As part of our Arts for All Programme, every Thursday, we host a free public performance for patients, visitors and staff in Chelsea and Westminster Hospital before visiting the hospital’s wards. Recently, we were lucky enough to host Effie. Crowned NME’s emerging artist in 2018, Effie’s incredible voice and soulful melodies and lyrics have gained her 1 million plays on Spotify and thousands of fans over Instagram and Twitter. We caught up with Effie after her lunchtime performance, with fellow musician Joe Chiari.
Effie how are you feeling after today’s performances?
“I’m feeling joyous and peaceful and just so grateful that me and Joe could come here today and perform for people. I think it’s a really wonderful thing you guys are doing so thank you for having me.”
Thank you for coming! Obviously, this isn’t the kind of audience you’re used to, how would you say the experience differs?
“Ooh, um, I think rather than it being about my voice, or the show, its more about the general feel of the music. Music is such an uplifting thing, it’s a universal language. If you aren’t feeling well, then I feel like music is definitely, for me anyway, something that would cheer me up. So, I think as long as you play happy, upbeat music or just something that’s beautiful and peaceful, most of the time people respond really well to that. Normally when I gig it’s about the show and what I’m saying, but this is a lot more personal and engaging and emotional, I guess.”
And that emotion is definitely heightened when you’re at the bed bays, what’s it like playing there?
(laughs) “I mean, at times, it can definitely feel a bit awkward. But if people really want you there it really does brighten their day and you’re giving that gift to them and what a wonderful thing to be able to do. It’s really personal, it’s great, I enjoy it.”
This isn’t the first time you’ve worked with us, what made you want to come back?
“I think just because the feeling I got the last time, the feeling and what I saw from the patients and from the people who were stopping by when we were in the atrium. I just think if you can make someone’s day by singing a tune, then amazing. And it comes so easy to me and Joe, its what we do for a living. So, if I can come here and do that then absolutely why not. If I could do it every week, I’d do it every week.”
Do you have any highlights from today or from last time?
“One of the highlights, I think, was meeting a young boy (in Jupiter ward) just because he was so into it and wanted to hear a tune. Just all of it really! I love going up onto the wards. And I bumped into someone that I know who I hadn’t seen in a long time who was poorly, just having an operation, so that as well! Just the whole experience is really great.”
That’s really lovely to hear; and did you know these sort of arts programmes existed before this?
“Absolutely not. I wouldn’t have even thought it was possible, and it’s funny because I used to work in a care background so I have a lot of experience with elderly people and hospitals and we used to do, you know, art therapy and different versions; but that would be in care homes, I never thought that it would be bought into a hospital setting. I think it’s great.”
Well we’ve loved having you and obviously our patients and staff have too. What’s happening with you, what does the next year look like?
“So, I’m going to be touring later on this year and playing a few festivals. My single ‘Spiteful’ comes out in March, either 5th March or the week after. Look out for that! And I’ve got a few singles out now, called ‘Fairytale’ and ‘Worship’ if you want to check those out as well, on Spotify.”
And where can we find you on social media?
Effie, thank you so much for coming in today and hopefully we’ll see you soon!
“Thank you for having me, it was my pleasure!”
Effie was joined by singer, songwriter, music producer and guitarist Joe Chiari. You can find him on both Instagram and Twitter as @joechiari.
We have lots of exciting performances coming up for patients, staff and visitors to enjoy, click here to find out what’s on.