Forget the sticky floors and the irritating bar queues in your local club – there’s nothing quite like that blissful moment where a song finds itself commanding a dancefloor without really trying. Millie Turner’s ‘The Shadow’ is that song. It’s a deviously crafted pop song that uses house’s big beats to build into one of the most exciting songs you’ll hear all year.
What makes it more impressive, is the fact that Turner has only just turned 18, and appears to posses the skills to hold an audience in the palm of her hand already. But there’s more to her than that. ‘Underwater’, her first release, kicked off a chain of consistently uplifting pop belters that puts your wasted teenage years to shame.
Now, it culminates in her new song ‘She Was A Dancer’ and its hypnotising video, which you can watch below.
What was the inspiration for your new video?
The song’s all about being empowered and being able to express yourself and the celebration of that. So I guess in the video I really wanted to advertise the importance of dance and self-expression but make it really raw and real so just have it very simple with no narrative just more visuals which relates to the song.
Do you spend a lot of time going out to clubs?
Yeah I actually just turned eighteen so this whole month has been exploring the club life. Yeah 100% I think clubs are the best thing. And it was surprising – I think with The Shadow, we didn’t know where that song was gonna go to but, it is quite a club track so I’m really proud that it’s such a great thing for people to dance to. It’s really awesome.
How long have you been writing songs? Your entire life or was it just in the last few years?
Oh no definitely not. This is all so new and very ‘whoa I’ve never done this before,’ which makes it even more exciting. I started I think a year and a half, two years ago with my producer – we just started making music. And I thought it was guitar lessons but we ended up just jamming and making ‘Underwater’ which was the first release and it kind of just escalated from there – we just kept doing it and I love it. But I don’t really have any musical background apart from piano, of course. Everything is so new which definitely makes it quite exciting and I don’t really know what to expect. It’s even more of a surprise when something happens and it’s like ‘wow that’s just incredible – I never thought that would ever happen in a million years.’
The last few years, in a political sense, have had a huge impact on the creative community and you’ve only been writing songs in that era, really. Is it the world at large something you think about when you’re writing songs or is it just something that seeps in quite naturally to what you’re doing?
I think sometimes, we write songs and it comes from a conversation about things at large. I mean ‘Underwate’r – I wrote it just after Trump’s election and we were like ‘we need to write something very positive because it all a bit negative right now. I think in music everything kinda interlinks in some way because it’s so personal and comes from what you’re thinking about at that time and it’s really hard not to relate it to bigger issues in a weird way. They’re all very different meanings and very different styles.
How has it been writing and recording and performing while you’re at school?
Slightly insane! It’s been a very interesting two years because it’s like having two lives. Like a mundane life that’s very normal and then something completely different and it’s like trying to balance the two in a way that isn’t too insane. But yeah I’m glad that I did do school though because it’s very tempting just to give up and go into music and do it 100% because it’s gone so well. But I’m really glad I managed to finish my A-levels. Let’s just hope I get the grades.
What were your classmates’ reactions?
They absolutely love it, honestly! Everyone is so happy for me and they always come to my gigs and sing along and there’s always that group that know all the lyrics. They’re really, really supportive. But they don’t build up my ego too much they always bring me back to Earth just to make sure I don’t go crazy. But yeah they’ve been so supportive and I think it’s great because they’ve known me since forever which means that they know me before the music and it’s quite nice to have that grounding.
Millie Turner begins a residency at Paper Dress Vintage, London starting on October 10th and shows on November 14, December 5.