We caught up with Horse at LFestive in Birmingham on December 1st, who performed some classic tracks and also alongside the L Project performance of charity single “It Get’s Better”.
Horse credits her longstanding music career, which spans some 30 years, to determination, self belief and the power of her songs. It hasn’t been the straightforward career-in-a-box many young hopefuls pitch for on the reality TV circuit, turbulent in terms of opportunities coming and going, and personal challenges too.
However, the songs speak for themselves, and quality and integrity of songwriting is something Horse prides herself on.
Originality, too, and being unafraid to stay true to her music rather than become part of the pop music marketing machine.
For Horse, the song always comes first. But, as her career has developed, so has the writing. She writes songs knowing she will perform them, they are geared towards her performances, she says the performance is “bound up in the song”. We have to say this is true of the performance we saw yesterday, which included new song ‘Soldier’ (available on itunes) and classic ‘Speed beat my heart’.
In particular, ‘Coming up for Air’ (2009) explores the experience and the grief of loss, which she finds resonates with many of her audience. Moving people with music is her measure of success, that and fans who have stuck with her throughout the span of her career, fans who share their enthusiasm with the next generations.
Horse’s involvement with the 2012 L Project song ‘It Get’s Better’ follows the same rationale. Growing up gay, there were no role models or lesbian visibility for Horse, and it was a difficult time coming out. It still is for many young people today, but artists from the L Project showed that we have the opportunity to get the message across to young LGBT people that it will be worth the struggle in the end.
We discussed inspiration. Horse’s music has always emoted raw, deep honesty and Horse talks openly about the desperation to escape a small town mentality that formed the original inspiration and motivation to write, “writing saved my life” she says, simply.
Back to the present day, Horse has just finished her latest UK tour, in preparation for her upcoming album (shortly to be released). 2013 offers personal celebrations in the form of marriage and a huge gig in Glasgow with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of her second album ‘God’s Home Move’ and new album ‘Home’.
It might seem like life and career highlights will all be taking place next year, but there have been a number of high points along the journey for Horse, she remarks it’s hard to choose just one, and with a career that includes concerts with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, touring with BB King and Tina Turner and 6 albums it’s not hard to see why.