‘I was raised by a single mam. Everything that she did was for us’: Singer Soulé on who inspired her new music
Dublin native Soulé is a force to be reckoned with and as the voice of Littlewoods Ireland’s latest ad campaign, it’s not hard to see (or hear!) why.
Lockdown was a weird time for everyone, Soulé included. She might be one of the country’s hottest music acts, but as we all know, no one is immune to the throes of a global pandemic and it was the entertainment industry that was actually one of the hardest hit.
Used to juggling projects and always being busy, life slowed down during the past year and a bit but the time off boded well for the singer who actually wrote her next big hit, “Queenish, while housebound.
What was the inspiration behind the new track? In short, her mother.
“I always say that it was my mam. She’s so powerful. I was raised by a single mam. Everything that she did was for us… she made it look easy. To be able to do that, it’s amazing. It made me think about what it means to be a woman in general,” she told me.
A song she wrote during lockdown, Soulé said that she wanted to create something that would help people feel good – a “lifter upper” as she put it. “It’s about empowerment, my mam… women in general. A lot of people say to me, ‘Oh, you write music that inspires people’, but half the time I’m speaking for me! I’m my own therapist,” she laughed.
“When the pandemic started it was that time where everyone was wearing joggers and loungewear. Then when we were allowed back out again, everyone was trying their jeans from last year on and they didn’t fit. I was like ‘why are we so concerned about the pressure to look a certain way or our weight or whatever?’
“Love who you are, who cares? I wanted to write something that would make me feel good about myself too.”
New to the rapping game – though her silky smooth transitions would have you believe otherwise – Soulé found the whole thing very empowering. Which obviously lends itself to the message of the song. Singing and performing are like second nature to her by now, but rapping was a whole new ball game and she actually turned to one of her fellow industry greats to help her out.
“I had to channel my inner Missy Elliott, she inspired me. I was watching a lot of her old awards shows and stuff like that. In my head I was thinking, ‘Hm, let me try this. It might flop or it might just work’.”
And work it did. Quickly picked up to be the soundtrack to the new Littlewoods ad, the “Queenish” music video is a 1970s dream. One look at the mustard yellow pantsuit and platforms she can be seen strutting on set in and I was sold. As longtime Soulé fans will know though, this isn’t her first TV rodeo. In fact, many of you will recognise her as the voice behind “Love Tonight”, the Vavavoom track that often preempted the Love Island ad break.
Ireland peeps ??Some of you may have caught it but my song “Love Tonight” was used for the new VAVAVOOM ad during LOVE ISLAND. It’ll be back on tonight.Thank you to the @vavavoom_ie team for this opportunity. My first time having my song on an advert. So crazy!!!???? pic.twitter.com/HaQwvLwg4P
— SOULÉ (@SouleOfficial) June 4, 2019
She dipped her toes in the TV world once again when she teamed up with Elaine Mai and Sorcha Richardson for Three Ireland’s #MadeByMusic ad, and now here she is serenading our telly boxes once again.
Does that mean she has a taste for TV now? “I love that you asked me that,” she enthused. “I’ve been talking more about just TV in general and I want to get into presenting or even like a feature on Fair City or something. I really want to dabble in TV.” Admitting that having her own music show would be the dream, it definitely doesn’t sound like it’s outside the realm of possibility – surely if anyone knows what’s good in the music world, it’s Soulé.
Delighted to finally be back doing what she does best, the Littlewoods A/W 2021 collection launch marked Soulé’s first live performance since before the pandemic. “Are you excited to get back to the festival circuit?”, I asked her… to which she replied, “Girllll.” We’ll take that as a resounding yes, then. “Even not as a performer. I want to just go to a festival and really appreciate it. We took it for granted. It was such a norm and then it got taken away.” Noting that she feels her most comfortable on stage, Soulé said that she’s so grateful to be able to do what she loves.
????Mama look,I got my first gold plaque!
So grateful to have been part of something so great with @irewomeninharm . “Dreams” has been certified GOLD in Ireland, how cool is that? ?Thank you for all the support you’ve shown us. We are so grateful ?? #iwih pic.twitter.com/x5By06MJfH
— SOULÉ (@SouleOfficial) March 7, 2021
Later speaking of her involvement in Irish Women in Harmony, the all-female collective that rose to fame during the height of lockdown last year, Soulé said that the project was yet more proof of just how powerful women are. Collaborating to release the song Dreams in aid of Safe Ireland, each performer recorded their respective part in isolation – the result being a cover that sounds as though it were done in a professional studio. “It was just so amazing – women from all different backgrounds, all different cultures. It just showed what Ireland is right now, a melting pot.”
Already with quite a few things in the pipeline – including upcoming gigs and other projects she can’t reveal just yet (oh, the suspense!) – it sounds like the next few months are going to be very exciting for the singer and we can’t wait to see what’s to come. Check out her “Queenish” music video below and keep an ear out for it next time you have the telly on and the new Littlewoods ad pops up. A definite hit, I think you’ll agree.
You can shop the new Littlewoods Ireland A/W 2021 collection here.