The Last Word

Ten Fe

Spanish for ‘keep the faith’ the band formed when two members met busking on the London tube. They sat down with Ben Sherman to tell us more about their story before our in-store gig on Thursday 13th June.

How has being born and raised in the UK informed your music taste?

Sitting on the top deck of a Birmingham bus, watching the rain droplets dribble down the window with the grey pavements below me listening to I Wanna be Adored over and over again as i came home from school. Or going up to the Licky Hills to eat mushrooms and listen to Led Zepellin 1, feeling my brain evaporate. My first pint of Guinness and Black in a Sikh pub in Handsworth, dancing round the back room to Bhangra with my mates uncles...It’s informed everything I understand about music.

Ten Fe is on tour right now, what’s the best thing about going on tour?

Seeing other cultures and people. It’s a total privilege. I have no time for anyone who complains about life on the road. We’ve just had lunch in Mikulov, right on the border between Czech Republic and Austria on the way to our show in Prague tonight. There’s a enormous monastery on the hill above the town and the skies here are massive and Oyster card blue. It beats SUBWAY on Seven sisters Road, where I usually am at this time on a Friday. I love it all.

Ten Fe music feels very raw and poetic, how do you get into the zone of writing music?

Thank you - I love that description of our music. I’m an eavesdropper when it comes to my lyrics - snippets of conversations and misheard lines from the tv or other peoples songs. It’s not magic, its just listening out to stuff I like the sound of and remembering it. When it comes to the moment of writing, I think it’s often good to be a little emotionally disorientated, like when you’ve just woken up, or about to sleep...all that eversdropped stuff comes out easily then, and I can surprise myself easier.

Ten Fe is a very trendy. What are your influences when it comes to clothing style?

Trendy. Well, if you say you so... We love clothes, definitely. We’re always on the hunt for vintage shops whenever we get into a new town. I don’t really buy new clothes. When it comes to style - I think it’s pretty simple: pick someone you like the look of and copy what they wear - John Lennon, John Wayne, John McDonnell - there’s no shame in it. Just don’t over think it.

What artists are you currently listening to?

We’ve just come back from a long tour in the States, so we had a lot of country music radio stations on. Love Country. Other than that, I quite like that Fontaines DC album that’s just come out. Nice to hear a Dublin accent on the airwaves.

You started out busking in London, how has performing on the street informed the music you make today?

Well we actually busked on the trains, not the street. So we’d jump onto the tube carriages at rush hour with a couple of guitars and sing in harmony to the squashed commuters. You have 2 minutes to convince people to take out their headphones, put down their papers, and then give you some money... it’s not the easiest job. It means you’ve gotta give people your energy, that’s the most important thing : Communication of energy. You’d be surprised how much love you get in return. If people can see you’re not scared and that you’re loving singing these songs, then they give you love. So that’s had a big impact on how we perform today.

You will soon be playing at the Ben Sherman store on Carnaby St, what draws you to working with the brand?

I’m not a mod, but it’s always struck me that Ben Sherman had integrity and a strong identity cos of its association with the mods. It terms of working with brands in general, I’ll always be up for working with a clothing one, just feels more personal.

What does Ben Sherman mean to you?

It’s Britishness. And like I say, its association with the mods.

Being chosen as a PRS Foundation momentum artist is an amazing achievement, what do you hope to gain from their funding and support?

We’re gaining a lot. The tour of the States we just did - spreading the Ten Fé message and eating all those hamburgers - wouldnt have been possible without PRS support. They also sorted us a Spotify partnership - which is wicked too... anyone who helps spread the message of this band gets a massive hug from me - so thanks all!

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