Artwork by @mystupidsketchbook
WHO is she?
“Rookes is my moniker, Jenny Bulcraig is my name. I started singing and learning instruments from a young age, but didn’t take it seriously until I joined a live house and while at university. We played most genres so it was a good crash course in playing live. Over four years I started with doing backing vocals and some minimal instrumentation to leading a band and playing up to five different instruments on the regular. Then I formed a three-woman folk band for a couple years, then finally I landed here as a solo act.”
Rookes’ debut single The Heel Of My Hand is out now via Seahorse Music.
WHAT is the inspiration behind her songs?
“I sing about the usual stuff that inspires pop songs – i.e. Relationships worth other people – but I try to sing about it as inventively as I can. So that informs the way I construct my music and lyrics when I’m recording and arranging. This single and the coming EP are based around one experience of discovering my love for somebody and then losing them in a pretty disastrous fashion.”
WHERE did she grow up?
“I grew up in south Birmingham and lived there until about four years ago. Birmingham has a pretty tight music scene where most people know each other. The indie and folk scene is pretty prominent, so that has influenced me a lot. London’s a different ball game though – it’s a melting pot. There’s every kind of music here. I never would have developed my sound the way I have if I hadn’t moved here.”
WHY the name Rookes?
“I’ve always loved birds that are dark in appearance – they appeared in my pieces a lot when I was working as a visual artist over the years. I also enjoy language a lot and like the idea of representing myself in the plural even though I’m a solo artist – it parallels the idea of “one woman band”. Throwing an ‘e’ in makes it feel more like a name rather than just an animal.”
WHEN can I see her live?
“I’ll be playing a big, brilliant showcase with my Seahorse label-mates on 18th October – at Karamel in Wood Green, London. Early bird tickets are still just about available!”