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Hook Journal (1).tiff

Lockdown Letter




Image by Mabel Ducker

April is one of Ireland's most exciting young musicians, a 21 year old singer-songwriter from Kildare whose dreamy, lyrical pop has won her fans from all over. One such fan being London based Irish artist Biig Piig, a friend of Hook, and it turns out, an influence of April's. In the early weeks of lockdown, Hook set the two up on a Skype session, and what followed was a chat about music, Tiger King, and the start of a beautiful friendship..



Biig Piig: How've you been, what are you saying today?


April: Nothing! I just got up. I'm so bored.


BP: It's so weird not having a schedule, it feels like summer holidays..


A: Like the worst summer holidays ever, like back when I was a kid and had no friends, just trapped in my room all day.


BP: I feel the same. My sleeping schedule is all over the shop -  I'm not an early riser anyways but now even if I get up at 12 I'm like naaa.


A: Yeah I could stay in bed til 2 or 3


BP: Easily man. What's your usual day in isolation, what have you been doing?


A:I've been thinking about this question..I don't know! Sitting in my bed, looking at YouTube, trying to make some music.

BP: I saw you were posting about Tiger King,  did you watch the whole thing


A: Yeah, crazy!


BP: It was fucking weird like!


A: So mad, like I know [Joe Exotic]'s a bad person but.. I love him


BP: He's so good though! There'll never be another person like him


A: That guy Jeff, he's the reason that he's in prison and  he was worse than him I think, and he's out there living his life just fine.


BP: And making loads of money


A: Poor old Joe Exotic just got the bad end


BP: Poor old Joe!


A: I hope he's well


BP: I bet he's the king of the prison though. So yeah, watching shit, just getting through it. It's okay, just remember we get to do it again...probably not for a long time. 


A: Yeah true, once this is over I'm in busy mode, I'm excited though


BP: Do you reckon you're gonna start gigging and stuff after it's finished?


A: Yeah, obviously some things were put on hold and they'll all come back around and I'm sure it will just get better from there


BP: Ah man, it's exciting I think. Have you got stuff like outside Dublin as well?


A: I had The Great Escape over in Brighton


BP: Ah sick, we did that last year it was so nice, Brighton's gorgeous as well, it's like London by the sea


A: Yeah I was so excited, such a bummer, I'm sure that'll happen again.


BP: Yeah it will, that'll come back. It'll be alright. Are you in Kildaire?


A: Yeah, middle of nowhere. I've got a really big family so it's just constant noise here, so it's been crazy for this quarantine time cos I'm the oldest sibling and there's 6 younger.


BP: Oh fuck, never a dull moment I bet


A: No, it's crazy at all times, it's good though


BP: Are you making music still?


A: Yeah, but my MacBook broke, a while back.The first week being in quarantine I spilled wine on it and it completely broke


BP: Stop! Fuck that.


A: It completely burnt out, and it's like 800 quid to fix it. I saved all the files though so that's good, I got the hard drive off it so all my old garage band stuff is saved at least. 


BP: Ah good. Of all the things to spill on it as well!


A: I know I was kicking myself


BP: So what are you doing now?


A: I have an old iMac so I got Garage Band on that and that's working like a charm but it's not the same, you know when you're used to something, and I had so many little plugins and stuff that are all lost now, but I can get them all back.


BP: Do you reckon you'll come out with a big old tape or something after this?


 A: I don’t know, I'm just making demos for the next EP after this one, cos I've got one coming soon


BP: Oh mad, ok cool, do you know what the title of it is?


A: I think we're just gonna call it New Conditions. I wanted to have a cool name for it but I was thinking too much about it and I didn't wanna overthink it, you know? 


BP: Totally. New Conditions is a fucking banger by the way! 


A: Thank you!


BP: I've been literally banging it out the whole week


A: Thank you, I love Switch! It's so good. So good, it's your best yet, I love it.


BP: Ah thanks! I was so nervous about it, it's such a different vibe. The similar thing with them [Switch and New Conditions] is the distorted ad libs, which I thought was mad cool.There's a lot of music going out recently that’s like not punky but got a punky undertone. At the end of new conditions, I love when it all piles on each other and you've got the distorted ad libs, the distorted guitar, but you still have that really light chime, I don't know what it is it's like a xylophone or something?


A: Yeah!


BP: It sounds so nice though, it reminds me of like a Frank Ocean tune, just sick.


A: Thank you! In Switch, the garage beat in the background is so cool, I've been trying to get it, it's so hard to do without being cringey and cheesy.


BP: I know, that's it. Zach [Nahome], the guy who produced it —cos I don't produce my own stuff unfortunately—he's just incredible, and we started it as a, not a joke, but not thinking we were gonna finish it, just something to have fun with. Then it came together and we were like ‘Oh shit!’ There's no better feeling. Do you work with producers or do you produce it all yourself?


A: I mean I make a few little messy demos and stuff, but then I've got a producer, Fred [Macpherson], and we do the same thing, it's great.


BP: Is he in Kildaire aswell?


A: No, he's over in London. I've been going back and forth since September last year


BP: No way! Do you reckon you'll come over for a long time?


A: Hopefully yeah. The goal is to move over there maybe next year


BP: That'd be sick! I could show you around


A: (in London accent) Show me your ends innit


BP: Haha! That’s so good. 


A: I know my slang!


BP: Have you done a headline show yet?


A: That’s yet to happen!  I want to wait for the right time, there’s no point doing it when there's no one really waiting for it you know?


BP: Absolutely, and the more you plan for it, the more set up you have on stage as well like the better it’ll be


A: Yeah, I started off with the band, and then I went on tour around Europe  supporting Alec Benjamin - he's a pop star. It was weird but it was so cool. But we had to change from live band shows that I'd been doing in Dublin to just me and my guitarist. We had just the two of us and it worked fine, so we're sticking with that.


BP: Ah, fucking tour is something else. If we could stay on tour forever, that'd be sick. Ah.


A: I know.


BP: It'll come. What have you been listening to recently? Anything in particular?


A: Not really. I've been making a load of playlists. Moses Sumney, and Aphex Twin which is so different to what I usually listen to.


BP: So good! His production's crazy.


A: I know! And Blood Orange, my favourite.


BP: I feel like I'm listening to a lot of the old records that I used to listen to, I just find it hard nowadays to look for new stuff, you know what I mean?


A: I know I feel like I'm stuck listening to the same stuff all the time and I get sick of it so easy


BP: That's it. Have you checked out the Brent Fayez album?


A: No


BP: Oh my God, alright I'm sending you that, I think it's the only album of the last 4 years that I've actually listened to front to back, on repeat for like the whole day, it's so good, so so good. Is there any Irish music you've been listening to?


A: Not really no


BP: I know I'm the same


A: I'm such a faker! I'm always like yeah the Irish music scene's so great, and then I only listen to like Kevin [Kojaque]'s stuff and Kean [Kavanaugh].  


BP: Ah yeah I listen to them constantly, I'm excited to see what Kev does next actually, the last one was so different. Do you reckon you'll ever work with any rappers?


A: Yeah hopefully, I definitely want to


BP: I think you'd sound so nice, the contrast - it's cool to see what you come out with as well after you work with different sounds.


A: I'd love to try and get into it, that's the goal, to start working with other artists, cos I've never.


BP: Ah man, the stuff I feel like when you start feeding off each other's energy in the room especially if you're writing together, it's sick. What are you up to today anyways?


A: I have a call with my agent, they're doing little interviews with artists about what they're doing in isolation

BP: Do you get nervous for interviews?


A: Yeah, super nervous, God. I wasn't nervous for this cos I knew it would be chill.


BP: Yeah cos it's also just us meeting properly as well! The first of many.


A: Finally! But yeah with proper interviews I have so much anxiety before hand


BP: I feel like sometimes as well the interviewer, I always worry that they're gonna have loads of really like good words to use like 'arpeggios' and stuff, I'm like 'I make the tune and I like the tune.’ Ha!


A: I hate it when they get really into the questions and I'm like 'I don't know why I do that!' Like 'what's the deeper meaning behind this song?', there is none! What do I say?


BP: I get the same! 


A: What are you up to today? 


BP: I don't really know what I'm doing today this is all I got planned so far. What will I do? I might do some laundry. 


A: Well it was lovely chatting with you 


BP: Let's do this again some time! I'll get wine in for next time as well


A: Yeah a little girls night in

BP: Cute!

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