Music Bugle Exclusive – Q & A – Borrowed Body

Artwork for “The Rising Sea.” Courtesy of Borrowed Body Bandcamp page.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

Borrowed Body – the moniker of singer-songwriter Niall Hill – has been described as “pure London folk” and it’s easy to see why once someone presses “play.”

It has been a worthwhile journey for Hill since the release of the 2016 debut album ‘The Rising Sea’ and he has gotten to share the stage with the likes of Violet Hum, Colin Devaney, Samuel Nicholson and Amy Odell.

Earlier this year via ScreamLite Records, Borrowed Body dropped a new single featuring Abstract Man called “Smokescreens,” recorded at Random Recordings.

The Music Bugle had the chance to speak with Hill about what they’ve been up to lately and more.

Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?

Borrowed Body – My family caught Covid early on, but luckily, they were okay. It has been fascinating to see all our systems tested and society’s bonnet popped open… and all these things that seemed eternal are suddenly shifting, hopefully for the best. Headspace, living more locally and a bit of chaos have all felt like important lessons to me.

Music Bugle – Where do you go when you need a break?

Borrowed Body – To sleep. Or to the woods. I live on the edge of Kent and it’s great to get lost among farms and forests, without a route or a plan. Dreams really interest me right now… I don’t know why people get into psychedelics and dismiss dreams – it’s a free, safe adventure every night!

Music Bugle – In terms of music, what is something that you’ve been working to improve on?

Borrowed Body – Simplicity. I think a lot of great songwriting boils down to pure little ideas, which are full of life. I’m trying to practice listening with the right parts of myself. You can’t spot little gems with your analytical brain.

Music Bugle – How would you describe your newest music?

Borrowed Body – Lighter… freer…songs. To be heard in the room and hopefully not requiring too much production/studio work! I’d like a sticker on a shelf to say… “supernatural folk.”

Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?

Borrowed Body – The Clientele, Frances Bebey, Floex and unusually for me… Queen.

Music Bugle – What’s something that people might be surprised to know about you?

Borrowed Body – I once stopped a famous motorsport person from choking on peanuts. True story.

Music Bugle – What makes you the most proud about where you come from?

Borrowed Body – I’m from Whitley Bay, originally. Northumberland has a really rugged, magical feeling for me. I’ve been down south far too long now to have any geordie credibility though, so I’m proud of the real geordies I know, who are still there, trying to grow tomatoes at a ludicrous latitude.

Music Bugle – What do you hope for from the rest of 2021?

Borrowed Body – For lockdown to be over, to play some gigs, get a lucrative record deal… then to lose it all… and to realize I didn’t need success anyway.

Music Bugle – If you had to pick your own theme song, what would it be?

Borrowed Body – “Tea” by Jim Noir. Assuming my life was a sitcom.

Music Bugle – Which of your songs were the hardest to write?

Borrowed Body – “Beyond The Lights” from ‘The Rising Sea’ took a lot of work. It kept evolving while I was recording it…. it turned inside out and back to front…. but luckily, I was happy with the end result. Normally, when a song is hard work, it doesn’t turn out well.

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