Sans Soucis – the nom de plume of Italo-Congolese artist Guilia Grispino – is a newish name on the Hidden Herd HQ radar, catching our ears with her signature folk-pop sound.

Fuelled by a love of R&B, jazz and soul, the London-based singer-songwriter blends sparse acoustic guitar with cathartic harmonies, recalling the likes of Laura Mvula and Lianne La Havas in the process.

Before Sans Soucis graces the Hidden Herd Presents stage at The Finsbury on Friday 21st February, we caught up with her to talk about her influences, new music recommendations and more.

How would you describe Sans Soucis to a stranger?

Sans Soucis is a singer-songwriter and producer based in London. She’s got a very melancholic sound travelling between soul and indie-pop.”

Who are the biggest influences on your sound and why?

“The biggest influences on my sound are great contemporary and past songwriters, producers and composers. I am a huge fan of Quincy Jones and his extended work that spans almost every field in music, and I can’t hide that following his path is my secret (not so much any more) ambition. Laura Mvula, Lianne La Havas, St. Vincent are a great inspiration as well.

I also think there is a spectrum of passive influences, if that makes sense, belonging to our childhood and our parent’s musical taste. Most of my early years I’ve been listening to traditional Congolese music, Italian songwriters and quite a lot of pop artists such as Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Alanis Morrisette and Madonna, upon which I, later on, shaped my own musical taste.”

What was the best gig you’ve played so far?

“The biggest gig I played so far was at EartH Hackney, opening for the incredible pianist and composer Ashley Henry, who sold out the venue with more than 700 people.

There was great energy on the day and that’s all to be credited to the wonderful music that Ashley writes. I highly recommend his latest album, ‘Beautiful Vinyl Hunter’, a real masterpiece, setting the bar of jazz records high for this coming year.”

You’re based in London – what’s your local music scene like?

“There are plenty of great spaces for musicians in London. You can find a good number of late-night jams, starting from the historical jazz club Ronnie Scott’s, Unit 31 (currently looking for a new residency), Steam Down; The Roundhouse is currently one of the biggest platforms for creatives, where you can easily find workshops, musical events or mentoring programs.

All these outlets are making the London music scene a very familiar space to be, where it’s not at all rare bumping into your favourite musicians and perhaps even start collaborations.”

Who are the THREE other new artists we should listen to right now and why?

“Definitely check out these three great artists, that I have the pleasure to know personally: Sophie Faith, Amahla and MEI. 2020 looks exciting for all there of them.”

And finally, what does 2020 hold for Sans Soucis?

“2020 is the year I’m dreaming big. I’m so eager to put my hands in all the projects I have in mind. Some of them are already in the making, like my next EP, which is one of the most exciting at the moment.

My first live show of the year will be in Italy, which is my first homecoming. I cannot wait for this one and for a few more dates to be announced. This year I’m also planning to travel across the pond, but this is material I will disclose later on…”

Sans Soucis will play Hidden Herd Presents at The Finsbury on Friday 21st February alongside Aadae, AWATE and Steven Bamidele. Free tickets are available via DICE and Eventbrite.