Sixteen-year-old British singer-songwriter Birdy (Jasmine Van den Bogaerde) has been on musical roll ever since releasing her cover of Bon Iver's "Skinny Love" last year. The pop song exploded on both the radio and YouTube, and earlier this year she released her self-titled debut album on Warner Bros. Records. Birdy was able to answer some questions about the new album ahead of her Sunday afternoon performance (her first at such a festival) at this year's Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival in San Francisco.
Your self-titled debut album was released last year in the U.K., and was released earlier this year in the United States. Has being a recording artist finally sunk in yet or has it just been a whirlwind since unleashing your rendition of Bon Iver's "Skinny Love" in early 2011?
It's still definitely very surreal, especially being at school and balancing the two. I've started to get used to traveling a lot and performing, but still everything has grown so quickly and is very exciting!
You've said that choosing songs for the album was "fun, but also hard work." What do you look for or hear for when choosing songs?
Sometimes with the songs I could imagine my own version straight away in my head. Others I would focus on a section that stood out to me and try to make it my own, then build the rest of the song around it. When I listened to the songs there would be something about them that moved me, which is one of the reasons I chose them.
What did you ultimately want out of this album, either in sound or style? Or in other words, what did you want to show people with this album?
I wanted the album to be quite natural and soulful sounding, but also the songs with more instruments to have an edge to them. I wanted to give people a taste of my own music through the sound and style of my covers.