Photo Credit: @chloebodurmusic
London-based Chloe Bodur is the 23-year old soulful singer-songwriter you need to have on your radar. Taking inspiration from a diverse array of musical figures, her eclectic style blends together elements of neo-soul, jazz and pop, forming the distinctive sound that listeners all over the country are falling in love with. Bodur has hit the ground running with new party hit ‘Watch Me’, featuring vocals and guitar from Bubba Janko. Created as an “ode to the attention seekers in the club” the musician describes the joyous experience that was making the track. With groovy disco undertones and a repetition of seductive vocals, ‘Watch Me’ will have you letting loose and dancing the night away right through until morning. We caught up with the artist to find out more about her unique style, the inspirations behind her latest track and what the future has in store.
The past year has been quite challenging for many of those in the creative industry, in what way has it effected you?
Making my last EP ‘Panties & Loafers’ on Zoom was really difficult and I never want to do that again lol. The time-out from doing shows, releasing music etc though really gave me time to think about who I am as an artist. I feel like a completely different person/artist than I did before the pandemic. A more evolved version of myself. I’ve gone from being a girl to a woman it feels, if that makes sense? I feel braver now!
Could you tell us a little bit about how you first got into music and what has kept you there?
I loved singing as a kid, making up poems and songs. I think a lot of people are like that as children but they’re not lucky enough to have parents that encourage their creative endeavours. It went from that to writing songs with my guitar as a teenager, to studying music technology at college and learning how to produce, to forming my band at uni and then getting to do music professionally after I graduated. I think my Mum always encouraging me to do what I love is one of the main things that’s kept me at it all these years. That childhood creative spark was never stepped on it was just nurtured. So thanks Mum!
How would you describe your musical style?
Sometimes psychedelic soul, sometimes alternative RnB, RnBossa, sometimes UK jazz. It’s a mixture really. I always like to surprise people with what I put out rather than ever doing the same thing twice.
Who are some of your musical heroes and how have they influenced your sound?
The Neptunes – general amazing and innovative production, influenced by their use of guitar and vocal adlibs. All the 90s/00s RnB legends have influenced the layered backing vocals & harmonies I always have in my tunes. Mariah Carey, Beyoncé, Brandy, SWV etc. Then old soul legends like Stevie Wonder, Quincey Jones, D’angelo, Anita Baker for that classic songwriting and band instrumentation side.
Congratulations on your new single ‘Watch Me’ — what were the inspirations behind the track?
Thank you! I’d wanted to make an uptempo track for ages because I love dancing and it was annoying me that I couldn’t dance to any of my music. Because soul is what a lot of my music is rooted in it made sense that if I was going to do an uptempo track that disco is where I would head for that so we tried to make a modern disco tune. We were trying to make a love child between Donna Summers ‘I feel love’ and The Internet’s ‘Roll’.
What was it like working with your boyfriend, Bubba Janko?
It’s interesting making music with your boyfriend because there isn’t that professional boundary that’s there with other people. There’s no politeness which can lead to us being quite savage to each other sometimes. With someone else you might say ‘hmm I’m not sure about that idea’ but to each other we’ll just be like ‘nah are you mad? that sounds shit’ which can either be a great thing in the sense that we push the best out in each other or we can just end up annoyed with each other lol. It totally depends how sensitive we’re feeling that day. Luckily with ‘Watch Me’ we both loved everything the other person was doing so the vibes were immaculate the whole session.
There’s a positive energy about the song that really makes you want to get moving, what do you hope listeners will take from ‘Watch Me’ and your music in general?
The main thing I wanted from Watch Me was exactly that, to get people dancing and smiling and feeling themselves! For the rest of my music I hope people feel like they get to know me a bit better but I’m happy for people to take whatever they need to from my music and interpret it whichever way they want.
Which artists are you listening to at the moment?
Right now I’m listening to Little Simz’s new album. I love ‘sun, mood & herbs’ off Venna’s new project too featuring Jvck James. Sault is always a go-to for me as well. I think Sault are making some of the best music in the world right now.
Have you got any advice for young musicians trying to break into the industry?
Prepare yourself for the long ride! Connect with the creative young people in your local community and build a team from that to get started. Your mate that’s doing photography a-level, your mate that’s really good at makeup, your friend that makes clothes etc start by working with them to build your brand and take it from there. Make music that you like for YOU, don’t try and impress anyone else – that way it’ll sound authentic and unique to you.
What’s next for you? Any potential collaborations or exciting projects coming up in the near future?
Yes me and my cousin JD. Reid have been recording together so I’m excited to share the songs that we’ve been working on. Lots of music I’ve recorded with my band is coming soon too. I’m working on storyboarding my next 2 music videos as well. I’m really excited for the next 12 months. I’m knackered but it’s worth it.
We can’t wait to see what you do next! Listen to Chloe Bodur’s latest single ‘Watch Me’
Words by Ella Citron-Thompkins