Meet the insanely talented and ethereal dynamic South London singer-songwriter, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist; Plumm.
Heavily influenced by the likes of Robert Plant, Nina Simone and Massive Attack, music is Plumm's way of life and since day one, there has been no other motive. Plumm's solo musical ventures have seen her record and produce her debut E.P 'The Shed,' in 2018, along with recent single releases 'Pour in the Blue' and 'Who Knows.' Her group endeavours have included singing mystical vocals for the groundbreaking Levitation Orchestra, an artistic ensemble that has taken the London jazz scene by spiritual storm.
Plumm's Solo EP, 'The Shed' was an attempt to bring her unique hybrid sound to life and create something that captured a snapshot of her transition from adolescence to womanhood. Most of the vocals and sax were recorded through an iPhone. The Shed is her safety bubble, music studio and escape from reality. Check her out, scatting and looping, in the Shed below...
Plumm's debut EP captures a sense of divine femininity, weaving effortlessly between jazz and clean-cut blues with a powerful ease. Co-produced and mixed by Bienvenue, it was fully recorded, art-worked and released from the Shed's four walls; an ethos very in line with her artistic intentions. This powerful live rendition of 'Bitter' will leave you yearning and wonder whether Plumm has been speaking to the spirit of Janis Joplin herself.
Plumm plays tabla, gamelan, drums and piano - though her voice has long been her instrument of choice. One of the techniques she has picked up and explored extensively as a vocalist is the 'scat.' A jazz vocal technique derived from solo vocal improvisation that harnesses a complete presence and awareness of the musical moment. This ability to feel its potential and then respond instantaneously to it is no mean feat and comes from a desire to freely experiment with her vocal capabilities from a young age.
Plumm's early experiences studying ethnomusicology at the BRIT school aided her massively in her musical quest and helped established a diverse and layered musical foundation. Time at SOAS university would take this further, where she spent 3 years exploring the expressive power of musical styles across the world. Now a graduate specialising in North Indian music, she recalls her time there as stimulating - the vibrancy inspiring her to transcend an increasingly restrictive western bubble of styles and help her appreciate that ‘all music is world music.’
Check out Plumm's latest single "Pour in the Blue" below (click to watch)...
The single 'Who Knows' was released in late 2019, a slice of neo-soul and electronica full of Plumm's distinctive and hypnotic jazzy vocals. Shortly after the release of this single Plumm was invited to play a live set at BBC Maida Vale Studios with Moses Boyd for BBC 1Xtra, along with playing with Taylor Mcferrin at Oslo in Hackney. These performances have created a buzz across the ever growing London jazz scene, which is no surprise. 'Who Knows' was Co-written and produced by the talented Bienvenue and with pianist queen Madeleine Jones supporting on keys.
Speaking on the difference between recorded and live performance, Plumm prefers usually to keep them ‘quite separate, like they are two different species of music.’ The ability to make each moment of live performance a new opportunity for artistic creation, for pure improvisation, is a big part of this and means that you don’t want to miss seeing her live.
Check out 'Closed Delights,' captured live @ The Windmill / Brixton...
With a fascination of the great female jazz and blues artists of the past; the sporadic but measured phrasing and tone of Nina Simone and husky, gritty timbre of Janis Joplin, Plumm’s inspiration from these heroes is reflected through a married theme of eclecticism in production and musical styles, creating eccentric and rich sounds. Her deep rooted appreciation for the cultural and spiritual legacy of music captures an essence both reminiscent and at once clairvoyant. A desire for pure expression only takes this further.
The last year has seen the rise of Levitation Orchestra, a mystical 13 piece jazz ensemble. Formed by Cykada trumpeter Axel Kaner-Lidstrom, the group features an array of musicians both well-established and coming up through the London jazz scene. Their album Inexpressible Infinity was released only a few months ago, a hybrid extravaganza of spiritual and meditative grooves that harness jazz, folk and fusion influences.
Telling stories with sound on vocals is Plumm, who describes the experience as: "very expressive, a completely new ball game with how far we as a collective can take an idea and run with it. The band are just the most insane group of musicians - I’m honoured to be a part of it."
A collaboration with fellow Levitation member and harpist extraordinaire Maria Osuchowska is also coming our way soon. So are vocals on a new album from talented duo Zardeep. This is all alongside a delicious Levitation Orchestra album that is simmering on the burner. With new solo sounds soon to come and her headline debut at Camden’s jazz cafe just around the lockdown corner - Plumm is ready to pick up right where she left off. Keep your ears to the ground, you do not want to miss her...Check two other collaborations from 2018 with Ra and AKIN KØLE below...
Check out the her collection of music on her Bandcamp
& be sure to follow her and listen on Spotify.
- PSYCHIC GARDEN