Photography: John Davies

If you had to describe your music/style in a sentence, what would you say?
I usually describe it as lyrically-focused jazz pop.

How did you get into music?
I started out playing the violin and singing in a church choir when I was young, so the first music I learnt was classical. When I was 12 my mom bought my brother a guitar hoping he would start playing it, but I was the one picking it up instead. It was a summer when I was very bored and I started teaching myself the chords of cheesy songs online. It was around that time that I started writing my own songs.

Can you pinpoint a live gig or a piece of music that initially inspired you?
It’s hard to pinpoint one thing really, when the things I take inspiration from are always very different. I grew up listening to the Norwegian band Kings Of Convenience, and I think they’ve influenced the way I write a lot. The way they play with space in their song My Ship Isn’t Pretty really inspires me.

Do you have a favourite song or piece of music to perform? What does it say about you?
I have a song called The Hanging Man, which is a song about a man who’s struggling with depression. I think this song says a lot about my love for writing stories; the songs I write don’t always come from personal experiences. I mostly enjoy performing this song because, as it is a story, I feel a more intimate connection with the people listening to it. And I also love creeping people out.

What do you think is the overriding influence on your songwriting: other art, emotions, current affairs – or a mixture of all of these?
A mix, definitely! A new song usually starts with me remembering a feeling I had years ago, a friend telling me something or just a nice sentence I’ve written down. Sometimes even interesting words can inspire me to build around them. Even though they seem very personal, my songs aren’t always about my own emotions; I see my process as taking tiny feelings, mine or yours, and magnifying them.

Do you have a favourite venue you’ve performed in? If so, what makes it special?
My favourite venue so far must be in the Walker Art Gallery! I played an acoustic gig during LightNight in the room with all the beautiful stone statues. Biggest crowd of stoners I’ve ever played to.

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Scarf Song is released on 30th November. Sara Wolff supports Nicola Hardman at Jacaranda Records Phase One on 16th November.

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