The 26 year-old singer talks about her love of animal rights and plant-based cooking.
After studying music at Bath college, Gabrielle Aplin gained a huge following on YouTube for her acoustic covers, which led her to record the soundtrack for the John Lewis Christmas advert in 2013 — a cover of Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s The Power of Love.
She is a keen advocate for mental health awareness, animal rights and the benefits of a vegan lifestyle, which is highlighted in her popular vegan cooking series on YouTube — Food With Friends — which now has almost 1 million subscribers.
We caught up with her to find out why she’s so passionate about all things vegan…
When did you go vegan and why?
I honestly can’t remember the exact date but it’s been around four or five years now. And for many small reasons too, I suppose. I made an effort to stop eating meat and make more plant-based meals and I guess I really enjoyed it and it stuck! That’s the main thing for me I think, I just really enjoy it.
How has this impacted your life?
It’s made me healthier, it’s taught me how to cook and made me discover how much I love to do so, it’s made me think about other ways my life can be more compassionate. Socially, for example, or with the environment.
Are any of your family and friends vegan?
Yes, lots of my friends are. My partner is and so are my parents. I never pressured anyone into veganism, I invite people to try things and I love seeing the great reactions to food made entirely out of plants. I actually really love feeding my meaty friends and them being satisfied!
Tell us about your animal rights work…
I think veganism itself is a stand for animal rights. I like to extend that into all areas of my life — be it choosing not to buy and wear clothing made from animals, to buying from companies and brands that don’t test on animals, for example. I support animal charities as much as I can and have recently worked with the RSPCA. I encourage adoption when it comes to pets. Basically, I take any opportunity to spread the word or not take part in any activity that exploits animals.
Who are your favourite vegan influencers?
Peaceful Cuisine on YouTube is one. He makes beautiful videos with vegan Japanese recipes. Lucy Watson is great, and I love
@london_afro_vegan on Instagram. She has a café called Deserted Cactus in Peckham and she always has great tips for vegan spots in London.
You have friends coming for dinner, what do you cook?
Mac and cheese! I’m really enjoying tacos at the moment too.
How does veganism relate to your music?
I don’t think my eating habits have influenced the songs I write, but it has influenced my attitude to food whilst touring. Every day is like a little challenge to find the best vegan breakfast or lunch! I always try to keep a note on where I was and build up a little list of places I’ve enjoyed so I can visit again.
Final thoughts on the vegan movement?
I think it’s wonderful. It’s not just about food but it’s about your whole lifestyle. It’s great to see the movement growing.
Gabrielle’s new album, Dear Happy, is out 17th January 2020. Watch her Food with Friends series at gafoodwithfriends.tumblr.com