- Words Ross Mondon
Already oozing confidence, sass, and success, Chloe Bodur’s offering to the music scene is an exciting prospect.
Beginning her musical career in the same place that many of today’s stars – her bedroom – the London-based Chloe Bodur pursued a music degree at the University of Brighton, spending the past seven years honing her craft and tapping into a sonic landscape of sounds and heritage. Following a series of singles and a debut EP that merges her love for R&B, Soul, and Hip-Hop, Bodur now finds herself more confident than ever for her next adventure.
This summer, Chloe Bodur dropped visuals for her song “Watch Me” and performed at Jamz Supernova’s Ones To Watch showcase at Shoreditch House alongside Nayana Iz and Jerome Thomas. Now, Bodur is preparing for the release of her sophomore EP. Already teasing her fans with the new single “Static Flow”, listeners are in for a treat when they find out what’s to come.
Notion caught up with the emerging artist to ask the real questions – like why she would invite Adele to her dinner party to why she’s such a big Arsenal fan and more. Jump in!
To those who don’t know you, how would you summarise your musical journey so far?
I started making music by myself in my bedroom when I was about 16-17, working on an acoustic guitar, and then I started studying music technology A-Level at college. I learned to produce my own beats, mix and everything between. So that took my music away from being acoustic bass into an electronic realm. I remember I got into James Blake, Sampha and FKA twigs and got inspired by them, that I made an electronic EP that I put out on SoundCloud, which is not on there anymore. But I decided I wanted to stop working withing myself and I wanted to form a band. So, I moved to Brighton for University, where I studied a degree in music for three years, met my band, and did the Brighton circle for a while. And because I then was working with a four – five-piece band, I started writing for those instruments instead of thinking about guitar lines, basslines and leaving space for horns. It changed my way of working. Now I’m stepping back into the amalgamation of all the things I’ve done over the years – the electronic productions coming in with the band stuff a bit more, and I think that’s where my sound sits at the moment. That’s been the journey.
In one sentence, how would you describe your sound?
Right now, I’d say it’s quite sensual, and I describe it generally as alternative R&B or psychedelic soul.
If you could bring three music icons to a dinner party, dead or alive, who would you bring?
I don’t know whether to pick people from who I’d want to get tips because I don’t know if I believe in the whole dinner-with-Jay-Z thing. So maybe I go for people that I think would be a good vibe. Like Drake, Adele, people like that. Or Jade from Little Mix. I feel that would be a really fun party.
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
I think it’s children on trains that play – this sounds horrible – but on an iPad, such as Peppa Pig or something that’s on repeat out loud, and I’m like, can we get some headphones or something?
What would you say is your spirit animal and why?
A house cat. Pretty much everyone in my life tells me that I’m such a cat. I don’t know what that means as, on the one hand, I’m like, cats are cute, but on the other, I’m like, are you calling me lazy?
Your latest single, “Static Flow” is now out, but how excited are you for the release of your upcoming EP, and what can fans expect?
I’m really excited about this especially, for the video for “Static Flow” to drop. I didn’t know how that video was going to go as we literally filmed it with my mate Elliot and two other young lads. And it was such a small crew that we winged it, and I directed it, and I just thought I don’t know how this is going to out. Then when we saw the footage back, we were pleasantly surprised at how it turned out. I remember being so tired because we filmed it until around 3am and then we edited it all day the next day, so we hardly had any sleep, and I watched the edit with my family, and I just broke down crying. I felt so proud of myself. And I was like, sorry guys, I think I’m crying because I’m so tired. But also, because I did drama and dance and music and film, all of these creative subjects at school and then during the pandemic when everything shut down and had no money, you start to think, did I waste my degree, should I have done something a bit more academic. But then seeing that video, I felt really proud. And those skills have gone to good use because I’m able to do this now. Although I’ve been putting music out for a while, you didn’t even really see my face in my artwork before and then talking to the walls with my face on it, but it was blurred out. And it’s taken me years to get to this point where I’m confident enough to be in front of a camera. So, I feel super proud, and I’ve finally reached the point where I can do the artist thing properly. Overall, I’m excited for people to hear the project and see that I’ve reached this point now.
Which is your favourite track from the EP and why?
I would have to say “Mine”. Every time I listen to it, I cry. I wrote it over a year ago, but every single time I get upset. I don’t even know if I’ll be able to do it live, as it just hits me. I’ve never been that moved by something I’ve written before, and it’s my proudest song in terms of songwriting.
Being a big Arsenal fan, what do you love and hate about football?
I love how fit a lot of the players are, to be totally honest with you. That’s what kept me watching it for as long as now, but obviously, I’ve gotten into more. But when I was a kid, I used to watch it a lot with my dad, then when he had a son, I retired from it as he took over. Another thing I don’t like about it, I was super into football when I was younger, then guys quiz you on it all the time. All right, tell me every single person that scored, what’s their mum’s name, where were they born and what team did, they start of, you have to prove how much you like it and it got exhausting. And I was like you know what I’m going to stop watching it, so I did for years, but during lockdown I got back into it again.
Though with the Arsenal squad, I love that I can feel they’re a real family and love each other. You can feel a happy vibe in the squad now, and I think Arteta has picked players for a reason and kept them in the club. But what I don’t like is the toxic male energy at games, people doing hands signs and being super aggressive, and I’m like can everyone just chill out.
What is the biggest misconception about being a musician and one thing you want to change about the music industry?
I think it’s not so bad now, as I’ve got a team that has helped, and I’m with a distributor, but for a while, it’s really hard. There’s like a wall between me and you even. You have to go through PR, radio plugins and stuff. And obviously, people need jobs, and that’s fine. But I think if you’re an artist that doesn’t have a lot of money, it’s difficult to get your music to people unless you know a DJ personally. But even then, when you do know DJs, personally, they still usually want to go through a plugger sometimes. I’m just getting into this. I didn’t even know what a PR or plugger was. I thought you email whoever, and then that was it. But there are all these hidden costs. And I think, in my experience, I know artists that have come from a certain background that have been able to pay for PR and get things, whereas other artists have had to not go through PR because they can’t afford it. I think it is problematic as it comes down to who you can pay and not about the release. It’s more like this is the fee, can you do it or not?
What is your biggest pinch-me moment so far?
I could say things that have been achieved, such as being played on Radio One or being picked for Jamz one to watch on 1Xtra – that was a crazy moment because I’ve listened to that show for years. But I think it’s more of me when I watch myself, such as in the videos, saying, woah, I can’t believe that. I actually managed to do that. Because I don’t find it easy compared to some artists. But I will have a breakdown before and after, most likely. So, when I watch it back and I’m like, oh, you’re quite good at faking that, you can do that. That’s probably the biggest pinch-me moment.
At only 23-years old, where do you see yourself in five years? At only 23-years old, where do you see yourself in five years?
I’m so glad you said only 23 because I feel like I’m 85. But where do I see myself in five years? I’d love to continue growing as an artist. I’d love for my staging when I play live with my band to be more elevated and make it more performance art and maybe do more choreography in the sets. I’d also love to do things like Jools Holland and those kinds of landmarks moments, and hopefully, I’ll do my debut album then that would be great.