Miss Power

Miss Power

Connie Constance named her second album Miss Power because of how much more liberated she felt while making it. “With my first album, English Rose, I managed to make an indie album that I loved, but it was a strain,” the Watford-based singer-songwriter tells Apple Music. “It was a fight the whole time, rather than fun and freeing like this album has been. I think the industry was confused by me at first because I didn’t fit in a box.” In the past, Constance (born Constance Power) was sometimes encouraged to make R&B music instead of the guitar bangers she naturally gravitated to. Constance, who is mixed-race and fell hard for Arctic Monkeys as a teenager, now says it’s her aim to “make it the norm for Black and mixed-race people to make alternative music—it shouldn’t even be a thing.” Constance is also confident she’s made an album that merges both sides of her musical identity: namely, “uptempo indie bangers” and more vulnerable moments she calls “folky indie soul.” And because she and her longtime friend Sam Knowles, aka London producer Karma Kid (Hak Baker, Shygirl), would convene for two sessions a week over a sustained period, it’s also a true diary of a year in her life. These songs explore everything from false friends to Constance’s fraught relationship with her father—and have helped her move on. “I don’t feel stuck anymore. I feel fluid and moving, and it feels great,” she says. Read on as Constance talks us through her second album, one track at a time. “In the Beginning” “When we were talking about structuring the album, I always knew I wanted an intro track. I had this idea of a fairy being born, like, 10,000 years ago in the ancient world, getting frozen somehow, and then melting in the present day so they end up experiencing today’s world. That’s kind of how the album flows. It begins super saturated and super excited, but then you come face-to-face with so many different things as it progresses. I actually got my good friend Rachel Chinouriri to help with some of the vocal production and melodies on this track because she is the GOAT when it comes to melodies.” “Till The World’s Awake” “Sam and I thought it was essential for the album to have a really strong anthemic moment, and this is it. It’s a song celebrating the shared community of creatives I have around me and the way we have each other’s backs. We’re happy for each other when things go well, and we’re there for each other when they don’t go so well. In the chorus, I’m really saying that I love you guys forever, and I want things to be this way when we’re old.” “Miss Power” “I call myself ‘the woman of the hour’ on this song. When we wrote it, Sam and I were at the beginning of the creative process, and I was like, ‘I’m making an album with my best friend. No one’s going to tell me what to do. This is awesome!’ It wasn’t necessarily that I didn’t feel that way when we wrote the song, but now I feel so, so empowered by it. When we wrote this song, I had all these worries about working with a new team and a new label, but now I really do feel like a boss. I can tell people if I’m not happy with something and feel strong about it. For me, this song is just facts now.” “Never Get to Love You” “I love this song so much. It’s my baby. The whole first verse is really just poetry; the lyrics aren’t super obvious. It’s also the first song where you hear our field recordings. Sam and I went to the New Forest and recorded loads of different nature sounds for the album: birds, trees moving, us stomping around and dancing in the open air. We also got a karaoke mic and swiped it through the air really fast, so it made all these weird sounds when the wind caught it. I have warm memories of making this song—it was such a fun, wholesome day.” “Mood Hoover” “The song title comes from my mum. During lockdown, she would call anyone who was bringing the vibe down a ‘mood Hoover.’ Later in the year, Sam suggested I should write a playful song about my relationship [with my boyfriend], so I started with ‘mood Hoover.’ I think that when you pass 25, you bring so many different life experiences to a relationship that it’s always going to end up being a bit quirky. At that point, you carry all these things with you from past relationships that maybe you haven’t resolved yet. So, this song is really me saying, ‘Whatever funny little quirks you have, I still love you.’” “Heavyweight Champion” “My dad and I have quite an up-and-down relationship that I’ve wanted to write about for a while. But recently, we’ve realized we have a lot of the same humor and stuff. I went into the studio with Ed Thomas, an amazing writer who’s worked with Jorja Smith and Mahalia, and he was like, ‘I’m so excited to make indie bangers with you!’ And I was like, ‘Well, actually, I was hoping you’d help me with this song concept I’ve had for a while.’ It's called ‘Heavyweight Champion’ because I come from a really strong boxing family. My dad’s side of the family are all boxers or trainers, and though it shouldn’t be a gender thing, I’d probably be a boxer, too, if I’d been born a boy.” “Hurt You” “This song is about me being in the [music] industry at 19, signing a deal, and thinking these people had my best interests at heart—whereas, actually, they didn’t. I think a lot of artists go through that. My manager once said that when you walk into a record label, they should have pictures up of all the artists they didn’t break, instead of the ones who became successes. I think anyone can relate to this song, though. We’ve all had a friend who was there when life was good but then lost interest when you seemed dead and buried.” “Kamikaze” “When we wrote this song, I knew I wanted a punk track for the record because it’s a whole part of my energy that wasn’t on there yet. Honestly, I think this song came together in about 10 minutes after I came offstage at [East London venue] Village Underground. When I was recording it, I felt like I was being screamed at by my feminist punk ancestors—people like Poly Styrene from X-Ray Spex. It was almost like they were singing the lyrics, not me.” “Home” “This song is my anxiety in a way that’s listenable! It’s about all these different intrusive and confusing thoughts coming into my head, but it has this really warm, soft palette that calms me down. When we got to the end, I was like, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if we had Hak [Baker] on this song? But what if Hak was a troll talking to me as if I was a fairy crippled by anxiety?’ Sam and I were really nervous to ask him to do that, but he wrote his part in about 15 minutes, and it’s beautiful. He sounds like a very jolly troll who has just come out the pub.” “Yuck!” “Sam and I had wanted to do a stream-of-consciousness song for a while. We’d been listening to Dry Cleaning, who have a stream-of-consciousness song, and also The Slits, who have a couple of tunes like that. When we got in the studio, I had a loose chorus in mind, and I wrote down some points I wanted to get to in the lyrics. But when I got behind the mic, it all just came out naturally—it was a true freestyle. It’s ended up being a lot of people’s favorite song on the album, including my mum’s!” “Blank Canvas” “This song is pretty dark for me. I’m not really ready to share the story behind it, but I definitely needed to write it. It’s about an experience I needed to get off my chest. The emotion I’m pouring into this song is raw, and it’s urgent. I have to say that writing this song was a very releasing process for me.” “Red Flag” “This song is my big finale moment on the album. My friend was going through a really hard time with one of their closest friends. This person was sort of destroying their life from the inside. That’s the only way I can put it. It’s about someone becoming a red flag because they should be looking out for you, but instead they’ve flipped and become the bad buy. The reason it’s the final track is because this song feels like the curtains are closing: you’re over it, you’re done, and you’re moving on.”

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