In early 2014 we met Louise Smith, the then 19 year old was polite-bordering-shy, little did we know a good friendship would come from this shoot and we went on to work on numerous other videos with her. We'll include these at the end of this article. A couple of years went past as they do and we're now at a stage where we spend a good amount of time with Louise, her co-writer Jack Shepard and fellow singer songwriter Marcus Rexford, a trio of musicians based out of southern England. We invited them along to a trip to the Sahara desert with the ultimate goal of spending a night out under the vast expanse of one of the most famous ergs within the 3.6 million square miles of the desert.
The trip saw us fly from London to Marrakech, we were met at the airport and jumped into an off-road Toyota Land Cruiser and set off. We drove until lunch, then a bit more and then even more. We crossed the High Atlas mountains and scurried along valley floors, passing long-forgotten Berber ruins as well as the occasional burst of lush greenery running adjacent to villages found alongside seasonally dried river beds. When you're coerced into a car with friends it's always a good time to catch up with each other. Louise is in the process of writing and recording new music, focussing heavily on compiling content rather than live shows. Anyone who is familiar with her Instagram account will see she frequently posts photos of her getaway writing dens, something that us city folk are easily envious of. Having signed with management a few months ago she seems to be going full speed ahead and as a genuine fan of her music we look forward to seeing what she'll come up with. Louise is easy to talk to and it's hard to keep a conversation focussed entirely about music when the conversation strays away, but we're confident that Louise will put out some great music in the coming year.
500km later we were greeted by the red dunes of Erg Chebbi, with the Algerian border sitting in the background. We climbed to the highest dune and sat in silence watching the sun set. There are very few things that need to be said in such moments, and we were happy to sit there shaking the sand out of our boots watching the Milky Way light up the night sky. After a night out under stars, filling out faces with vegetable tajine, we headed to bed knowing that soon we'd be heading back to Marrakech to complete the 2,000 mile journey.
Was a three-day car journey worth it? With the right company, absolutely.
Watch Louise Smith's performances on Reload Sessions below.