You might recognise Florence Arnold, aka Florrie, from her days as a drummer for bands like Girls Aloud and even Kylie Minogue, and she’s since released her own catchy tracks such as Too Young to Remember, Little White Lies and Begging Me. But now, the Bristal-born singer/songwriter has scored her second modelling gig, landing H&M’s Love Music campaign (she was previously the face of Nina Ricci’s Nina L’Elixir fragrance). She might be a very busy lady, but Florrie still found time to talk to us about her ultimate style tips, why she loves Emma Watson and who she’d love to work with…
How did the connection with H&M come about? How does it feel to be the face of such a huge high street brand?
H&M were looking for a new artist to front their H&M Loves Music campaign and they found me and liked what I was doing and my story, so asked if I’d like to be the face of the campaign… which I obviously said yes to!! Everything seemed to work out really well as my single release was scheduled around the time of the campaign and that was something they were really keen to help me with, spreading my music. It has been amazing to work with them. That’s what I loved about them from the beginning, they really wanted the campaign to focus on me as an artist and they’ve helped to introduce my music worldwide to all of their fans. I’ve been a fan of H&M since I was 11 or 12 and my school bus used to stop outside of the Bristol store. I remember me and my friends would be peering through the windows picking out what we were going to spend our pocket money on next!! I also really love the collection, I think the clothes are very me and I love the festival vibe!
We love that H&M has combined fashion and music for this Divided campaign. How does modelling differ for you from performing?
I will always associate modelling with music as most of the modelling work I have done has come as a result of my music. Which is really cool because I get to do both and I have learnt so much about modelling and fashion over the last few years. Music has always been my one true love, but it’s opened a lot of other doors for me too, which I feel very lucky to have, and I love that fashion and music are so connected.
Who is your musical inspiration?
I grew up listening to lots of 50’s music, which was my Dad’s influence – Jerry Lee Lewis, The Beatles, Chuck Berry. And I also loved listening to the radio, which is why I think I am such a fan of pop music, big catchy melodies and hooky choruses! If I could play guitar like anyone in the world it would be John Mayer, I’ve been practising his songs for the last seven years! He’s so talented and definitelp an inspiration. I’m loving Taylor Swift’s album too! I just want to have pyjama Parties with her and be friends with her cats.
You’ve started out playing with some of the biggest names in the pop industry- do you have a favourite that you’ve worked with? Is there anyone you’ve met you were particularly starstruck by?
I think it would have to be Girls Aloud, as it was their record The Promise that I first played drums on as a session musician. They were all really lovely and were down at the studio (where I’m still based now) over a couple of months while they were making their album. I made Cheryl a few cups of tea – my claim to fame! Another memorable moment was when we had One Direction down at the studio for a week, and it was like a military operation. We were all briefed beforehand – no tweeting, no photos, basically keeping it a secret that they were there, probably as the studio is in a really small village!! Anyway, literally as they were arriving, a group of girls doing their Duke of Edinburgh award were having lunch on the village green opposite and went absolutely MAD when they realised who was getting out of the car! From then on their cover was blown and we had about 300 screaming girls outside the front door every day!
Who is your style icon?
Audrey Hepburn, Emma Watson and Debbie Harry.
Do you have a favourite designer?
What’s the best gig you’ve ever played?
Ooo this is a tough one. I think I’m going to have to say the Pohoda festival in Slovakia. I was on at the same time as Pulp and having never been to Slovakia before I had no idea how many people would come to watch. Then about five minutes before I was due to go on I heard “Florrie, Florrie Florrie!” and the whole tent was full!! 2000 people knew every word to every song, and it was SO unexpected. The best surprise ever!
Do you have a way of preparing for a show? Do you get nervous still?
I do get a little bit nervous, it’s more excited nerves though. I mostly get hyper and am itching to go on by about 20 minutes before! Me and my band are always together before a show so we all get into it and are ready to go together!
What’s your favourite stage outfit you’ve worn?
Probably this black and white chequered dress I wore to a show in Paris. It was quite Sixties and looked really cool.
What’s on your shopping list and what trends are you loving for the new season?
I just bought this amazing tartan biker jacket from Sandro which I’m in love with! But I’m looking forward to spring now and being able to wear jackets instead of my big woolly coat. I love the new H&M sports chic collection too. Definitely got my eye on a few of those pieces!
Who would be your dream person to work with?
John Mayer, or Imagine Dragons. I just watched their Radio 1 live lounge and they were amazing.
What would be your ultimate piece of style advice?
Hairdryer your jeans, if you’ve worn them a couple of times but need that just washed feeling in an emergency!! Plus it’s pretty cosy in the winter! Ha!
Do you have a favourite piece from H&M’s new collection?
Yes! The black dress with the tassels on! I can’t wait to wear it to some festivals this summer!