Modern Fairytales: Connie Constance

Mixing mystical musings with real life concerns, Connie Constance is embodying the spirit of ‘Miss Power’ in all its myriad ways.

“I like the idea we might all be descendants of elves and stuff,” Connie Constance smiles over an oat cappuccino. “You might have a bit of fairy blood in you, or elf blood, or you’ve got a bit of troll in you! I like the idea that, instead of them being different things, we actually were them at one point…”

This mystical theory is one that Connie has embraced throughout her life, from her mother giving her cakes to offer to fairies at the end of the garden when she was younger, to living her full elf fantasy in our DIY photo shoot earlier today. It’s also a theme that manifests itself within her music, especially on new album ‘Miss Power’.

On the record’s whimsical opening track ‘In The Beginning’, Connie introduces the listener to a 1000-year-old fairy waking up in the modern world. “If they were frozen in ice and they melted and they were in our world now, how would they feel about it?” she muses. “The world has completely changed. It’s not this beautiful, connected thing anymore; there’s a lot of drama and trauma going on. When I’m listening to the album, for me, I am definitely imagining that I am [the fairy], but this fairy is thousands and thousands of years old when the world was just trees. It could have melted right here in Shoreditch and been like, ‘What the fuck is going on?!’”

Heading to the New Forest while making the album, Connie recorded the sounds around her as she ran through the trees in order to fully immerse the listener in the world she wanted to create. But ‘Miss Power’ is not all about delicate, fairy-leaning mysticism. Beginning work on the release back in 2020, the follow-up to her 2019 debut LP ‘English Rose’ also finds Connie fully embracing the indie sound that she’s always wanted to explore. It’s the genre that she’s always gravitated to, growing up loving bands like Arctic Monkeys and Blur, but when she first started out in music, outside forces began pushing her towards creating R&B.

“It was just confusing,” she recalls. “I would explain my influences but I’d be working with someone that makes completely opposite music because that’s what [the label] had set up. I was like, ‘I need to find my people and I need to find my sound’. I took the power and was like, ‘I need to sort this out’. I couldn’t be relying on people to put me in sessions because they were always going towards the R&B, pop way.”

Eventually blocking her A&R and leaving her label, Connie found herself in a state of limbo, questioning whether she should continue making music at all. “When I first started making music, I was like, I could do this broke, happy, sad, and everything just flowed. But then when I got signed, it all felt rigid,” she explains. “I didn’t believe in everything that I was doing so it all felt wrong, and when I left the label I was like, ‘This all doesn’t feel smooth’ and got into the state of [thinking] maybe I shouldn’t be doing this? Maybe I need to do something completely different. Which is fine - but what the fuck is that?”

Modern Fairytales: Connie Constance

“I’m surrounded by super strong, feisty women, and I needed to represent that in my music.”

Relocating to LA to work with like-minded musicians before the pandemic, Connie returned with a newly-refreshed energy and her mojo fully restored. Embracing her newfound sense of creative freedom, it all clicked when she made 2020’s sizzling single ‘Monty Python’. “It was the first track I released independently and I was like, ‘This is it!’” she laughs. “That was the start of my development in sound.” Continuing to experiment, by the time she penned last year’s ‘Prim & Propa’ EP, she knew she was ready to make an album.

Citing Florence + The Machine, Daughter and Fiona Apple as her main influences during the creation of ‘Miss Power’, Connie aimed to tap into their energies, also noting how she’d watch videos of Gwen Stefani performing with No Doubt to hype her up. Meanwhile, another inspiration came in the form of everyone’s favourite teen drama. “It’s always got to have a bit of Skins!” she smiles. “I don’t know when this phase is going to end, maybe the next album, but I’m just very Skins world. That should be the genre!”

That confident, no fucks given attitude is most notable on thunderous album track ‘Kamikaze’, with its screaming intro reminiscent of The 1975’s ‘People’. On it, Connie tells the listener: “I’m not your perfect little princess, I have my own unique vagina”. “Sometimes, something will come into my head and I’m like, that’s really funny but should I put it in a song or just enjoy it in my own head?” she giggles. “I was actually making the song with two of my boys and they were like ‘What, Connie?! Are you really gonna say that?’ And I was like, ‘Yes, we’re gonna say that!’

“I knew that I wanted a feminist anthem, that was essential,” she continues. “I’m surrounded by super strong, feisty women, and I needed that energy to be out there and I needed to represent that in my music. That was a strong thing throughout the album - if someone is getting ready in the morning and they put on that tune and they’re like, ‘Yes, I am a bad bitch!’. That was really important.”

Elsewhere, Connie gets more personal, pinpointing ‘Heavyweight Champion’ with its bridge of “I don’t know why I wait for something new/ When I will change but you’ll always be you” as a prime example of her letting the listener in. “I’ve been wanting to write a song about my dad for ages,” she notes. “I wanted to write this song about how we’ll never actually be able to forgive because of mental health. What he’s going through, we’ll never be able to be great, which is sad. But we can be in this other state, and that’s kind of good.”

Including her favourite lyric - “Mental illness in a feather boa” - she continues: “There’s so much talk about how everyone wants to love themselves and self-love is so important, and it’s good, it’s healthy, but when you’re in that bad place it’s not that glamorous and a self-help book really isn’t going to solve the issue. The feather boa is like, ‘Yeah, self-love!’, but actually, mental illness fucking sucks.”

Taking the listener on a magical journey from start to finish, ‘Miss Power’ finds Connie embracing her freedom and creating a raw body of work that’s not afraid to get deep whilst making you dance. “With my music I want people to listen to it when they’re going through something and not feel the pressure to feel better if they’re not ready,” she explains. “That’s why I write songs, because sometimes I just need something to soundtrack this space and not shift me out of it.

“[The album] has quite a scope of energy,” she adds. “I do want [the listener] to go through this journey, but I feel like it’s more about feeling. I want the naughtiness, and also this euphoric sense of freedom.”

‘Miss Power’ is out now via PIAS.

Styling: Caprice Brown
Makeup: Kareem Jarché
Hair: Jaz Hope Lanyero

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