In a few months’ time, life is unlikely to ever be the same again for Rae Morris.
The Blackpool singer-songwriter releases her debut album on September 22 on Atlantic Records.
And judging by the amount of airplay her first couple of singles have been getting on Radio 1, it is going to be huge.
Take Skin, the first song from the as-yet untitled record. It was a huge hit on YouTube, championed by DJs in this country and beyond, and was accompanied by a swanky, big-money video.
It is refreshing to find then, that when I speak to the former St George’s School pupil – who until recently lived with her mum and dad near Stanley Park – she still sounds as unstarry and as grounded as she was before she got a record deal (“How’s your day going, are you OK?” she asks me ... unusual; famous people rarely enquire how their interviewer is).
She insists nothing much has changed in her life. Yet.
“I never get recognised on the street and I like that. I don’t think people know who I am at all,” she said.
“Maybe it’s happened a couple of times but mostly it is at festivals when loads of people are milling around.
“It probably sounds odd but life is exactly the same as it was six months ago, before the new songs started coming out.
“I suppose the only difference is that a few more people have heard my music now and they maybe understand what I’m trying to say, where I’m trying to go with my songs, and that has made me feel a lot more confident and at ease with the whole thing.”
Morris had piano lessons as a youngster and got into songwriting after befriending fellow Blackpool singer Karima Francis. “She taught me a lot,” says the 22-year-old.
She played venues like West Coast and Blue Room and was signed after only a handful of gigs further afield.
Those who have heard her sing will know why – she has a beautiful voice and her songs sound like they’ve been written by someone way beyond her tender years.
She signed to Atlantic, one of the world’s biggest record labels, more than two years ago and has been developing her songs since. She recorded the album in LA last summer and the good news for those wanting to hear it is that they don’t have to wait much longer.
“I’m pleased to say it is totally finished ... or at least the closest to being finished so far!” Rae laughs. “It’s at the stage where I am starting to try and put an album tracklisting together.
“There is one more song to be mixed and then it is all done. It feels incredibly bizarre to be thinking about potential album titles and actually getting stuck into it. It is really close. The good thing is that I am able to say that I really love it. I am very proud of the album as a whole and as a body of work. I always wondered if I’d actually get to say that, so I’m pleased I can.”
Given how much time it has been in the making, Rae admits she was relieved the reaction to the two or three tracks leaked into the public domain so far has been so positive.
“There was a huge sense of relief that people actually seemed to like the first song, Skin, and the follow-ups,” she explained.
“That was an important moment, because it has taken me so long to make the record and because there had been such a big gap from the last EP I’d released ... the timing was really quite critical. We needed to get people to latch on to it and get excited about the album coming.
“When you do take your time making something you run the risk of people forgetting who you are and what you are doing. So it was a massive sense of relief that it went down so well and when Skin (the first single) came out it really felt like that was the start of the album and the start of the campaign.”
Rae has various gigs coming up, including a handful of summer festivals. The one she’s most looking forward to is Kendal Calling in August, mainly because it will bring back good memories.
“It was the first proper festival I played, in 2011,” she said.
“I played the Get Loud in Libraries stage. Lucy Rose (a well-known English singer) was on after me and she is one of my best friends now.
“So there are some amazing memories of Kendal Calling and I’m looking forward to going back. I love festivals because there seems to be less pressure ... the gigs end up being better because the acts are actually having fun and just enjoying playing, rather than putting so much pressure on themselves.”
When the summer is done, September and that debut album will arrive.
Things won’t be the same for Rae after that. Blackpool is about to have another star to be proud of.