With a huge passion for lyrics, melodies and harmonies Casey Lim has been singing and writing music since she was 16. She’s now one half of the ‘live EDM band’ Princess Slayer. She shares the stage with Vince Welch who intricately works drums and production, while co-writing all of their songs together. Princess Slayer have since released a 5-track EP, a single remix package, a music video, have toured the UK AND are about to play two festivals, including Glastonbury for the second time! I spoke to Casey about her experience in the industry being a woman in a DIY band.
Firstly, let’s talk about Princess Slayer, what’s the story behind it & how did you end up working with Vince?
I met Vince whilst working at the Boileroom Music Venue in Guildford. Our styles were pretty different but we were both obsessed with music and showed each other what we had made in the past. Vince started working on some ambient-electronic instrumentals and after he played one to me I asked if I could write some lyrics and melodies. That first song was called ‘Fame’ and went onto our first EP. I don’t remember there being a conscious decision to form a writing team or band, it just sort of happened. After writing Fame we decided to continue writing songs and within about 6 months we had written a whole concept EP about the 5 stages of life. The EP was called ‘Life & After’ and the songs were called:
-The After Party
*This EP isn’t available anywhere now, apart from some physical CDs we have leftover.
The following year we were taken onto an artist development programme with ILUVLIVE – an Arts Council funded company. They have been a massive help and given us invaluable advice and guidance. They encouraged us to look at our songs from a different perspective and so we edited and repackaged our first songs, releasing the EP ‘Living’ digitally. The final track listing is:
Since then we’ve filmed a couple of music videos, played some awesome shows and written a bunch of new songs which we’re planning how to release now. We’ve also collaborated with some cool people and done some ‘Princess Slayer style’ covers.
We have an awesome band who play our live shows with us and bring the songs to life! Since playing live, the song-writing has become much more upbeat and bass driven. I think the excitement of playing live with a big sound system has put new, youthful life into the tracks.
What do you feel have been your greatest achievements to date in your musical career?
Princess Slayer were finalists in the Glastonbury Emerging Talent Competition and got to play on the BBC Introducing Stage and The Rabbit Hole stages last year. Also, getting our first Radio 1 play on Phil Taggart’s show was a big milestone!
What do you ultimately want to achieve with your music?
I want my music to help others in the way that music has always helped me.
Music is definitely a difficult industry to break into, have you ever felt like giving up?
I’ve definitely had those dark days! There’s a really good quote from an Alan Watts lecture which I find very inspiring – we’ve sampled it in one of our songs: “What would you like to do if money were no object? How would you really enjoy spending your life?” I think that sums up why I carry on.
Honestly, how have you achieved what you have accomplished thus far?
The old chestnuts: hard work, determination, positive attitude and good relationships.
As a female in music, how do you feel about the lack of gender diversity when it comes to the charts or bands/artists that are featured in top music magazines?
To be completely honest, I don’t pay much attention to it. I know so many talented musicians from all genders who are making great careers from themselves. If the charts and top music magazines don’t feature a true representative of the wonderful music being created across the world, then that just means we have to look a bit harder to find it.
Have you personally ever felt like your gender has held you back in your music?
There have been times when I have experienced sexism in this industry, but I don’t feel like my gender has held me back.
Do you ever feel like opportunities were more open to you because of your gender?
Princess Slayer have been asked to play female orientated events in the past – opportunities that wouldn’t have been open to us if we had not been female-fronted.
Do you ever find that Vince is more addressed when it comes to the ‘business’ side of music than you, despite being the front woman?
Not really, no! We have a manager and we all work as a little team to get everything done.
When recruiting for your live band, did you see a lack of female musicians was it mixed?
When we held auditions there were no female applicants whatsoever – all blokes! It would be nice if there were more females in band settings, I don’t know why there isn’t. Perhaps playing in bands isn’t encouraged as much for younger girls, who knows. I love the guys in the band though so I wouldn’t wish for different players, and I was in a girl band in the past, so at least I’ve experienced writing with some sick chicks.
What’s next for Princess Slayer?
We have Glastonbury in a couple of weeks, El Dorado Festival after that, then we’re planning the release of our next single with remixes, a music video and a UK tour. After that we’ll be releasing more music! We have lots of songs in the bank 😀
Awesome! Can you recommend some of your favourite kick-ass girl power anthems?
Weak – Skunk Anansie
You Oughta Know – Alanis Morissette
What’s Going On – 4 Non Blondes
Fully Alive – Flyleaf
Lovin U – Alicia Keys
Alone – Heart
Wuthering Heights – Kate Bush
Sixteen – No Doubt
There are sooooo many more!
Finally, what’s your golden piece of advice for musicians starting something without any industry help?
Be you, go with your gut and believe in yourself.
Catch Princess Slayer next @
Glastonbury Festival 22 – 26 June 2016
El Dorado Festival 1 – 3 July 2016