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BGS 5+5: Ida Mae

Jun 23, 2021

BGS 5+5: Ida Mae

Artist: Ida Mae
Hometown: Nashville / London
Latest Album: Click Click Domino (out July 16, 2021)

What was the first moment that you knew you wanted to be a musician?

As a kid my dad had a load of music documentaries on VHS. I can remember watching one on Jimi Hendrix which opens with Pete Townsend talking about Jimi Hendrix’s performance at Monterey Pop Festival… the film then begins with Hendrix storming into “Rock Me Baby” at Monterey Pop, a Stratocaster and fuzz pedal plugged in to a Marshall stack. I can remember getting shivers from my head to my toes! I remember also being fascinated by the guitar, I’d go to my posh mates’ houses and would stare into their music rooms and silently look at their guitars like they were strange, rare holy relics.

What’s your favorite memory from being on stage?

Joining Willie Nelson and Alison Krauss on stage was an incredible moment and an honor that we’ll never forget.

What other art forms — literature, film, dance, painting, etc. — inform your music?

We love film but in particular for me photography plays a big part in how I visualize my songs. I love the work of Garry Winogrand, William Eggleston, Martin Parr and Stephen Shore to name a few. I very often have a place or time in the back of mind when I’m writing, even if its not explicitly mentioned in the lyric and I find photographs are able to open up and inform all sorts of creative decision making and lead ideas.

Since food and music go so well together, what is your dream pairing of a meal and a musician?

We’d like to share a tube of Pringles with Bob Dylan. Maybe a trifle with Mavis Staples? Oooh or share a Twix with Richard Thompson.

How often do you hide behind a character in a song or use “you” when it’s actually “me”?

Fantastic question. I think persona plays an incredibly important part of what any artist does. It allows you to inhabit characters and roles as almost as an actor. It’s important for the self preservation of the artist to make the distinction between the picture they choose to paint and their personal lives. As a songwriter, things can get very self-indulgent and self-obsessed and that gets tedious after a while. I often imagine painting myself into some sort of impressionist’s painting… it’s you almost, but the lines are blurred and reality is more based in what’s on the edge of your conscious mind, in raw emotion and letting the story play out in the atmosphere you create sonically and poetically. Every song is relatable to us in some way, sometimes they are incredibly personal and other times they’re explorations of the way you were feeling at some point in your life… and sometimes it’s just fun to play with words!

Photo credit: Joe Hottinger

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BGS 5+5: Ida Mae
BGS 5+5: Ida Mae