Born in the eleventh month, on the eleventh day, at the eleventh hour, it’s no wonder that for singer-songwriter 11ven this number is her lucky charm. “With me, everything happens in elevens.”
After years working on musical projects with big backing but little soul, it was a chance meeting with the booker for London’s celebrated Cirque Le Soir that changed her life’s course. “Joining the circus let me find out who I am.” It soon became her second home. It was there that she learned to dance and sing with fire, as well as fan dancing, swinging from the ceiling on aerial hoops and putting on a burlesque show. “Having always been a performance artist as well as a musician, I was able to merge the two. I put a huge stage show together that was both visually and musically appealing.”
Having accumulated a wealth of once in a lifetime experiences, armed with extraordinary skills and a love of performing, a return to the pop music world was only a matter of time. 11ven hit the studio with Steve Lewinson (Amy Winehouse, Sade) who quickly tapped into her cinematic artistry and worked with her in telling her story. With her parents divorcing when she was 6 months old 11ven recounts that there were always sad love songs playing at home. “I pretty much sing about tragedy in my life. But I quite like that – it makes me happy.”
Musically influenced by blues, jazz and hip hop, 11ven describes her signature sound as pop with a moody and dark twist. Having been given impersonal pop songs to sing in her previous musical incarnations the key to project 11ven is it’s overwhelming authenticity, pervading through her overall creative direction – a combination of old-world glamour and tribal aesthetic. “I wear my jewellery like it’s my clothes”.
Blog favourites Eddy Atlantis and Lex Low also joined the project, leading to ‘Eros’, the soon to be released EP. ‘Been Around The World’, the first single from the record, is a new spin on Lisa Stanfield’s 80s classic ‘All Around The World’, a song that held a special place in 11ven’s childhood. “It’s a song I always remember hearing. I later found out that my dad – who was a DJ – went on a date with Lisa and never really got over her. That’s why the track was always playing at home!”
Her music, made with women and girls in mind, has a resounding message of reassurance. 11ven says, “even though it’s great to be a confident, sexy, fiery woman there’s no problem with being vulnerable and being insecure sometimes. I think vulnerability and insecurity make women who they are and if we didn’t have that, we wouldn’t be women.”