Roxanne de Bastion
By her own admission, Roxanne de Bastion was a “weird kid”. Smiling at the memory today, she recalls, “Being really frustrated with myself around the age of seven or eight and saying to my musician dad… ‘But when am I going to write a song?’ And he would just say, ‘You’ll write a song when you've got something to say.’ Take your time, it's fine.” These words of reassurance are set to be proven prophetic with the release of Roxanne’s second album, You And Me, We Are The Same, a record that sees the now London-based singer-songwriter finding her authentic voice, while channeling the pain of her father’s death last year.
For Roxanne, it’s been an arduous journey to this point, and one that’s required her to keep courage in her convictions in order to succeed. Brought up between Berlin and the West Midlands, she grew up obsessed with The Beatles and Alanis Morissette, and was soon determined to become a musician like her father. To those ends, she left Berlin for London straight from high school and - with no financial support and no contacts in the city - got by balancing hospitality and admin work with the 90-odd solo gigs she played per year across the U.K and Europe. To date, Roxanne has played over 600 gigs, including two USA tours in 2017 and 2018.
Having built a loyal fanbase, her crowd-funded debut, Heirlooms & Hearsay, arrived in 2017, leading to support slots with Lambchop and the Wainwright Sisters and triumphant shows at Glastonbury and the Cambridge Folk Festival. Meanwhile, Roxanne’s remarkably self-sufficient approach was recognised by the FAC (Featured Artists Coalition) who invited her to join its Board Of Directors, advising alongside Imogen Heap, Radiohead’s Ed O’Brien, Fran Healy of Travis and Blur’s Dave Rowntree. Running conferences and workshops –Roxanne started her own artist-led music conference, From Me To You (another nod to The Beatles) in 2015, which has been growing ever since and has included speakers such as Imogen Heap, Stewart Braithwaite, Anne Catherine Davies, Jeremy Pritchard (Everything Everything) and folk artist Sam Lee - to this day, Roxanne continues to take a suitably hands-on approach in the role, as she explains.
“I think it's important, because there's still this misconception of artists being these distraught, difficult people who sit in a room and write songs, and that can't formulate a sentence otherwise. And that's just not what it's like. Plus, there's so much smoke and mirrors [in this industry], it's nice to dispel that a little bit and to really help each other out as artists.”