"Was that an accident? Or were you subconsciously like: 'I'm going to wear a dress with foxes on it, because I'm interviewing Foxes?!'" asks Louisa Rose Allen, a.k.a. Foxes. It just so happens that I was wearing a fox-print dress when I found myself on the phone with the London-based singer-songwriter recently, while she was in Australia on a brief introductory tour. To say that she was delighted, would be an understatement.
FYI - aside from furry and fuzzy creatures, Foxes also loves games, any kind of cake and Zach Galifianakis.
Foxes may be currently best known for her vocal work on Zedd's single 'Clarity' and Fall Out Boy's song 'Just One Yesterday', but it's sure to be her forthcoming debut album, 'Glorious', which will be her calling card for years to come.
Louisa teased details of her album during our recent chat...
"Pete Wentz told me that he was at a house party at New Year's Eve last year and someone was playing my song 'Youth' and he made everyone be quiet and he turned the music up and said: "Who is this girl singing? I want her on my next album." And he got her on his next album!"
COUP DE MAIN: How does the Foxes songwriting process work?
FOXES - LOUISA ROSE ALLEN: Well, I work with a guy called Ghostwriter back in the UK and a lot of the music has been done in his little bedroom in Kentish Town, so it's all very kind of laid-back. I have a big white book that I write from - a bit like a big diary - and I draw or write lines in there, and I read a lot of poetry as well, and kind of create the songs that way. I start with a lyric and then kind of work the production around that, really.
CDM: Who or what, are your main songwriting influences and inspirations?
FOXES: I'm a really big fan of people like Patti Smith, for her kind of poetry, I think she's really inspiring and she's got a really beautiful way of telling stories and poetry, so I'm a big fan of her. I also love Björk, I think she's an incredible artist and really inspiring, and people like Kate Bush as well.
CDM: Your debut album 'Glorious' will be released next year at the beginning of March, why did you decide to call it that?
FOXES: I have a song called 'Glorious' that was actually the last song I wrote for the album, and it kind of like for me, it sums up the whole album in a sense of that the song is definitely about not giving up and feeling thankful for what you have and seeing how glorious the world can be. I felt like at the time it said a lot about what I had been through in making this album and the fact that it's finally [coming] out.
CDM: What you just discussed and obviously songs of yours like 'Youth', sort of give the impression of a coming of age tale. Is that a recurring theme on the album?
FOXES: Yeah, I think definitely for me it's a real debut album because it's a real diary of me up until now, of all the experiences I've had. I've been writing this album since I was nineteen, so there are songs that are a lot older, and also songs that are fresher. There's kind of like a younger me to it, and then a more mature side to it as well. It's nice to see that process and I feel like I've grown up and this is the album that kind of is that process.
CDM: Do you have a favourite song on the album?
FOXES: There's a song that I have called 'Holding Onto Heaven' that I really love. 'Glorious' is probably one of my favourites as well.
CDM: At what age did you write your very first song ever, and what was it about?
FOXES: This is quite funny, because it relates to the reason I'm called Foxes. When I was thirteen I wrote a song called 'Like Foxes Do', and it was about how the fact - I was very, very young - that Foxes only have one mate for life and I thought that was really romantic being a soppy thirteen-year-old, so I wrote a song about that! <laughs> It was a very childish song, and that's kind of why I ended up calling myself Foxes.
CDM: Lyrically, what's your favourite song that you've ever written?
FOXES: Probably 'Beauty Queen' or 'Youth'.
CDM: What do you think is the difference between a good song and a great song?
FOXES: I think, honesty and feeling. I think if an experience you've had or something that comes from somewhere in you that's quite personal, then I think that makes it a great song, people can sense that and they know when something is real.
CDM: We're now going to play a game of 'True or False?'. I'll read out a statement and you tell me if it's true or false... Yourself and Lily Allen share the same initials in your name.
CDM: Which is funny, because you even have share a middle name, Rose.
FOXES: I know! Do you know how many people have asked me: "So what's it like having a sister that's in the lime-light?" And I'm like: "What?!" And they're like: "You know... your sister, Lily Allen!" And I'm like: "Lily Allen is not my sister..." <laughs>
CDM: True or false, pancakes are your favourite kind of cake.
FOXES: Yes! True, but on different days. Some days I love pancakes and other days I just love general cake.
CDM: You are actually a real-life Disney Princess.
CDM: Talking to ghosts is your superpower.
FOXES: Yes, true. No, false! Sorry, I got too excited.
CDM: Harry Styles is your favourite member of One Direction.
FOXES: No false, I like the blonde one... Niall. Yeah, he's funny!
CDM: 'Just One Yesterday' is totally my favourite song on the new Fall Out Boy album! It's so good. How did that collaboration come about?
FOXES: It was insane! They are like really good friends of mine now, so it was really nice. Actually, it's quite funny because the story is quite mental. Pete Wentz told me that he was at a house party at New Year's Eve last year and someone was playing my song 'Youth' and he made everyone be quiet and he turned the music up and said: "Who is this girl singing? I want her on my next album." And he got her on his next album!
CDM: If F.O.X.E.S. was an acronym, what would each letter stand for?
FOXES: Oh my god! That's quite hard... Fun. Outrageous. X-rated. Experimental. Sassy!
CDM: A friendship-crush is someone that you have no romantic interest in whatsoever, but just really wish that you were best friends with them. Who would be your top five friendship-crushes, living or dead?
FOXES: Chloë Sevigny, definitely. Oh, a comedian... I need a comedian! Who's that guy from 'The Hangover'… Zach Galifianakis, I can't pronounce his name. Barack Obama? I think I'd quite like to be good friends with Eminem. How many more do I have? And Patti Smith.
CDM: Game time, again. Would you rather be a night owl or an early bird?
FOXES: <laughs> A night owl.
CDM: Would you rather get a Hogwarts acceptance letter or have Grace Jones offer to mentor you?
FOXES: Grace Jones mentor me, all the way. She's a babe!
CDM: Would you rather shower in glitter or popping candy?
FOXES: Popping candy.
CDM: Would you rather be trapped in an airport forever and unable to leave, or never be allowed to eat burgers again?
FOXES: Whaattttt, oh my god I don't know. Awww, the burgers.
CDM: Would you rather have to cut all your hair off, or have to dye it rainbow-coloured?
FOXES: I would go with rainbow-coloured any day, I'd do that anyway.
CDM: What do you feel is your spirit animal?
FOXES: A Koala bear.
CDM: Where do you get your fashion and style inspiration from?
FOXES: My Mum. She has a vintage store in East London where I'm from and she just gives me clothes all the time, she's definitely my style 'inspo'.
CDM: If you could have the clothes from any character in any movie, who would you choose?
FOXES: Mathilda from 'Léon: The Professional'.
CDM: What's the most important lesson that you've ever learnt from a movie?
FOXES: Don't buy giraffes! In 'The Hangover Part III', it's at the beginning of the film and the funniest thing you'll ever see, they're driving along, really chilled out on the motorway and it cuts to a wider clip and he's a got a giraffe in the back, literally a giraffe... he just bought a giraffe and then he's driving down the motorway and the giraffe's head comes off. <laughs>
CDM: And lastly, what's left on your bucket-list that you'd really like to achieve?
FOXES: Well my bandmates are sky-diving right now and I would quite like to do that but I'm missing it...
FOXES: No worries! It's a good excuse for me to pretend I'm not scared. Oh my bucket-list? Well, putting out an album out... which I'm just about to do. I think I'm doing everything I love, which is quite funny isn't it? I would quite like to... oh my god, this is hard! I can't think! I'd probably like to do a world tour and sell it out... something like that.
CDM: And come to New Zealand?!
FOXES: Yeah, I will definitely! I'm going to try and do it early next year, I'm definitely going to do my best. Unfortunately it hasn't been down to me, if it was down to me I would be there in a second.
Click HERE to read more interviews from CDM Issue #10!
Watch Foxes' music video for 'Youth' below...