the Blue’ my the last single, were playing with a constant pulse, a real space that the vocals can dance around. I was in my feels that day and thankfully he was recording at the time and I did that tune in one take. We went back to it and tried to add more but felt it really captivated a scene and an emotion. Then the end of the tune climaxes into this wide, fat sound which live is always fun to play. It kind of resembles whats coming next you know? This is all leading up to an EP which I have themed on the utilisation of the human voice. Some tunes don’t have lyrics for example its using the voice as a percussive sound, or a high sustained sound and so forth. I want to present a body of work that conveys where I am at in my music and where I want to take it.
Be sure to follow Plumm on the following platforms:
- PSYCHIC GARDEN