Blossom Caldarone on her London influences and Fair Play

Blossom Caldarone is set to bring her fun and expressive music to Manchester for Fair Play Festival 2024 on 6 April. I spoke to Blossom ahead of the festival to find out more about her musical journey… and her love for Manchester.

[AV]: Where did your love for music begin?
[BC]: Probably with the Annie soundtrack as a very small child – I loved the theatrics and storytelling. And then playing in orchestras, as I loved being part of something. Music always makes you feel like a part of something.

How would you say your sound has developed as you’ve grown up?
I certainly riff less now, and I’m not so purist when it comes to production. I was terrified of anything computer generated for so long; I couldn’t bear the thought of technology getting involved with something so sacred. How naïve I was!

Are there any other genres or types of music you’d like to explore?

What is your typical songwriting process like?
Its only consistency is that it is always different! I love to start at the piano, just patiently trying things out. Then I keep the lyrics and recordings in my phone and tweak them for as long as I wish. Songwriting is certainly therapeutic, but my feelings towards it ebb and flow.

You’ve been in London for a lot of your career, referencing ‘TfL nights’ in 1964. How have your surroundings and upbringing influenced your sound and career?
In many ways I’m probably not even aware of! Moving to London at 16 opened me up to so much, both creatively and in terms of personal experience. I was constantly watching new bands and artists; I just sort of gave my life over to it really. This sense of sacrifice became very familiar. But life exists outside of your career, and being thrown in the deep end by moving to London so young was imperative in understanding this. It’s confusing when your hobby becomes your work, but what a lovely problem to have!

What do you think about the rising influence of social media, specifically TikTok, on the music industry?
Ah, I could discuss this for hours. TikTok can be great; it’s essentially just another platform for artists to find their audience. But in order to attract these new fans, you must only share the parts of you that are catchy and palatable. It’s diluting, and dulls the essence of so many artists.
I can’t help but question the type of attention artists get from the app too; are these people who will come to shows? Labels who genuinely care? Will either still be around in ten years? It all feels so temporary.

I fear we’ve come to expect less of the listener. There’s a damaging assumption that people have minuscule attention spans – there’s possibly some truth in it, but it’s insulting. Humans have always loved full and conscientious art, and always will. Perhaps I’m dramatic, and it can all co-exist, but it feels like consistent sacrifice to succeed online.

I hope TikTok’s influence on the industry runs its course, as by nature it feels unsustainable. And I’m sure those who prioritise longevity will be there on the other side – in a nasty little green room drinking a lukewarm beer. No fee, just expenses.

You did your first EU and US shows last year. What was it like playing abroad?
Unbelievable amounts of fun! People are very receptive, and so grateful that you have come to their corner of the world. I met some fans who had been listening for years and felt so flattered that they were even in the room.

What would your dream show be?
In a palace! With a 100-piece orchestra, and I’d be in a huge dress. And everyone who has ever wronged me would be in the crowd, sobbing at how they’d fumbled. Commedia dell’arte style.

Do you have a pre-show ritual?
Assuming I’ve forgotten to send the promoter my set list to print, I usually scribble down the songs on whatever I can find (last week was a takeaway bag) and then have a sip of my vodka fresh lime soda. All whilst doing Pete Faint vocal warm ups.

You’re playing at Fair Play in April. What are you most looking forward to about this? And about visiting Manchester?
I LOVE Manchester. I have never had a bad time there even when I accidentally booked my band and I into a brothel. In fact, that was one of my favourite nights out. I’m really excited to see the Manchester crowd again; what lovely, kind people. And the taxi drivers are very informative; so proud of their city and explain every corner.

Is there anyone else you’re looking forward to seeing on the Fair Play lineup?
Otta and Marie Davidson!

What else do you have coming up in 2024 that your fans can look forward to?
New music! And videos! And merch! And shows!

What’s your ultimate career goal in music?
To still be performing when the world would tell me my time is up.

Catch Blossom at Fair Play Festival next week – tickets still available HERE!

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