How sweet an era it must be for Louisa Rose Allen, AKA Foxes – an exciting young artist swept up in a whirlwind of firsts. The electro-pop performer only recently became acquainted with life on the road. “We actually just finished touring. It’s been insane, I’ve never toured the UK before so it was a real dream come true,” she says excitedly. “It’s the first time I’ve had actual fans buying tickets and coming to shows. It’s been really great.”

Allen’s origin story would be familiar to most young artists. The 24-year-old is blessed with fond memories of a musical household. “I lived with my mum and my sister and they had brilliant taste in music. They loved really strong, female artists like Nina Simone, Bjork, Patti Smith… I think I was definitely brought up with an incredible, musical background. [My family] weren’t necessarily musical but I really was. For some reason, as soon as I could talk, I was singing – constantly. I think I annoyed a lot of my family members by being that kind of child!”

 

Nevertheless, Allen was encouraged to dream big. “My mum allowed me to have the belief that you could achieve anything you wanted to, if you worked hard at it or wanted to live your dream. I had a free kind of childhood which I think [was] really key to me doing music now and believing that I can do it, which I’m really thankful for.”

 

Inspired, Allen followed her sister from Southampton to the big smoke, studying music in London. However, faced with a stifling environment, Allen looked to other options. “I studied for about a year. I think I felt like you couldn’t really learn music in a class. For me, it wasn’t the right thing to be doing, so I ended up dropping out. I wanted to run off and be free and write about what was going on in my life and experience life a bit. I knew in myself that once I did that, I would find a way somehow to get there. I just kind of got on with life, I think. I had some pretty rubbish jobs but then met the right people in music, did some collaborations and signed my record deal.”

 

Allen has already collaborated with the likes of Fall Out Boy and Russian-German electronic producer Zedd, making her mark as a feature artist. “It’s been very exciting, working with all these incredible, massive artists. I feel very blessed to be working with such talented people. I did a lot of TV shows like Jimmy Fallon and Letterman… they were quite overwhelming but incredible experiences at the same time.”

 

Yet through it all, Allen has kept a level head, with a one-track mind for the music. “I’m not someone who wants the fame. I’d be quite happy just doing music and not having that side of it. I definitely think that fame is something that comes with music and I understand that it does, but it’s not necessarily something that I’d put first. The music for me is the most important thing.”

 

In fact, Allen holds authenticity in high regard. In spite of an enormously successful two years, she remains as focused as ever. “I really feel like I’ve stuck true to what my music was a year ago and what it is now. It’s very personal and comes from the heart. I feel like it won’t ever change in that respect. [But] I might experiment with stuff and find different sounds and that kind of thing.”

 

For now, though, the focus remains upon Allen’s forthcoming LP. “The best way to describe it is that it’s definitely the album I’ve always wanted to make. It’s got a really good mix of important album tracks that aren’t the big singles. They’re personal and cinematic and have a soundtrack vibe to them – but I love good pop music, so I think there are tracks that are definitely more anthemic and upbeat and have that kind of feeling. It’s going to be [released] very early next year, either end of January or end of February. I don’t know when it’s going to be released in Australia, though. I think it’s the same time. I’m very excited to be able to share it with the world.”

 

When it comes to making music, it’s the exercise of sharing that perhaps matters most to Allen. “I definitely write to give myself strength and hopefully inspire other people to feel hope and feel stronger, because that’s what I’ve always gotten out of other people’s music. To give that to other people is really important to me. It’s definitely like a form of therapy. It’s all really personal and from the heart. I get a lot out of my writing and I think it’s kind of what gets me through life.”

 

Australia won’t have to wait too long for a taste of Foxes’ album, with live dates in November announced recently. “I’m so excited. It feels so overwhelming that I’m going to be going around the world performing to people. I feel so blessed,” says a decidedly bubbly Allen. “I’ve always wanted to go to Australia, so the fact that my music’s taking me there is just a real dream of mine. Honestly, I’m counting down the seconds!”

 

BY NICK MASON

 

*Photo: Luka McGhie

 

Foxes plays Oxford Art Factory with Cosmo’s Midnight and Stoney Roads DJs on Thursday November 14.

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