Q&A: Natti Shiner of Fickle Friends on the Recent EP, Fashion Influences, the Band’s Ambitious New Sound

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Words & Interview by Stephanie Smith

British pop outfit Fickle Friends are in the middle of a massive tour across the U.K. and Ireland, with sophomore EP Glue under their belt and their first full-length in the works. Frontwoman Natti Shiner shared inspirations behind recent material, who she’s obsessed with on Instagram, and the shoes she has faith Fickle Friends can fill.

You guys are playing a bunch of festivals/events leading up to a headlining tour–have you had a favorite event so far? What do you look forward to most about touring?

This summer has been pretty amazing! [The] highlights were definitely boardmasters Festival and Reading/Leeds. The crowds were huge and so exciting. Hoping to see some of those new faces on our tour.

[Your] EP Glue, from sound to song titles, seems to capture a sweet, gushy vibe in the best way–what inspired this kind of feel, and how will those themes translate to the tour’s atmosphere?

The Glue EP is mostly about little dalliances or summer flings. “Vanilla” feels pretty nostalgic. The whole EP captures a few moments in my late teens. I think our audience can relate to that.

It’s clear from your Instagram that you express yourself through your wardrobe; do you have any style icons? Does your personal expression look different when you’re ‘on’ as an artist? Do you even compartmentalize your personal expression from your artistry?

I think my style is pretty consistent whether I’m on or off the stage. I don’t really ‘dress up’ as such [laughs]. I’ve always felt super uncomfortable being dressed for videos and shoots in stuff that I would just never wear if I was walking to get my morning coffee. I love Kate Moss. I’m obsessed with girls on my Instagrams…Tove Lo, Charli XCX, Pheobe Lettice, Anne Marie. I get so much inspiration from stuff they wear. I mostly just get a huge kick from rummaging through vintage stores and charity shops and finding an absolute gem.

What’s it been like recording the debut album in Los Angeles? How has the city influenced the process?

We’ve only done part of the album in L.A, we did a bunch of writing there, too. It was so chill and I think you can hear that in the music. We’d never been to a place where everyone expects you to be someone of note, ya know? It was very weird. I wrote a lot of lyrics about what I expected L.A. to be and what it was in reality.

How will the first full-length introduce Fickle Friends?

It will be a mix of our older songs with new life, and some newer stuff which sees us transition into more of a pop world, which is where we ideally want to end up. I hope it excites people to be honest. We’ve been writing some pretty ambitious pop songs, so hoping people feel like we can carry them off [laughs]. It’s very daunting!

Find tickets to all upcoming shows here.
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