Get to know... Vanessa Gimenez

Credit: Reuben Bastienne

Vanessa Gimenez may have cut her teeth while fronting Bristol indie outfit Swimming Girls, but with the release of her cinematic debut EP 'Make It Rain' approaching on August 12th, there's never been a better time for her to step into the spotlight.

Starting from scratch with a new found sense of excitement and creative freedom, Vanessa's debut solo releases have seen her praised for her storytelling and ability to create vivid imagery through sound; solidifying herself as a key one to watch in 2021.

Captivated by new single 'Doing Better', taken from the debut EP 'Make It Rain' - we caught up with Vanessa to chat about the transition from band to solo artist, her love of cinema and how she sees her solo work translating into a live setting.

How’s life as a solo artist treating you?

Pretty chill and creative.

You achieved some pretty big things during your time with Swimming Girls, have you found it difficult starting all over again with these new tracks? The transition was a lot easier than I thought it was going to be. I started the writing process during lockdown. This space and time made it easier for me in that it allowed me to rediscover the therapeutic elements of songwriting. I was so excited to write every single night, and very quickly I ended up creating a lot of music that I loved and connected with.

Has going it alone taught you anything about yourself as an artist?

It has reminded me of the reasons why I fell in love with music in the first place. It has always been something very therapeutic for me, I lost the healing element of it when I was working in a band.

“Doing Better’ is your second single, as with ‘Make It Rain’ there’s a very atmospheric, almost cinematic feel to it. Is that something you really aim for with your songwriting?

Absolutely. I work in a cinema and have always loved film, so it only made sense to bring my two loves together.

The two are taken from your debut EP which drops in August, would you say the rest of the EP is along the same melancholic lines?

I’d say so. It’s grounded and dreamlike at the same time.

Speaking of cinematic, what would the dream ‘Make It Rain’ visuals look like? Any particular filmmakers/artists you’d like to work with in the future?

With a bigger budget I would’ve loved to explore the themes of money in Make It Rain. Would’ve been cool to work with someone like Yoann Lemoine. I would also love to work with surreal artists like Mat Maitland, Simon Hjortek and Jack Davidson in the future.

How do you anticipate these solo tracks will translate in a live setting?

I think it would work really well. I want the live show to be as intimate and bare instrumentally as possible. I want all the intricacies to come from the vocal performance. I think it would be pretty special if I nail that balance.

Beyond the EP, any specific plans in the works?

As I said, I did write a lot during lockdown. The aim is to carry on writing and then decide how to present the material afterwards.