Updated: May 27, 2021
SHN INTERVIEW: tinyumbrellas
by Claire Silverman
tinyumbrellas (aka DT) is a 17 year old singer-songwriter from the UK who has recently released her first single ‘Stardust’ onto Spotify.
CS: Hi DT, it’s so great to chat with you! I’ve actually been following you on Instagram for a couple of years now, when you started posting covers on Soundcloud. Now you’ve released your first original song on Spotify, Stardust. What was that like?
DT: Thanks for having me!! It's been really great to finally release music onto Spotify, as even though it’s something I wanted to do, I didn’t really see it as something that I could actually achieve this year! It’s been so nice to get something out into the world via a different platform after using soundcloud for so long.
CS: What prompted you to write Stardust? What made you choose that as your first single?
DT: I started writing my own songs about two years ago, just for fun. I started writing as a kind of therapeutic thing, like journaling but musically!! As part of a project for school this year (along with my A level subjects) I chose to write a bunch of songs, and Stardust was one of them, I think the inspiration really came from having such a big change this year as I had just left secondary school and started the next chapter of my life, meeting new people and experiencing new things, I wanted to write about the simple things and memories that are so precious just because of who they’re made with. I ended up quite liking this song, and after playing it to my friends they really encouraged me to share it, and as it was something i wanted to do too (even though it was very scary!!) I went for it!!
CS: What was the reception of your first single like? Were you nervous releasing it? Do you have a fun story of the first time you heard yourself on radio? I’ve loved playing Stardust on the SHN live shows this semester.
DT: Awh thank you so much!! It’s so crazy to know that Stardust has been played on the radio so far away from where I am!! The first time being on the radio for me I think was when you played one of my songs from soundcloud, I was shocked but very excited to think that someone chose my own song for their radio station!! Yes, I was so scared to release it, but also incredibly excited. I didn’t know what to expect at all, I just wanted to share it in any way I could. I submitted the song to my local radio station not expecting much, but they played it live which was absolutely incredible!! It made me so excited, and a few weeks later they asked to interview me on the radio too which was really fun, something I never thought I’d be doing!!
CS: I love the cover art for Stardust. Did you make it yourself?
DT: Thank you so much! Yeah I did, I was actually inspired a lot by @demiiwhiffin and her art for Orla Gartland’s music. I really liked the idea of collaging and thought it matched the homemade vibes of the music too.
CS: What’s been your favorite song to cover, either on Instagram or Soundcloud?
DT: Ooh that’s a good question. I think they’re all so fun in their own ways, due to how different they all are. Being able to create a cover in my own style is really interesting too. I think Dancing in the Moonlight was especially fun just because it was a collaborative effort with a friend, and also because we used kazoos!!
CS: Oh yes, I loved that one!
CS: Who are your music inspirations?
DT: I have so many ahhhhh!!! I have to give a special mention to dodie, as I think she really inspired me to start writing music and picking up the ukulele. I adore Cavetown’s songwriting and the softness of the sounds he creates. beabadoobee and chloe moriondo are just awesome artists. I really love just how cool their music is, I think that’s the only way to describe it. Eloise and Charlie Burg have been the artists that have been most influential to me recently, I just love how their music makes me feel most of all.
CS: Would you ever want to collaborate with any of them? (just put it out into the universe now!)
DT: I would jump at the first chance I get!!!! Absolutely, though I’m sure the chances are very slim hahahhh.
CS: Has your relationship with music changed at all since you started writing and releasing your own songs?
DT: Ooh I’ve definitely become a lot more appreciative of music. Learning more about production and songwriting has just made me have so much respect for the people that do this as their jobs, it’s incredible! For me, it’s really become part of who I am, being able to connect with music how I do now is a lot different to what it was like before, it’s also how I express myself too by songwriting instead of just driving myself insane with thoughts.
CS: You play ukulele and guitar (and the kazoo of course), are there any other instruments you’d like to learn?
DT: Hahahhh yesssss!!! I would really love to learn drums because they add so much to a song and I just wanna know how they work, also people just look so cool when they play drums! Playing piano too would be really awesome, I wish I had learnt it when I was younger.
CS: How did you choose the name tinyumbrellas?
DT: It was a random decision really. I started this Instagram page (@tinyumbrellahs) before I knew I wanted to start sharing music on it, and tinyumbrellahs was a random name that didn’t have any connotations to my own name (I didn’t want people from school finding the account...). My mum was wearing a shirt that had patterns of tiny umbrellas on so I just thought okay that will do. When I actually started releasing music I thought about changing the name but I didn’t want to use my own name and I couldn’t think of anything else so I just stuck with it.
CS: What do you do outside of music?
DT: I'm at school at the moment studying for my A levels, that takes up a lot of my time. I also dance which is really fun!
CS: How do you balance school and music?
DT: I think I primarily focus on getting my schoolwork done, and make music when I have time as a reward because I know it’ll be fun. I never treat music as an obligation which I think works well for me because I never feel like I have to be working on something. I just make music when I want to and when I feel inspired (which ends up being a lot of the time!!) But having said that a lot of my music is made in procrastination from schoolwork.
CS: Do you have any new music coming in the future that you can tell us about?
DT: There’s no plans set in stone at the moment but I am working on some songs that I really want to share, so next year should hopefully be good for new music.
CS: What are your favorite songs at the moment?
DT: The ‘This Thing Called Living’ EP by Eloise has some of my favourite songs of all time so definitely that, ‘GIRL ON TV’ by chloe moriondo too, and ‘To Dance Is To Love’ by Charlie Burg!
CS: Thanks so much for spending the time to do this interview. I’m very excited to see what you do in the future! And good luck on your A levels!
DT: Thank you so much to you too!! It’s such a pleasure to have you reach out, thanks for playing my music on your show!!!
You can follow DT on
Soundcloud: ☆ tinyumbrellas ☆
Originally published at @SHNradio on Instagram November 25, 2020