Five minutes with Prima Queen: ‘We became friends really fast and started writing songs together’

It’s always exciting discovering new bands. I had the fortune of watching Prima Queen perform a stunning set at my local venue a few months ago and was immediately charmed by their wry lyrics and luscious guitar hooks.

Keen to learn more, I had a chat to band leaders Kristin McFadden and Louise Macphail to find out where they started and where they plan to go…

Hey Prima Queen! Tell me about how you formed your band…

We met at Metropolis Studios in London exactly three years ago, when Kristin (who’s American) was on her study abroad term for university. We became friends really fast and started writing songs together. Louise had been trying to form a band for months and hadn’t been successful in finding members that were the right fit, but we clicked right away.

We used to play with other people, but we knew we wanted the band to be all women if possible. We were really excited when we met Kitty (bass) and Heledd (drums) last year through mutual friends and being students at Goldsmiths.

What’s the story behind the name?

We used to be called Grlfriend, but we found out that another band had the same name so we knew we had to change it. It took us ages to come up with different ideas that we both liked, but we knew we wanted the name to be feminine in some way.

We loved the word Queen because it represents female leadership and power, and we thought the word Prima sounded cool with it, because it also has feminine connotations because of ‘Prima Donna’ and ‘Prima’ means female cousin in Spanish.

Photo: Barbora Mrazkova

I recently saw you play a great show at The Finsbury in London. What’s been your favourite live experience to date?

We had a lot of fun at our first headline gig at The Control Room last month – it was really busy and everyone was dancing and singing along which made it really fun.

We’re really excited for the next gigs we have coming up:

12 Feb, Parallel Lines supporting Odetta Hartman, Paper Dress Vintage, London
8 March, Isle of Wight New Blood Competition Quarter Final, Zigfrid von Underbelly, London
27 March, The Canteen, Bristol

You’ve released some lush live videos. Are you releasing new music this year?

Yes! We have five singles we are hoping to release this year. Two of the tracks are the studio versions of Mexico and M4, so the videos were a little sneak peak of what’s to come.

Which artists or bands inspire you?

We really love Alvvays, Bill Withers, Phoebe Bridgers, Prince, Lucy Dacus, Hiatus Kiayote, Haim, Rilo Kiley, Diana Ross and Soccer Mommy.

If you could recommend one album for our readers to check out, what would it be?

Don’t Let The Kids Win by Julia Jacklin.

Feature image: Barbora Mrazkova

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