The Ivors Academy exists to support, protect and celebrate music creators in the UK, and nothing makes us more excited than witnessing the successes of our members!
That’s why here on the members spotlight, we want to showcase the talent of our members. No one fits the bill better for our first edition than emerging artist and Under 25 Board Director IMOGEN. In June, IMOGEN released the deeply intimate and personal single “Bloodbag”, alongside a riveting music video.
This single signifies IMOGEN’s departure from her beginnings as a singer-songwriter on the piano, into a realm of musical and thematic exploration. After a surgery that left her re-learning how to walk, “Bloodbag” was written as a rumination on her experiences with a mind and body set at odds with each other. The song is an embodiment of IMOGEN’s battle to regain control.
The outcome is gripping start to finish, packed with dynamic instrumentation, menacing piano and an emotional outpouring of vocals. IMOGEN effortlessly weaves melodies around persisting chords, which culminate into a colossal climax, showcasing her ability to diverge between delicate and fierce singing performances. The result is intense – both chilling and thrilling. If this wasn’t enough, the visuals mirror the narrative perfectly, creating a striking and nightmarish experience. The whole thing is totally action packed. We can’t wait to witness IMOGEN’s artistic development and see what she does next!
Introduce yourself to those who may not know you.
My name is Imogen and I’m a singer-songwriter and musician originally from Newcastle now based in South London.
As well as music making, I proudly sit on the board at The Ivors Academy as one of their Under 25 Board Directors and co-chair of their Youth Council. I’m adamant about helping the industry to become more accessible and safer for young artists. I’m also involved in the Academy’s working groups for Women in Music, Disabled, Deaf and Neurodiverse Musicians and Mental Health in music.
What artists have you been listening to recently?
Mainly Britney and Joni on a heavy rotation.
Describe your work in your own words.
I began as a solo singer-songwriter at the piano, but over the last few years this sound and way of writing has developed with the introduction of an incredible band of synths, brass and drums and spending time experimenting with production and recording techniques.
On this upcoming body of work I wanted to explore the fluctuating nature of agency over body and mind, particularly as a young woman with experience of infirmity. In the music and lyrics I explore what it is to lose control – be it physically and mentally – how much you start out with anyway, and what it is to claim it back.
What are some of your biggest influences?
Home, family, relationships. I find huge inspiration on what it means to be connected to a place and it’s people.
Musically, I find new inspiration daily from the outpouring of incredible new artists. But my long time influences have been Perfume Genius, Portishead, Fiona Apple, Massive Attack, Kate Bush, Nina Simone, The Beatles, Carole King, Joni Mitchell.
How has The Ivors helped you get to where you are today?
The Ivors Academy has really helped me to stand up for what I believe in. The politics and power dynamics within the music industry only represent wider societal issues. By validating my opinions and beliefs as a young female artist, my confidence has grown immensely and I feel more able to fight against exploitative and ableist systems knowing I have a supportive and encouraging platform behind me. It’s also amazing to be involved in these discussions and seek useful advice from musicians that I’ve admired since I was a kid.
What’s next for you?
I have releases in the pipeline which I’ve been lucky enough to work with an incredible young female-led production company on the visuals for. Honestly I can’t wait to share.
Obviously the state of the live music industry is a little…tentative…at the moment but I’m working towards more shows with my band for nearer the end of the year and pulling together a bunch of new material. It sure feels good to be working again.
Follow IMOGEN on Instagram.