Glüme: "Everyone’s inner child should think should I check in with myself?"
Alice Gee | 18/03/2023
Touch down in London, and it’s all go for Glüme. Meeting at her London hub SATELLITE414, we get comfortable at both ends of a corner sofa. Having stepped off a flight from LA the day before, jet lag becomes her, oozing her signature old Hollywood glamour aesthetic. In the next 24 hours, Glüme, ever the busy woman, will host her first-ever premiere, perform at Londons The Standard, and head to Paris.
Glüme is no stranger to the realities of life. There’s no doubt in my mind from the moment we begin to talk about her life that she’s a woman beyond her years. Her story is engaging; she was a Child actor from age six with an air surrounding the pressures of being financially relied on from such a young age, her desire to heal, find her voice, especially creatively, and in many ways, someone who raised herself. But in the process of finding herself, she’s found her people. Those who see the creative genius she creates. It’s been quite the dream. With a look of gratitude, she tells me how different life is now she gets to travel the globe.
G: I left America for the first time in November, and now I’m Never in America. Now it’s required for music, and I’m not mad about it.
A: What was it like starting acting so young?
G: I started when I was six. I was Shirley Temple on Broadway. My mum and I did child acting until I was 17. And then, I decided to quit after my last audition, which was for Hannah Montana. After that, I fancied myself to be a genuine intellectual musician, those bratty 17-year-old years. At the time, my agents sent me out for many 12 and 13-year-old roles because I looked very young. When all I wanted to do something was something meaty. My agent didn’t see that for me at that time. So I decided to make music, thinking I’ll return to acting. So I made music, got signed to a publishing company, and wrote many songs. I was trying to find someone who would like to listen to my music and understand what I was doing. When I emailed my current manager and label with an album that I had made, they emailed it back in a half hour and said, “We’d like to put out your album and sign you.” After so many years of meetings with labels that never came to anything, it had always seemed complicated, and then it came through so simply. I’m still really thankful.
It’s been quite a dream. My team has been so supportive. They’re incredible and so dedicated. We had our first album out two years ago, and I’ll be releasing this one this week.
I decided to work exclusively with my manager. In all honesty, she’s a lifesaver. I recently joined a production company called Femina Films. We’re putting out a short film called Child actor which goes with the album. We’ll be premiering that tonight at The Standard. I’m incredibly excited about that. It’s cool to see different sides, significantly growing up as a child actor. I’ve executive-produced things before but have only partially been on that side. I really enjoyed it. I wrote part of the script and I'm excited to see where that goes. And what’s really special is the production company is complete with two other women and me; being an all-female production company is really important. Making films and making my music, it’s all just intertwined. And I’m just having a blast right now.
A: Sounds like one hell of a ride. I love how it’s all synced up as well.
G: It feels just like the universe is in the right place. You can try so hard to force things, but if it’s not going to happen, it probably won’t. I mean, do the work. You have to work. But you’ll only be able to make it if both things are aligned.
A: You’ve got to trust the process, especially in film.
G: It’s a male-dominated industry. But I met the girl who directed the film, Andrea Riba, my colleague, and her sister Sofia Riba. They adopted me into the Riba family and asked if I wanted to join their production company because they liked working with me. I still feel so deeply honored. Like Steven Spielberg, she’s like a genius. She’s gonna be one of the prominent directors in the industry.
It’s really a blast. I had a hard childhood performing and creating art day in and day out, so it’s nice to have a little break and love what I’m doing so wholly.
A: Often in the industry, it’s not about trusting the creative moreso relinquishing control. So to have that must be a breath of fresh air.
G: I’m obsessed with my team. I actually went to a psychic. I’ve always been so skeptical about all of that. But this girl messaged me, and she said "I just did this reading, and you actually came up in the reading, and I wanted to share it with you". She knew something no one else knew. The whole story. So I had a reading done, and she gave me this advice, and I did it. It was centered around building the right team. And I now have the perfect team that I work with. It’s worked out so well.
In the beginning, I was like, can I totally buy into it but then I thought, how would she know what she did? I was bamboozled. Now I consult her about literally everything. At first, it was funny how my team and I approached her, but she’s always right about everything. You know, to cross your t’s and dot your I’s.
A: I love that you’ve found people who want to come through for you. How do you cope with such pressure when you’re a kid, especially when there’s supposed to be an element of innocence and a carefree nature.
G: I didn’t have a childhood, and I definitely have some pretty severe PTSD that I didn’t always know until it hit me. I find that I have blocked a lot of things out. I recently found an old journal from when I was 12. And it was all news to me. It’s crazy, as you would think I would remember my life. And then you’re like, I don’t know any of this. So I guess my Brain has taken my trauma and been like we’re gonna put it here so you can survive and function. I ended up burning the journal. It was incredibly freeing. I think that we learn to accept so much of our hardships as we become adults and grow into our adult selves. Whether you have an absent parent or something else, I think no one’s perfect, right? Or the parents did their best. But I think we have a right to heal that hole, that inner child, the thing that that person or that little kid wants or didn’t get. Often I think we try to get that as an adult, and if you don’t work through healing, it can be painful. I can see her, that little girl, the self-sabotage.
If I look at my dating life, I often say things to push people away or test people because I’m scared they’ll find something out about me and then leave. So I say it all at once. Unconditional love is still an interesting concept. Because for me previously, it was all about earning, you know, getting a paycheck to pay for my parent’s mortgage. And so when I go into the thing, I automatically offer a lot of extras, features, like I’m a hotel with amenities. I don’t need to do that, but I have a hard time understanding that because, as a kid, I never got to be the main character because of my mum was. Growing up with a narcissist is hard because you get nothing. I did the parenting. It took me a couple of years to learn to check in with myself, like, what do you want for breakfast? What do you want to do tonight? Or do you want to go with the flow? I didn’t think about what I wanted. I took care of myself.
A: It’s so ingrained in you, right? A sense of overcompensation.
G: That’s why I wanted so much for this album. I did some stuff recently to fulfill and impress my mother. And I realised that I was never gonna get that, so I needed to make good with myself. I had this idea of bringing my inner child back out and letting it say what it needed to say. That’s why I made the album. That’s why I hired the little girl to sing the last song on it. I wanted it to be the kid saying what needed to be told and what I wish I had been able to speak at 10 years old. It was really cathartic to hear a 10-year-old say my words. Many people who wish they could say things like that when they were kids weren’t allowed to, so I wanted to give my inner child a voice, and that’s why I made the film, and those songs have been really healing.
The undertone of the story is everyone relates to that. Everyone’s inner child should think should I check in with myself? Because it’s like, that’s what’s running a lot of us and I need to give compassion to that area. And then set it free.
A: I love that you’ve addressed it in a way that seems to be what’s right for you.
G: It’s interesting as in making the film, I thought if it was me that was hearing some of those home truths, I would be really uncomfortable. It isn’t easy because we cherish our parents. They’ve raised us. Still, being unable to talk about it, especially to mums as they birthed us, is an uncomfortable experience. A lot of people are very uncomfortable with that. But with my mum, all she thought about was when the premiere was.
For a lot of people their experiences lie with their dads, but my dad is solid. My dad fucking rocks. My mum had too much going on with her. You know, she grew up on a farm. It was a very oppressive environment. She has a lot of mental health issues that she was caring for and couldn’t be present. Those are weird things for a kid to think about, so when I got cast in Shirley Temple, I decided to live the rest of my life as Shirley Temple. It’s only just this year that I felt I was allowed to grow up and I was allowed to be an adult. And that’s life.
I’ve just taught myself that I must be OK with things. So I’m OK with it. It’s just instilled in me, but where’s that line?
A: Having your own back and others must be essential?
G: Music is really important. I care about people and humanity not feeling alone. I really care about standing up for people. After all, I noticed that I go hard on my friends because I realised as a kid that no one did that for me.
A: You have your album coming out, as well as your film, living in those moments and schedule, but what’s something you want to do for yourself?
G: I literally have a song I released two years ago. The opening line was I want to get married. I want a house and a farm and some chickens,the American dream. I did get married. We’re not married anymore. But I want a better relationship with love if I could have anything. Because I love, love. I love falling in love. I love all of that. But I want to ensure I’m not doing the same thing repeatedly.
But after everything Glüme has been through, she isn’t one to dwell. Instead, she looks to the future, hoping for something ‘meatier,’ with the confidence that the work she brings to the table is enough, and more, she is her own star and will continue shining her light.
Glüme’s debut album is out now!