BRIT School alumni Pixx is on the verge of breaking through with her upbeat yet hard-hitting take on pop.
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]“There’s not really much of a point to pop music anymore,” Pixx ponders after a day spent searching for her mum’s birthday present (she’s chosen a fluffy dressing gown, FYI). “I don't know if that's fair to say, but there's a lot of pop music now that's not about anything that's important,” she explains disheartened.
Considering she’s suffering terrible jetlag, having only got back from America three days ago – after playing a 4AD label showcase with The Lemon Twigs and Methyl Ethyl, and filming a music video in Coney Island - Pixx is commendably chatty.
“There’s so much to talk about in pop music, but I feel like nobody really does at the moment; in terms of it not just being about a relationship or growing up or getting cheated on...” continues the enigmatic vocalist, whose real name is Hannah Rodgers.
Tackling bigger world problems: “war and poverty and feminist issues”, is something that’s lacking in pop music nowadays, the BRIT School graduate argues. “It’s a shame because, obviously, the popular music is what people are listening to, but it would be better if people were sharing messages that were actually worth something.”
It feels like perfect timing, then, for Pixx to breathe her bold, thought-provoking blend of woozy pop and endearing electronics into what she feels is a stagnant genre. Last year's ‘Fall In' EP demonstrated an effortlessly soulful, almost haunting vocal while a deliciously dreamy slice of synth-pop came in the form of ‘Baboo' this May.
But it’s ‘Grip’ that stands out most, as she fuses an arresting vocal with otherworldly production that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Grimes record. “It’s about the feeling of weightlessness,” she begins, wisely unpicking the lyrics in an almost philosophical way.
"We always do things and feel like we're facing the wrong direction; we're moving forwards, but we're facing backwards all the time," she contemplates of the lyrics ‘I don't want to feel the need to grip on tight to everything I see'. "It's this idea that you don't want to be feeling like you're holding onto everything from the past but actually the past is all that you can see…"
Before earning her place at The BRIT School, Hannah was educated at a “really strict all-girls Catholic high school. It was really fun but strange because BRIT School is totally different,” she recalls. Hannah’s passion for music grew daily, as she learned more and more about what she loved.
Though she wasn’t so keen on the end of term shows; “I always found them quite cringy,” she remembers. “I was never a big fan of doing the backing singing and the dancing and the finger clicking – it just felt really weird and awkward.”
Growing up on her folk-loving parents’ music collection; Joni Mitchell and Simon & Garfunkel especially, she learned to love songwriters with important ideas from an early age. And it’s something that’s really translated into her creations as Pixx.
“I love the idea of making music that gets people to feel light-hearted and sort of upbeat and jolly; to be able to move around to it… But also for there to be an importance beneath,” she considers. “That’s why I focus so much on melody - to try and keep people in tune with what the words are that I’m actually singing.”
Lyrically and thematically, Pixx – who takes her name from her “totally amazing, hilarious, strong-headed nan”- tackles concerns that affect her and the people around her. “I try to channel all the old music I listened to into my lyrics,” she begins; “I've got songs about it being difficult to be a girl and the fact that there are so many day-to-day things that are different for women than men… I try to reach out to that.”
Living in a challenging and uncertain time, as well, has lent itself to Pixx's music. "I've got quite a lot of songs that are about the age that I am and the age of a lot of people I know and the period that I feel like I've been living in for the last few years. It's a heavy time for people," she asserts, "especially young people."
It’s not all serious, though. Her upcoming debut album – which is currently in the mixing stage – is like a “split personality. A lot of my songs are the complete opposite and sarcastic and jokey,” she offers, weighing up its musical variety.
Due early next year, Pixx’s ethereal, weightless vocal will soon make up a whole record. It’s something she can’t quite comprehend. “Now that I’ve written an album, I kind of can’t believe it because it’s all just been happening at once,” she says in disbelief.
“I want to give people a heads up, though, that it is quite...,” she pauses for a few seconds, opting for ambiguity: “there's a lot of different shit going on there...”
Taken from the November issue of Dork, out now - order your copy here. Pixx plays Birthdays in London on 1st December.