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Costa Coffee, Spitalfields Market.


What three words would you use to describe what troubled you during your adolescence?

Brother, dad, drugs.

How connected are those three words?

Very connected.

And the first two words? Obviously they're the same theme of family, but are they completely separate issues in your mind?

90% separate. My dad just didn't like me. He's just... I don't know, we just really hated each other and I could not tell you why. I remember him laying into me for random things. I vaguely remember getting out of the car at age 11 and some friends said "is that your dad?", and I replied "yeah and I hate him. I will not talk to him." I mean, I don't hate him now. He's quite old, and I know a lot of people my age lose their parents but not many of them are planning for it because they were born in the 1700s.

Was him being old the main reason you didn't get on?

My older siblings have given up on him. One day when I was 10 I got back from school and he rang me, me of all the people in the house, to say "I'm not coming home because I'm in London looking for new flats, I'm moving out." I thought "sick, I need to do my science project." He cares about talking to us, but he doesn't care about us talking back basically.

Do you feel like he cares about you though?

When I make big achievements in life he gets so excited because he can say to people "my child achieved this", not because he actually cares. You know what I mean?

Have you ever tried to analyse him? Like why he does that?

It's very hard to analyse someone who doesn't believe in anything. We grew up as dirty hippies, I didn't wear shoes until I was about 10 years old. Festivals since I was out the womb. Weird family. When I was younger and liked Taylor Swift and would always wear pink, he'd come home with jeans for me with roses and skulls on. But then he's also a raging homophobe, and a raging... I mean he's not... (whispers) he's slightly racist. He annoys me so frequently that it's hard for me not to let him know. I'll tell him when he says something out of line. 

And then your brother is older or younger?

Older. How old is he?

I don't know pal, would be weird if I did. Were you compared a lot?

He got all the attention. I love my brother, my friends are his friends, double dates, all that. When I was about 11 he got into drugs. But he was into not fun drugs (chuckles). I didn't know much about it then, I sort of knew he was a bit of a stoner. All I knew is that he loved Kurt Cobain and I would do his eyeliner before he went out to rock concerts.

When did you start to know something was more serious?

When I was 12 and he was smashing doors and my mum was pinning him down I sort of got an an inkling. She couldn't deal with him, and I was left alone a lot of the time because of that. Every therapist says my life was messed up and I was too young to realise, which is why I'm like this now.

But he's okay now?

Yeah, he talks to me about that time of his life in a very light-hearted way. He'll make jokes about trying heroine and going to rehab. He's got a very normal life now. (Sips drink). This is delicious.

Coconut milk is the way to go.

Yeah, but have you seen a carton of coconut milk before?

No... that's just a coconut isn't it?

What's the difference between coconut water and coconut milk? What even is coconut milk? 

We should know this.

It's a good question.

So anyway drugs. 

(Chuckles) I tried a bit.

You dabbled.

I dabbled. When I was 17 I had no friends and I was starting to realise all the messed up things that had happened with my brother. Had a brief stoner summer and a brief MDMA time. Coming down from MDMA with mental health problems isn't the best. It's not for me, especially when you grow up in the middle of nowhere and the drugs you buy are concrete.

This might be a silly question, but do you regret it?

Umm... I don't think so fully. There's a few instances where I probably shouldn't have done them. Like when I had a bit of MDMA left and I did it in my family home whilst my grandmother was there. And my three closest friends were there too, none of whom do drugs. I was just there snorting powder off my keys in front of them. Seeing my brother having his problems makes me wary of drugs nowadays though.

It would be very easy to say that you grew up around drugs-

So it makes sense why I'd do it? Yeah.

Would you say that's fair? Do you think if you grew up in a very teetotal family, a stereotypical picturesque family, you would've still dabbled?

Probably. I just have natural instincts to do things wrong sometimes. I was raised fairly well, but I wish I'd be taught that drugs would harm me, not that it was wrong to do them. 

Finally, what would be the soundtrack to your childhood?

Dry Your Eyes - The Streets

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