Here’s Looking at You, Loop: Meeting London’s CALL ME LOOP
It’s been two years, but Londoner Call Me Loop is still consistently bringing bops and we’re still consistently stanning.
Championed by tmrw magazine as “the superstar you’ve been missing all along”, the artist formerly known as Loop debuted with ‘Looking at You’ back in 2016 and has grown in popularity with each slice of delicious synth-pop she’s served since; quite frankly, you have to call her Loop because you’ll be playing all of her bops on loop.
We learnt more about the lady behind some of the best pop gems coming out of the UK at the moment by chatting fighting back against sexism, changing perceptions of artist imagery and becoming a LOOΠΔ stan!
SheBOPS: What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?
Call Me Loop: I fell off a treadmill the other week and flew into the guy behind me on a cross-trainer. Is that funny? That’s probably more embarrassing rather than the funny, but I can laugh at it now… kinda. Just never going to the gym ever again.
How would you say your music has developed since releasing ‘Looking at You’ in 2016?
It’s developed a lot – I’ve been kinda learning where my niche sits over the last couple of years and I’m super happy to feel I’ve fully found my sound now. I loved ‘Looking at You’; it was a huge moment for me, getting my first New Music Friday Global add and getting my name on the map, but since then I’ve written so much more and honed in on a sound that’s more true to me. Writing ‘Give ‘n’ Take’ was probably the moment I felt like “yes, this is me, fully”; really conversational, honest, fun pop music.
You have your headline show in London coming up on November 16th – how are you preparing for the show? What can audiences expect from your performance?
Yesss I’m so excited. I haven’t done a headline since January, which was the best night ever. I’m going to be performing my next single (out next month) live for the first time, along with the other tracks from my EP which’ll be out the start of next year, so I’m super excited to see the reaction to all of them! I haven’t done a set with this many new tunes for ages so it’ll be a lot of fun for me and my band and hopefully for my amazing fans who come to every show as well. Prep usually just consists of rehearsals, physio (including acupuncture, bleurgh), a lot of prancing around in my bedroom to my set list, and not drinking for a week before (sensible, me)!
You told Noctis that your dream movie role is Lara Croft – wig! What is it about Ms. Croft that resonates with you? How about a Lara themed single or music video?
Oh my god yes. I love her. I just really wanted to be a spy when I was younger. My favourite show was Kim Possible when I was little. And yeah I watched Tomb Raider over and over, just had the biggest crush on Angelina Jolie. Maybe cos it was the first time I saw a woman in a strong dominant role, or maybe cos she was so far from me in reality (I am the biggest wuss – I’m scared of everything: heights, spiders, small spaces, the dark, scary movies, roller coasters…) that I just loved the idea of being that badass. A Lara themed music video is 100% happening; just need to write a song that would make sense with it first!
I remember listening to ‘As If’ when it came out back in March 2017 and it literally felt like breathing in fresh air. How important do you think it is for new emerging artists to have their own distinctive sound?
Aw thank you! That’s such a great compliment! I think it’s really important, of course, cos how else are people going to distinguish you from everyone else out there? It’s hard cos there’re so many women in pop at the moment, and there can be a bit of crossover in sounds, but I think if you’re writing authentically to you and if you’re performing it in a style that’s your own, rather than copying what’s already out there, then you should be able to smash it.
You have said that “radio is not the focus at the moment. Streaming comes first” – why is that? What benefits do you feel streaming has over radio?
Well, to be honest, it’s mostly just because that’s the only option! Unless you’re a bit of an anomaly, you’re not gonna be landing consistent radio plays until you’ve created a name for yourself on streaming platforms first. Spotify and Apple Music etc. – they’re almost like sounding boards for radio. The industry has changed so much over the last few years and streaming platforms are now pretty much the most important aspect to crack as a new artist, so I’m really grateful for the support I’ve had so far for my releases. And hopefully, that’ll translate into radio support in the not-too-distant future!
‘Give ‘n’ Take’ and ‘Love the Lie’ have been received particularly well on Spotify – why do you think that is?
They have! I dunno really, sometimes songs just connect you know? And I did have a really great feeling about both those tunes before we released them. I think ‘Give ‘n’ Take’ connected so well because the lyrics were so honest and so relatable. And ‘Love the Lie’ had really strong international appeal and I think just came out at exactly the right time in terms of the style of pop that was trending at the time – and it was a big summer bop! You can never know before you release how something’s gonna go down though you know? So it’s always pretty terrifying! I’m just so grateful that they’ve received the level of support that they have.
Have you ever felt pressured to fit a certain ‘mold’ as an artist?
No, not at all to be honest. I can genuinely say I’ve been fully myself throughout everything so far and I’ve never been told to have a certain ‘look’, or act in a certain way, or change my tone of voice on social media or anything like that. Everything you see is very much me! Sometimes too much probably ha, I’m a serious oversharer. But actually it has taken a few years to really figure out who I am musically, and I can imagine if I’d have started this career out when I was younger, I may well have looked to others to help me figure that out and therefore maybe ended up going down a route that wasn’t right for me.
I love this quote of yours for GQ: “When it comes to women in the pop world, people are always saying, ‘Oh, they’re manufactured. They’re sexualised. They’re puppets,’ and I’m fighting back against that.” Why do you think female pop stars are dismissed in this way? What is it that you’re doing to fight back against that?
I mean, it’s just classic sexism, isn’t it: male artists aren’t scrutinised in the same way that females are; forever women have had to defend the way they dress, act and are portrayed, cos they’re always either too sexual, or if they choose to ‘cover up’ or ‘dress like a tomboy’ then they’re not sexual enough. We’re on the path to equality but elements of the old ‘traditional’ world are still here, and that’s one of them. I do think that right now though women are feeling much more in control of their own bodies and young artists have got way more of a ‘fuck you’ mentality when it comes to appearance etc. Women like Charli XCX and Halsey: one day they’ll perform in some amazing badass ‘revealing’ outfit that they’ve designed or chosen to wear cos it empowers them on stage, and then the next day they’ll shoot a video or post a pic on social media where they’re dressed casual AF with not a bit of skin on show and no makeup on. It’s all about balance ya know, and just doing whatever YOU want to do. People say ‘sex sells’ and yeah okay it does a lot of the time, and sometimes I’ll post a ‘sexy’ pic on my Instagram, but only cos I’m feeling myself in it and I’m in the mood to post it, not cos someone’s said ‘okay you haven’t posted anything hot in a while, better get something up today to hit that quota’. I’ll never wear anything I don’t want to wear, I’ll never write or record anything I don’t want to write or record, and I’ll never do anything that I’m not 100% comfortable with. I guess that’s my way of fighting back.
Which female musicians would you like to collaborate with?
Uh so many. Halsey would probably be my number one. Or Ariana Grande. Or Rihanna. Then I also love Charli XCX, Dua Lipa, Anne-Marie, Zara Larsson, Tove Lo, Raye… the list goes on!
Which female artists have inspired you in your life?
Christina Aguilera. She was my number one. Her album Stripped was the soundtrack to my youth!! Amy Winehouse. Rihanna.
Are there any female artists you’re particularly into at the moment?
AU/RA’s sick. Maisie Peters’ songs make me want to sob, but like in the best way possible. They hit me right in the feels.
From a female perspective, is there anything about the music industry that frustrates you?
As much as I love the producers that I work with, I do find it a real shame (and frustrating yeah) that there are sooo few female producers. The other day I was in a session which was myself, two other girls and one boy (who was the producer, of course!) and we just took a minute and were like “Shit! The females are in the majority today!!!” That never happens and I’d really love to see more women in studio sessions. I also find it frustrating that female artists are often assumed to hate each other or be competing with each other, when usually in reality, we’re all just excited to be seeing women succeed.
How do you feel about the representation of female musicians? Is there anything that you’d like to change?
We’re just hugely under-represented. Not in the front line, cos there’s a huge amount of female artists out there doing their thing, but there’s still a huge discrepancy between the number of female producers, writers, directors, creatives, A&Rs etc and the number of males.
Do you think the music industry places a high value on physical appearance? If so, why do you think that is?
Yeah, of course. It always has and I’m pretty sure it always will, especially on females, as we’ve talked about already. But fortunately in recent years, there’s been a bit of a change in what the industry views as an ‘acceptable’ appearance for an artist; because the public, magazines, social media etc. are all now starting to celebrate people for their differences, instead of marginalising them for them, the industry is following suit. Uniqueness is now more likely to be admired and magnified rather than being squashed and hidden. Having said that, I know there are still huge pressures on lots of artists to look, dress or act a certain way. The ‘aesthetic’ of an artist and their ‘brand’ is pretty paramount, especially in our Instagram-obsessed world. I definitely feel the pressure, even though it’s not coming directly from anyone in my team or my personal life; it’s just a fairly unavoidable side-effect of putting yourself out there as an artist, to be judged by others for the way you sound and look! With so much of the music industry being based around visuals and aesthetic (music videos, photo shoots, social media content, campaigns, events) it’s just part and parcel of it as a career really, but as long as you’ve got a supportive team around you and you don’t take that side of it too seriously, it’s not too bad!
Have you got any top tips or words of wisdom for other female musicians?
Take the time to figure out who you are as an artist, cos if you’re not 100% sure then you can’t be fully authentic and you will get pushed and pulled this way and that by other people until you’re totally confused! Try not to get too obsessed with Instagram and your social media presence; it’s important to build an online fanbase and to express yourself on those platforms, but the music should always come first. And don’t go out on a mad one before a gig, you’ll regret it…
What is something about yourself that you’ve never shared before?
I have a slight bit of OCD with really random things, so for example, I always have to feel ‘even’ on both sides of my body, so say if I touched a cold surface with my left hand, I’d then have to touch it with my right hand too so that both my palms felt cool… YEP weird I know.
Do you stan LOONA?
Not gonna lie, I’d never heard of them before, but I’m very pleased you’ve sent me in their direction! 5 mins in and I’m already fangirling.