SPOTLIGHT: Genevieve Miles

To celebrate her recent release Ocean, Genevieve Miles spoke to her longtime friend and videographer Kitty Rowe about why the sea was such an inspiration for the single

Words & Images: Kitty Rowe, @kitshoots

I sat with my close friend from childhood, Genevieve. We grew up playing together in Cornwall by the sea but lost contact during our teenage years. We reunited two years ago and became flatmates when Genevieve moved from Birmingham to Bristol. It is joyous to work together creatively, we have created an environment that feels holistic when conceptualising music videos.

Kitty: How are you feeling about your upcoming EP release? 

Genevieve: I think for the last three years I’ve been working towards this project and I was determined to be one hundred percent happy with it. I’ve definitely made the mistake of rushing releases to have something out there. I wrote most of the songs in the first lockdown which is now three years ago?? I have been recording them with my wonderful friend Carlos, we’re like little moles working away underground.

I had a lot of ideas for the EP, we’ve talked about what it means to us and how to get it across in a way that feels interesting and provokes emotion in a world that’s oversaturated with content. I want it to feel authentic, which is an ever-evolving feeling. The first single ‘Good’ came out last year, which funnily enough had to be quite rushed because it was going to be used for an advert for Hyundai. There is quite a big gap between the first single from the EP and the second so it feels really good to be getting the EP in motion.

Ocean the second single came out on April 14th and there’s going to be so much music ready to come out after. 

Kitty: Do you know why you feel connected to the sea? What inspired you to write a song about the ocean?

Genevieve: Ocean has always been my favourite word. The way the ocean looks and sounds is otherworldly and ethereal.  I love water and swimming and I’ve always been a water baby. My dad is Cornish so I would spend a lot of time by the sea, diving underwater.

One time when I was three, my sister was learning to dive, my parents turned around and I dived perfectly into the swimming pool, apparently all of the French people were very impressed. I must have always trusted the water.

As I got older and I was writing this song, I realised that the way that I loved felt like the sea. 

Before, that meant to me that it was this great endless expanse which felt too much. But throughout the process of creating this song and creating the video I had a lot of realisations about how glad I am to feel I have so much in common with the sea.

A particular moment that sticks out for me was at Christmas, I went swimming in the sea on the stormiest day and it was amazing. The sea was roaring and I was screaming, it pulled me in, it was magical and we felt like one. I looked around the beach and there was nobody there. 

I had been on this beach the summer before on the 40-degree days when it was completely full. I thought the sea must feel so unlovable when it’s that wild and uncontrollable and angry, it must look around and think nobody wants to be here when I’m like this. 

It must feel so unlovable, like people only love me and want to be around me when I am not expressing these parts of myself.

It feels like that is what it’s like to be a woman in this world. I realised that although that’s what I felt like as a woman, the sea has had millennia to transcend above any need to care if anyone is there and expressing herself because she is free. 

She knows that she is full and worthy, it’s not relevant whether anyone else agrees or is there because she knows that she is amazing and enough. I found that really inspirational. 

I feel like making the song has helped me understand my relationship with the sea more and in turn with myself. I think there’s parts of me that originally were scary when I’m being my true self. I’ve realised that I am enough despite that.

Genevieve Miles has just finished a UK tour and her next gig will be Truck Festival on the 21st of July.

Kitty Rowe joins our team as a videographer and photographer, you can see more of her work here