From appearances on the soundtracks of blockbuster movies to working on albums with Sia, singer/songwriter Birdy has come a long way from the young girl singing a viral cover of “Skinny Love” six years ago. Now at 20-years-old, Birdy has released three studio albums, an EP and most recently, the title song for new movie The Edge of Seventeen starring Hailee Steinfeld called ‘Ghost in the Wind’.
The song is reminiscent of Birdy’s beginnings: it’s raw, emotional and draws on the teenage heartbreak theme that plays throughout the film. Below we talked to Birdy about her career, wanting to work with Bon Iver (um, can we make this happen?) and what’s next for her.
When you first released your cover of Bon Iver’s “Skinny Love” did you ever think it, and your career, would take off in the way that they did?
I had no idea; I was still at school at the time and had made the cover at my piano at home. Suddenly it was being played on Radio1 in the UK and the views were going up and up on YouTube, it was very surreal.
You’ve been credited with being very down to earth and that you haven’t let the fame and the craziness of the fame get to you. So what has allowed you to stay so grounded?
I think having my family supporting me from the very beginning; I’ve been so lucky to have that. A reminder of home and normality is so important when you’re away for months on the road.
You’ve performed on many television shows, award shows, and other ceremonies; what would you say is your favorite that you have performed on/in?
I was so lucky to get to perform at the Official opening ceremony of the Paralympic Games in London. It was the most incredible feeling being amongst beautiful dancers and thousands of people. I also loved playing at the Royal Albert Hall for the Remembrance Day Service in November. It was a very moving experience and it’s a venue that I always dreamed of playing.
Who is one artist that you hope to collaborate with one day?
I have never met Bon Iver but one day I’d love to work with him on something. I really love his writing and voice but he’s also a beautiful producer.
How has it been being asked to appear on so many soundtracks for various blockbuster movies? More recently the Edge of Seventeen.
Writing for film is something I really love, and I was so excited to be involved in all of the films I’ve written for. I wrote for the soundtrack of The Hunger Games, which was truly amazing as I was a huge fan of the books. I was also asked to sing for Mumford and sons song in the Disney Pixar film “Brave” which was a huge honor. I also was asked to write for The Fault in our Stars and The Edge of Seventeen. I’d like to do more and maybe one day be able to score for a whole film.
Have you seen the Edge of Seventeen yourself? What do you think?
I have, and I loved every second. It was funny and moving and it really takes you back to being at school and all the emotions and dramas that you are surrounded by.
What inspired you to write the song, “Ghost in the Wind” for the movie?
I was inspired by the scene where Nadine runs from the car crying and everything has gone wrong. The boy she thought liked her didn’t really and she’s lost her best friend to her brother. She’s completely alone and has pushed away all the people who love her.
I wrote the song also thinking about her father, the only person that she felt understood her.
The movie is about a young woman at the “Edge of Seventeen”, what advice would you give to your seventeen-year-old self or to some other seventeen year old out there?
I think it would be to not worry about what other people think and to always be yourself because that’s what makes you unique.
‘The Edge of Seventeen’ Will be available on iTunes soon. Download the soundtrack here.
Photo/Big Picture Media