“SNOW, RAIN, AND A HURRICANE” is a fun, fast-paced track with a great opening hook, a fantastic melody, and a delightful set of harmonies and vocals. The song is the first single from Orfila‘s new EP, “BUILT WITH A DREAMER’S HANDS” and it showcases a clever, lively style of music that quickly catches a listener’s ear. It’s a hand-clapping, toe-tapping, sing-along tune that US country music fans might expect to hear from artists such as Carrie Underwood, Maren Morris, or Miranda Lambert.
In our exclusive interview with Orfila, we talked to the country music trio about their single, their band, and the music industry they’ve now found themselves in.
ORFILA are a UK country trio consisting of siblings Abi, Louise and Matt Orfila from Folkestone in Kent.
They first performed together as a band in mid 2012 when they supported BBC Radio 2 playlist singer/songwriter Ben Montague. Originally intended to be a one off show, their set of originals and covers was warmly received and the band decided to continue playing shows together. Later in the year they supported UK rock band Dodgy, Canadian folk artist Andrew James O’Brien and Irish folk legend Sharon Shannon as well as performing at various charity events and showcases across Kent.
2013 saw the band support some major artists such as Beverley Craven and the legendary Albert Hammond. In April Seasick Steve’s tour manager saw the band support Albert Hammond and was so impressed that he invited the trio to record their debut album at his midlands based Studio, The Highbury Studios, which is famous for producing hit albums from artist such as Duran Duran, UB40, Fine Young Cannibals, Steven Tin Tin Duffy, Everything But The Girl and Kodaline to name but a few. The album was finished off in Kent in 2014 and features guest appearances by Liam Genockey from Steeleye Span, Colin Gibson who played with the Shirley Bassey band and Jamie Crompton former guitarist with Suzi Quatro and drummer for Wishbone Ash.
“WRITING ON THE WALL”
The band released their debut album “Writing on the Wall” in summer 2014 and the release resulted in the band opening the main stage at the Gibraltar Music Festival (one of Europe’s biggest music events) alongside The Script, Rita Ora, Roger Hodgson (Supertramp), Tony Hadley (Spandau Ballet), John Newman, James Arthur, Maxi Priest, Scouting For Girls, Reef, Ella Eyre and Newton Faulkner. The band also received airplay on over 100 European Radio Stations including BBC Radio Shropshire and BBC Radio Scotland, and earned positive reviews in leading UK magazines such as Maverick and Rock Society. They were also chosen as featured artists on BBC Radio Kent (on the James Whale show) and featured on UK Country Radio and Country Music Radio Nashville. Their single “Come Back ” also reached number 9 in the Irish Country Music Charts.
In 2015 the band continued to play gigs including the Bedford in London and featured on BBC Radio Kent numerous times for the Dave Cash Country Show. The band also began writing and laying down demos for their sophomore album which was recorded by Sean Genockey (an engineer who has recorded with Roger Daltrey) at Black Dog Studios in London. All tracks were written by the band and featured guest musicians Liam Genockey and Jessie Smart from Steeleye Span, Lee Pommeroy from Jeff Lynne’s ELO, pedal steel player BJ Cole, Melvin Duffy from Squeeze, Jamie Crompton from Suzi Quatro’s band and Wishbone Ash, John Hogg, Travis Toy and Tom Yankton both from Rascal Flatts’ touring and recording band and Liam Genockey himself who is a seasoned guitarist with Moke as well as being a session guitarist.
In early 2016 the band played at the first ever Yamaha Soho Hoedown at Yamaha Music London which was a competition for UK country artists to win a coveted slot at the Country 2 Country music festival at the O2 Arena in London alongside Carrie Underwood, Eric Church, Miranda Lambert and Little Big Town. The band were announced winners of the competition shortly after and played the sub-headline slot on the Big Entrance Stage at the O2 on the Sunday. The band received positive feedback, most notably from the organisers of C2C who described them as “brilliant.” The band are now also Yamaha supported artists.
“NEVER SLOWIN’ DOWN”
In August 2016 the band released their current album “Never Slowin’ Down” which garnered critical acclaim from Dave Cash from BBC Radio Kent, the world’s leading country music and line dancing magazine Up Country as well as many more websites and magazines. The album’s lead single “It Would Be You” rose to the top 10 of the iTunes UK Country Chart and received extensive radioplay.
The band were invited to open up the main stage of the Gibraltar Music Festival for a second time in September 2016 and opened up for The Stereophonics, Jess Glynne, Paul Young, Brian Ferry, Europe, KT Tunstall, The Fratellis and Heather Small among others.
In 2017 the band played Country 2 Country once again, this time performing on two stages. They have been featured in the UK’s leading independent country music magazine Maverick, have gained extensive radio play, have supported UK country music legend Hank Wangford, played at the Buckle and Boots festival and they were also nominated for three UK country music awards; Best UK Country Album of the Year, UK Country Group of the Year and UK Country Artist of the Year.
ORFILA’s music has developed since their inception in 2012 to an original, distinctive sound with superb three part harmonies firmly rooted in the country music genre.
You’re a sibling trio from Folkestone in Kent. Can you tell us a little bit about you and what led you to want to pursue a career in country music?
Lou: We have always loved music and have been singing and playing and writing since we were all very young. We lived in a very musical household growing up and have always loved to be creative. We are also blessed to have always been very close which helps as we love spending time together. A lot of our time together involved music in some way when we were growing up and still does now. For me personally, I’ve been around country music since I was little. Dad loves Dolly Parton and Shania Twain and I have memories of him playing their music in the car and at home. Then as I grew older I discovered artists like Carrie Underwood, Reba, Keith Urban etc and then my country music discoveries snowballed and I became obsessed very quickly! When we decided to become a band we started as pop/folk but over the years found our sound and as we are all country music fans, it has naturally become included in the music we write.
Your latest single “SNOW, RAIN, AND A HURRICANE” is an incredibly fun and catchy country song. Why was it so important for you to record the song and release it as the first single from “BUILT WITH A DREAMER’S HANDS?”
Abi: When Matt and I started writing “Snow, Rain, and a Hurricane” we didn’t see this being used seriously, as it was written so fearless and freely…more of a joke really. When planning the EP, we decided to properly get it recorded because we really loved it and agreed it is the most country, fun, and random song we’ve ever written to date; that’s why we chose it to be the single.
How would you describe yourselves as artists and what does success look like to you?
Matt: We have been playing together for 5 years now and I’d say that we are always working hard to be the best we can be. I think most artists will admit to being perfectionists and we’re certainly no different! We’re very passionate about our music and know what sound we want. For me, success is to have people supporting and enjoying your music. We had a single reach the top 10 of the iTunes UK country chart last year and that was such an amazing feeling. It showed that we have people behind us and that definitely makes it all worthwhile.
What is the most important thing you’ve learned about yourselves and your relationships when it comes to music and songwriting?
Lou: I have learnt that the best songs come from very personal experiences, either something that you’ve been through or something that someone close to you has been through/is going through. And I’ve also learnt that you can never rush writing. Sometimes it can take minutes to write a song and other times it might take weeks to get it just right. In terms of relationships, over the years we’ve all moved into a particular role in the band and have made it work with everything we do.
What is the biggest misconception you think people have about the music industry, and about country music in particular?
Matt: I think these days that people watch TV shows such as X-Factor and Britain’s Got Talent and assume that if you can sing and have “the look” you’ve got a chance to be successful. Of course there’s always a chance you can be but ultimately, as obvious as it sounds, I’ve found that the harder you work and the longer you work for, the more chance you have of being successful. I also think that a massive part of it is also who you know…I know it’s a massive cliché but it’s true. I think in terms of what people misconceive about country music is just how amazing it is as a genre. I believe the best songwriters and musicians in the world play and write country music and it’s what I regard as real music. In the UK most people have heard of country artists such as Dolly Parton and Johnny Cash but there’s such a wealth of amazing country artists, past and present, who are equally as good in my opinion.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Abi: Brush twice a day!
Work hard for what you want. It doesn’t come to you, you have to go out there and get it!
If you could tell your younger selves one thing about the music business, what would it be and why is it so important to learn?
Matt: As a kid I was into musical theatre and drama…once I came within an inch of getting a part in the musical Oliver in the West End. As I grew up, I became interested in other things and didn’t really perform again until my early 20s. I think the more experienced you are on stage the more confidence you have and the better show you deliver. After five years in the band, playing on stage is second nature to me now, but I would love to tell teenage Matt to continue performing. Also, I would tell my younger self to start learning guitar at a younger age (I started at age 14)…because you can never be too good at guitar!
What does music mean to you?
Lou: Music is very powerful and personal to everybody. It is a very special and unique way of expressing emotions. I love how music can be interpreted differently by different people. I love how music can bring people together and how it can take you into a completely different world.
When and how did you learn that music and lyrics had power?
Abi: I think it would have been when I started writing and when I’ve shown friends or family members a certain song I’ve written. I learnt that lyrics in particular can overwhelm people and that is what my intentions are with music. I want my music to speak out to people so they can relate to similar experiences or emotions.
When you aren’t recording or on tour, what do you like to do to relax?
Abi: I love just chilling and watching my favourite TV shows. I sometimes play the piano to relax, I like to keep being creative.
Lou: I love to bake and read and exercise! I love to chill and watch whichever TV series I’m watching at the time.
Matt: I’m a massive geek so I love watch my favourite TV shows (I can quote Friends better than anyone), going to comic-cons (I even met Mark Hamill at a Star Wars convention a few years ago), going to watch Arsenal play, going to gigs (I spend way too much on gig tickets!) and exercising. I like to keep as busy as I can, even when relaxing!
Do you think being siblings in a group makes it easier to deal with the pressures of a career in music or more difficult because it’s business and it’s family?
Matt: Before the band, it had been a while since I had performed in public and I’d never played in a band before, whereas Lou and Abi both have continually performed in one way or another. I honestly don’t think I would have done it if it wasn’t for them…I guess it’s because we were family and we have always been close. I think it makes dealing with the music industry easier as we find we can be open and supportive with each other. We definitely have a bond that I don’t think would be the same if we weren’t related, both on and off stage. It’s not all roses though! Of course we can occasionally have the odd dispute, but I think on the whole being siblings is definitely a plus when you’re in a band.
If you could play one venue anywhere in the world, where would it be and who would be on the marquee with you?
Lou: The Grand Ole Opry with Matt and Abi. 100%. We visited the venue when we were in Nashville and we were stood in the wings talking about what a dream it would be to play at one of the biggest and most prestigious country music venues. It would honestly mean the world to us to play there.
What’s coming up next for you? Any appearances or tour dates fans need to know about?
Abi: We are hoping to perform on more festivals next year and a tour may be the next step for us. We have spoken about going to Nashville again and there will be direct flights going from London next year. We would all love to go there again!
Length: 3:27 | Genre: Country
Released: December 8th 2017
Buy it on iTunes
Stream it on Spotify
Length: 11 minutes | Genre: Country
Released: December 8th 2017
Buy it on iTunes
Stream it on Spotify
It’s a Start
Snow, Rain, and a Hurricane
Reaching Out To You
Management: Sonnet Music