Interview with Sivu


Sivu is the rather strange Finnish pseudonym of James Page, an Alt-pop Gotye-style soloist, who hails from the postcard county of Cambridgeshire in eastern England. Far from the safe and historic setting he comes from, his music is altogether more adventurous and unorthodox than the medieval University buildings and flat fields that come to mind when mentioning his home.

Before working as a solo performer in his own right the winds of fate blew him in the direction of much sought after producer Charlie Andrew (Alt-J, Madness) whilst working in recording studios. “When I first moved to London I managed to get some work as a session musician playing for other artists. I met Charlie as he was producing a track for someone I was playing for. We got on really well and I loved his left field approach to music and the feel he added to things.” Things must’ve gone concerwell between them as it wasn’t long before Atlantic came calling and hooked the two up to make an album. “As soon as I had my first batch of what was to become Sivu tracks I knew I wanted to work with Charlie, luckily for me he was up for it.”

As stories of being a fledgling musician go, Sivu’s is as standard as standard gets. “I started when I was around 14. My cousin bought a guitar so I instantly wanted one. And from then that was it I was in my first band a month after that unable to play anything, but just attempting to write music and that’s all I have been trying to so since”. Even with his musically left-field tendencies, fuzzy vocals and a playful use of guitar-laced electronics (or electronics laced guitar?), classic songs and classic song writing from titans of music history like Frank Sinatra remain an anchor to his craft. “I love his voice and melodies so much. Definitely when Sivu started that was the blue print for me when it came to trying to write a melody and to capture the romance and feel of what I was trying to put across.”

“I always try and be as honest as I can with myself when I write, it’s easy to get lost in things when writing. I think defiantly for this album there is a strong theme of confusion and barrelling myself which has really made itself clear to me as I approach the final touches of my record.”

“I’m really proud of the album. It’s taken a long time to finish but feel it’s in its last finishing stages now which I’m really excited about,” he says, “it’s become quite a telling album about myself and the place I was in writing it.”

Talking about his time supporting acts of a much higher calibre he seems unfussed but grateful of his daunting rise, even in underground music circles. “I have been so lucky to support some amazing artists I am very grateful to the bands for taking me out with them. All of them happened naturally just through friends and them overwhelmingly liking my music. Last year was a lot of fun.”

“Having my first official release in the US has meant so much. I’m such a fan of canvasback and all the amazing bands on their roster so when I was told they were going to release ‘Can’t Stop Now’ through canvasclub I was over the moon. It’s always been a dream of mine to have music in the States I am just itching to get over and start touring the US.”

I just feel very lucky it’s quite overwhelming to think about it, coming from a small town outside if Cambridge where nothing happens and so many brilliant artists and bands go unnoticed the fact I have managed to get my music over to the US means a lot to me.”

Sivu plays live on 4th June at The Roundhouse Studio Theatre

Watch the official video for “Can’t Stop Now” below:

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