Camden Close - Up : Simeon Hammond Dallas
Love Camden loves its local talent. We aim to celebrate everything cultural in the borough, from Hampstead to Kilburn, from the British Library to that little café around the corner - we are always out to show what Camden has to offer. As part of this we launched our Camden Close-Up series: interviews with artists, thinkers, entrepreneurs and downright interesting figures that live, work or are inspired by the borough.
This month we interviewed Simeon Hammond Dallas, a singer-songwriter from London’s Camden Town. An overactive mind and a desire to live a life like a travel montage from a rom-com provide the inspiration for her music; a folky bluesy country-soul amalgamation. An enemy of dichotomy, her music is soft and vulnerable while packing a punch at the same time.
Simeon will be playing on the 6th of December at Swiss Cottage Library, as part of Library Lates. Get your tickets here: https://ticketlab.co.uk/events/library-lates
- What would you would do if you weren’t doing this? What would your parallel life look like?
I have tried many times throughout my life to avoid being a musician. I chose extra science at school instead of music for my GCSEs. That lasted about 5 months before I swapped it to music. I studied philosophy at A Level and thought I might persue it to degree level at university. Again, I just couldn’t not study music. I used to think I might be a journalist or a doctor or a yoga teacher or a sound therapist or anything else that I was vaguely interested in or good at, mainly because I was scared of other people labelling me as fame hungry or unintelligent because I’m “just a singer”. There are lots of things I might be able to do but I think there are some things that are predetermined and no matter how much I run from it, nothing seems to light up my life as much as writing and playing and performing
- What do you think is most important: luck, chance, opportunity or hard-graft?
I think we’ve always been told to work hard and it’s definitely important, but I’m going with opportunity because I’ve found that really beautiful things can happen when I stop acting from a hustling mentality and start acting from a place of ease; letting things come into my sphere when I’m grounded and peaceful and intuitive. I’m learning how to work smart instead of working hard. I like to put myself in different situations such as busking in new places or travelling to new countries, because I hate feeling stagnant and it’s an easy way to give yourself an open mind. When you believe that anything can happen you create a reality in which anything can happen, which creates new opportunities over and over again.
- What has been your most career defining moment to date and why?
In May 2019 I put on my first headline show for my EP launch. It’s not the biggest audience I’ve played to, and it wasn’t at the most prestigious venue I’ve played at but it was really important to me because it was the first show that I organised entirely myself. From hiring the venue, organising the band and promoting it, I proved to myself that I can release music, pack out a room, and give a great show without a label which is something I was repeatedly told I wouldn’t be good at, so to do it successfully defined in my own mind my position as an independent musician .
- What makes your work important today?
I wrote my single, Wild Woman, around this time last year after I split from a record label and decided to become fiercely independent. I wrote it almost as a reminder to myself that I am strong and I can do whatever I want. Since it’s release in January I’ve had a lot of women tell me that they listen to it when they need a boost, or it makes them feel empowered, or it reminds them that being strong and wild and paving their own way is something to celebrate, and any time something that I have to say through music makes somebody else feel inspired or empowered or a little bit stronger than they did before I feel like I’ve added something a little bit important into the world.
- What does Camden mean to you?
I was born and raised in Camden Town! To me it’s home, community, family. I didn’t realise how big London was until I left to live in Chester for university, and that’s when I really appreciated that I was brought up in my favourite place. People often ask me what it was like growing up in Camden, because for many people it’s more of a tourist destination. I’m just grateful that I got to experience people from all walks of life; walking home from school in Chalk Farm through Camden Town I’d spot goths and punks and mothers and children and the elderly, from all kinds of religions and races and nobody seemed to bat an eyelid if you had green hair or piercings over your face. Not a lot of people get to be exposed to that. Also I live right by the canal and lights on water has always been the most beautiful thing to me. Maybe it’s the Aquarius in me but I always feel at home near a canal.
- What makes Camden Unique?
It’s the energy of Camden which is so high, fast paced and ever changing but balanced with such a rich history and strong Camden staples that my grandparents can still remember.
Artist bio :
“wickedly-badass pint-sized powerhouse”
Simeon Hammond Dallas is a singer-songwriter from London’s Camden Town. An overactive mind and a desire to live a life like a travel montage from a rom-com provide the inspiration for her music; a folky bluesy country-soul amalgamation. An enemy of dichotomy, her music is soft and vulnerable while packing a punch at the same time. After graduating from university in 2015, Simeon travelled Europe with an acoustic guitar and a busking amp, and undertook a ‘busking tour’ over 3 months, surviving on the kindness of strangers. It lit a spark for adventure and thus she spent the next year travelling across the continents, singing songs and collecting stories. Upon her return to the UK in 2017 she became a full time busker, and you can find her entertaining London on the Southbank, the Underground, and train stations by day. January 2019 saw the release of her debut self released single, Wild Woman. A country-rock feminist anthem and preceder of the debut EP Manic Pixie Dreams, which crosses genres from folk, country, blues, and soul. Tied together with a strong acoustic guitar and a powerhouse of a voice.
Websites and social media:
@simeonhammonddallas (facebook and instagram)