SXSW – Duffy

She just wants to sing.

Everyone is talking about Duffy, but the Welsh songstress is tired of chewing the fat, she just wants to sing.

“I’m bored of talking about myself!” she says. “I’ve spent so much time making my record and being true to myself that I’m not able to talk about it anymore. I’ve lived with this album for so long that I just want it to come alive in live shows.”

Well, the blonde 23-year old better get used to some singing her heart out. Before she even hits SXSW, she’s on a two-week sold out tour of the UK. Her face and name is being splashed across ones to watch lists and if you’ve heard her songs you can understand why. Through the grey British skies breaks a voice so rich, soulful and powerful that it feels like it should come out of the deep south of the US and not a small town in the north of Wales. And then there’s those retro overtones that draw comparisons to Sixties girl groups and most popularly Dusty Springfield.

Such praise is extraordinary to heap on fresh talent and it certainly has Duffy baffled.

“I don’t deserve the Duffy comparisons” she says. “If I can stand by her in four albums’ time, if I can sustain the quality like she did, then I’ll be pleased.”

From the sounds of her new album ‘Rockferry’, it appears she has got off to a pretty strong start. Through a mix of blues, Motown and nostalgia, Duffy creates wonderful narratives.

“I just like to create stories and exciting arrangements,” she says. “I hate putting it like this but I really see music as a form of escape. I like the way it can take you to that sonic place which is different from reality. The album isn’t meant to be a personal reflection. I don’t have hidden secrets or like to be self-indulgent. Artistically it is a little bit of me but on the other side I’m just a 23-year-old girl still finding out about myself.”

And there are plenty of adventures abound for Duffy as she embarks on this discovery. She is unable to hide her excitement for a start about heading to Austin, Texas. “I’ve always imagined it to be incredible in my head,” she gushes. “I’m really looking forward to lots of great food, picking up some Tex Mex recipes perhaps, meeting a nice Texan man, getting a tan, and just seeing lots of cool British bands!”

In particular, she hopes to meet many of her other counterparts in the female songstress scene. There have been countless articles placing Duffy head to head with Adele – another retro soul singer being touted as the next Amy Winehouse. But Duffy says this is a simplistic view: “It’s like saying that The Kooks are the same as Arctic Monkeys just because they’re both British bands. I think we are all individuals. But I think it’s great there are lots of female singer-songwriters at the moment. I met Kate Nash when I did Jools Holland and she was so lovely. But we’re so busy working on our own material that we don’t really know each other, we’re worlds apart. It would be so nice to see them all out there in Texas.”

Clearly excited about SXSW, Duffy is also rather overwhelmed. “Coming to London was the furthest I thought I could take my music. I’m really excited about playing SXSW but I don’t really care where I play. It could be Timbuktu or my nan’s shed with a bottle of wine. As long as I’m with my band playing live, that’s all I care.”

She continues to marvel at the prospect of the festival.

“I mean America is such a vast country, I keep thinking how can one small female take on such a big country?” she asks.

The answer is simple – it lies with her voice.

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