Bushstock Festival: Billie Marten on her inspiration, and why small gigs can be the best

Having first risen to prominence aged just 12, Billie Marten released her debut single at 15 and her reputation has continued to grow ever since.

She now heads to Bushstock Festival on Saturday for south west London’s most prominent multi-venue music festival.

Over the course of Saturday, dozens of acts will appear at venues across Shepherd’s Bush including The Courtyard at K West, The LIbrary at Bush Theatre, St Stephen’s Church, Defectors Weld, Sindercombe Social and Bush Hall.

For Billie, this progression to authentic star has felt completely natural.

She said: “Music was always something I was brought up with through my family. So, it felt natural and right and something I wanted to do, but I still don’t know if I’ll do it forever. It should never be a ‘job’.

“The music I gravitate to towards most is quiet and folky generally; Nick Drake, John Martyn and Joni Mitchell. But I’m influenced by music new and old all the time.”

Headlining The Library at Bush Theatre at 6:30pm, Billie, real name Isabella Tweddle, is looking forward to catching up with old friends.

“City venues are generally pretty tough, bad sound, tough drunk crowd, and a general lack of interest. I heard I’ll be playing in a Library this time around though so that’ll be so intimate. Something I much prefer because I’m pretty quiet.

“I know a couple of people playing already so that’ll be nice to see them. I want to catch Feet’s set too.

The best gigs are always the most unassuming, and they have the least pressure or staging built around them. Something natural where you feel like you are supposed to be there and they are too.”

Unsurprisingly, songwriting comes naturally to Billie, who also selects some ambitious choices to collaborate with.

With more music on the way, it’s likely her star will continue to rise even higher.

“It just comes and goes. Some days you want to write and others you forget you could, there’s no routine or formula I guess.

“I’d probably want to collaborate with Brian Eno or Laurie Anderson. Set the hopes high and you never know, they’d be great to work with.

There’s more music coming, I  have just finished record number two, so that’ll be happening soon. Excitement.”

What: Bushstock Festival
Where: Multiple venues in Shepherd’s Bush
When: Saturday July 23
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