Wrap Up And Watch Out: Etta Bond
She's on everyone's lips and she's not even shown us her true bond to music yet. Etta Bond is the first artist to be signed to Labrinth's record label, Odd Child, and she's ready to show the world just how much of a powerhouse she really is. Don't be fooled by her gothic-chic dress sense, because this young lady's voice could give any soul or gospel singer a run for their money. Before Etta Bond blows up – which we’re sure she will after featuring on Wretch 32’s new single, 'Forgiveness' – The Wrap Up's Laura 'Hyperfrank' Brosnan caught up with the rising star for a much-needed chat.
The Wrap Up: Etta! How are you? Right, so you've just signed to Labrinth’s new record label, Odd Child. How did that all come about?
Etta Bond: I met Labrinth through MySpace when I was 16, he was 17. I heard a song called ‘Make My Move’ by Mark Asari and I loved it. I saw him in Mark’s top friends, messaged him, set up a meet and greet and we just ended up making a song that day. We've been working together ever since.
TWU: With your song ‘Ask Me To Stay’, you’ve been compared to Katy B with an Amy Winehouse twist, simply because you’ve done a track with a little dubstep element to it. How does that make you feel that one track can pigeonhole you already?
Etta Bond: You can’t blame people for judging what they hear, they will do that. Something comes out and they’re just going to say what they hear. It doesn’t bother me, to be honest, because I'm still yet to show people what I'm doing. Just because I've done a track like that, doesn’t mean that’s what I’m going to do next. That was just us in the studio, having fun and trying things out. There’s still a lot more to come, it’s just the fact that I've only really shown people that side.
TWU: So, how would you describe your sound at the moment?
Etta Bond: To be honest, we’re still experimenting with sounds. I love good music, in general. Good, honest music. I must say that about fifty times a day, but that’s probably because that’s what I feel so strongly about. I don’t really know where it’s going to take me, we’ll figure that out, but for now, I can’t really be labelled as such. I just want people to enjoy my music when they hear it and feel what I'm saying.
TWU: How would you compare the music that you listened to growing up to the music you listen to now?
Etta Bond: I listen to so much different music. I grew up listening to Destiny’s Child’s ‘The Writing’s On The Wall’ – that was a big album for me. I always listen to D’Angelo, Jill Scott and I listen to quite a lot of rap music. I won't say no to some Tyler, the Creator (laughs). So, to be honest, it still hasn’t changed, I'm still drowning in those old D’Angelo and Jill Scott albums, and I still love rap music. I have to say, though, I do love acoustic music but, like I said, as long as it’s just good music, I’ll take an interest. It’s still all the same but it has just grown with the times.
TWU: How do you feel it’s all contributed to your individual style as an artist?
Etta Bond: I think that I've grown to become more open-minded as to what I do. I used to be like, ‘I'm only going to do soul music’ or whatever, but now I think I'm more willing to explore because one minute I can be crazy, jumping around a room in a party, then the next minute I’ll hardly say a word and just be chilling. The different sides come out of me so much more, I'm more versatile with what I do and that definitely translates into my personal taste, style and music that I’ve been making.
TWU: What is it like working with Labrinth and what has he taught you through working with him?
Etta Bond: I've always sung, of course, but I’ve definitely learnt how to use my voice in different ways, just from being around him. It’s not like we’ve sat down and he’s given me a strict lesson or whatever, but I’ve learnt diverse qualities from him. Aside from everything, he inspired me to take up learning the guitar, because Lab taught himself how to play it and he’s seriously sick. I'm not that great myself, but I can play a couple of chords. He’s truly taught me a lot.
TWU: You’re about to release ‘Forgiveness’ with Wretch 32. How did that collaboration come about?
Etta Bond: At the beginning, Labrinth could have done that so easily himself – because he produced it. Obviously, he did his thing first and then showed me how he wanted me on the track. In my head, I was like, ‘Ahhh, Lab sounds really great singing that.’ Coming back to the whole family thing, he could have done that himself, but he wanted to give me an opportunity. It’s also weird that Wretch and I used to talk back in MySpace days as well, so it’s funny how everything has come together.
TWU: How do you feel about the success of Wretch, Tinie, Example, Ed Sheeran, etc., who have taken over the charts?
Etta Bond: I think it’s seriously great. It’s actually brilliant! What I like as well is the fact that everyone remembers that we have to do this as a family. So it’s not just me, Labrinth, Mark, Louize, Ayishat, my sister, Kate, and all of these amazing people who are involved in our group – it branches out a lot more than that. At the end of the day, we all want the best for each other, so it’s nice for Wretch to put me on his album. I think it's all wicked and it’s very important, not only that we continue to succeed but also that everyone helps each other.
TWU: We’ve got some great tasters out there from you, but what’s the next exciting step?
Etta Bond: What excites me is that I don’t really know myself yet, I’m still experimenting and searching. That’s how great music is made, when you don’t plan it or force it – it just happens, that’s when it’s truly organic. I’m looking forward to when Labrinth finishes up his album and we can hit the studio. I’ve got some exciting things in the works, but you have to keep tuned in so that I can let you hear Etta on the next level.
Stay up to date with Etta Bond on Twitter – www.twitter.com/EttaBond
Words: Laura 'Hyperfrank' Brosnan (@Hyperfrank)
Photography: Liam Ricketts
Online editing: Joseph 'JP' Patterson (@Jpizzledizzle)