Finding fame at 21 was both "thrilling" and "terrifying" for Florence Welch.
The Florence + the MAChine frontwoman is one of the most popular female music artists on the globe, with her whimsical voice setting her apart from the crowds. As her star status continues to grow, the flame-haired singer has looked back at her career beginnings during a chat with Rolling Stone.
"There are certain sartorial choices I would not make, in hindsight," she admitted. "I had black lipstick. I was wearing capes stapled to me. I got famous when I was about 21. It was totally thrilling and also completely terrifying. You're scared and want something to shield you, so you think you've got to have more hair, more make-up. To live in this creation, in this kind of magical alternate universe, kept me safe. But I wouldn't take any of that back. I would just say to that person, 'It's going to be OK.'"
That said, Florence is still an advocate of pushing the boundaries and urges people to try new things. In her eyes, if something feels different or a little uncomfortable, it's a sign of growth, as she witnessed with her second album Ceremonials. Being compared to Kate Bush with her vocals, Florence found it frightening not having any effects used on the finished piece, which her producer pointed out made her more relatable and "vulnerable".
The 29-year-old star has been busy recently touring her latest album How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful, released in 2015. Being on the road so much does have its downsides though, as Florence now finds it difficult to unwind during her downtime.
"When you're on the road, you're like, 'Oh, my God, touring is so stressful,'" she explained. "Then you come back and struggle to fit in all these things that you miss from normal life – seeing friends, seeing my mum. You've got to do your own laundry, too, and I can even stress myself out about getting enough rest. By the time I have to leave again, I kind of want to get back on tour, because I can finally relax."