CMU Approved

Approved: Donna Thompson

By | Published on Thursday 16 June 2022

Donna Thompson

For a time, Donna Thompson thought she’d left her hopes of a career as a musician behind. But sometimes it’s not as easy as just casting a dream aside and thankfully she didn’t. In recent years she’s become a mainstay of the Total Refreshment Centre – the Hackney recording studio, performance space and hub for the London jazz scene – working with various other artists and eventually developing her own music there.

It’s possible you may have seen her playing drums in Falle Nioke and Alabaster Deplume’s bands, but now she’s stepping out to the front of the stage herself with debut EP ‘Something True’. Deplume was, in fact, one of the people who encouraged her to develop an initial batch of piano-based songs recorded at TRC into something more expansive, and he plays saxophone on the finished EP – recorded at PRAH Studios in Margate and released via its excellent label.

“I’ve had to sing for my supper”, says Thompson. “The fact that I’ve even made it to this point is really a surprise to me but it’s where I’ve wanted to be for a long time. I’ve found love, a home, friends and my passion for music is growing every day. Working on this EP was a way to sketch my own world in the way I hear it now, having been through all of that”.

“I recorded a majority of the vocals in my bedroom as that’s where I feel safest at the moment”, she adds. “Being safe means being able to be vulnerable… but I try to leave myself open to ideas to flow through my mind at any time in any place”.

“I’m quite sensitive and my work is predominantly focused on how I’m feeling at that present moment”, she goes on. “I sometimes incorporate samples of the room at the time of recording so that the song is kind of like a musical snapshot of the flow happening. Improvisation is key to my sound”.

‘Something True’ is set for release on 22 Jul and new single ‘Be With You’ is out now. Watch the video for that here: