’s debut album, released in March, comes with a title that sounds like a provocation.
“English Rose” might conjure up images of a beauty that is delicate and traditional, but on the record, the 24-year-old singer-songwriter seems ready to dismantle any notions of what a typical English rose is supposed to look or sound like.
For #GucciGig to showcase Gucci Eyewear, Constance directed and produced a zine with graphic designer Morgan Benjamin and photographer Sophie Jones, whose own work documents London’s youth culture. With images from her recent European tour, it distils all of Connie’s raw energy and promise into a physical object. The titles of her songs, all of which are co-written or written by Connie herself, appear scrawled like headlines to a manifesto of the near future.
Amidst the commanding text are pasted photos of Connie on and off-stage, wearing Gucci’s bold oversized glasses in Havana acetate and soft grey leather. She looks exactly the way she sounds: unapologetic, confident and utterly alive.
Her album’s title track is a cover of The Jam’s romantic ballad of homesickness and yearning. Under Connie’s watch the song becomes wholly fresh, telling new tales of British identity and longing. Clearly there’s something about her homeland’s punk history and DIY ethics that appeals to her.
That unfiltered confidence is key to who Connie is. Growing up as the only person of dual heritage in a white family, she moved to London to attend dance school at 16. Connie soon quit to get serious about her music, fusing Soul, jazz, R&B, and classic British indie rock together into a sound that is entirely her own.
In the lyrics to ‘Bloody British Me’, she riffs on all the ways in which she resembles stereotypical images of British life, as well as all the ways she defies them. It’s a statement of intent, and it says that Connie won’t be easily categorised, instead forging a path that is unique to her.
— Ana Kinsella