Interview with Wallis

Written by Divine Magazine

Hailing from Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria, Wallis is an unlikely R&B star in the making.

Her ties to the working-class community of the town and its links to Northern soul formed her love of music at an early age, discovering an artistic contrast between her vibrant personality and sublime soprano vocals. She nurtured her talents at the prestigious Sylvia Young Theatre School in London, before following in the footsteps of idols like Adele and Amy Winehouse to train at the renowned Brit School. 

Now credibly integrating herself into London’s underground R&B scene with airplay from BBC Radio 1’s Huw Stephens and BBC Introducing, Wallis has kept a growing audience entertained with her impeccable vocal range, delivering gems like “Attitude” (which features Tottenham rapper Dun D), the stormy “FYI”and “Ain’t That Kinda Girl” – which Wallis recently performed in a dazzling set on the Big Top Stage at Isle of Wight Festival, supporting Flo and Example.

Through her music, the outspoken artist has been covering themes of class and social inequality, feminism, girl-power as well as equal representation, and Wallis’ dynamic music proves her to be an exciting new name on the scene for listeners to dive in and discover.

Photo by Photographer Philip Baro Thomas

How would you describe the music that you typically create?

If I had to put my music into a genre it would be R&B/Pop.

What is your creative process like?

To be honest my creative process is different every time depending on how much I’m feeling the song. I’ll normally go into the studio and ad lib over a production idea and then somehow a song comes out of it haha!

What is the best advice you have been given?

I’ve had this question a lot recently, and I’ve been given so much advice over the years. In terms of music it has to be never stop creating and being active. 

Photo by Photographer Philip Baro Thomas

How would you describe your music?

My music is alllllll for the girls. I want people to hear it and feel like they can conquer the world.

Who are your main musical influences?

I have so many musical influences but in terms of vocals it has to be Ariana Grande, the woman is a vocal power house.

What are your plans for any future releases?

I’m hopefully bringing out an album early next year which is currently my main focus. I’m also working on some more songs to add to it! 

Are you planning any videos for your music?

YES! I’m going to do a video for my next release, I want it to have big dance breaks and bring back the dramatic 90s R&B style music videos.

Who would you want to play you in a movie of your life?

I think Jodie Comer would do a great job. I haven’t really ever thought about it haha as long as they’re dead Northern and not posh lol!

What is your favourite board game?

I’m not massive on board games but if I had to pick one it would be Monopoly.

Do you have any lucky items, objects, or traditions?

This is going to sound odd, but I won a competition to perform at the Isle of Wight Festival this year and I wore the same pair of pants for every round (washed of course).

Do you have any superstitions?

Never let a black cat cross your path – words to live by. 

If you were talking to a younger version of you, what advice would you give yourself?

I’d say don’t give a flying fuck what others think, you’ll be talked about either way, so just get on with it.

Wallis returns from a busy summer to offer “Skin” – hot on the heels of winning the Isle of Wight Festival’s ‘New Blood’ competition.

In keeping with a string of recent releases from the Northern up-and-comer, “Skin” pays homage to the classic US R&B sounds Wallis draws artistic inspiration from with a retro twist, building to a seductively fiery chorus in lyrics which explore a divine love affair.

Wallis made the following statement about “Skin”: “I love ‘Skin’ because it’s the kind of sound I feel excited about right now. It’s an anthem for the ladies – we want the man but we don’t want the bullshit that comes with him. I wrote the words to lay down some rules as I love my independence. If you want me, you’ve got to make it worth it and treat me like the centre of your universe. Anything less just isn’t enough.”

© 2023, Divine Magazine. All rights reserved.

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