The Haunt, Pool Valley, Brighton, Sunday, January 31

FOR the last two years Anne-Marie Nicholson has been one of the voices of Rudimental.

But now she is preparing to head out under her own name, with her first headline tour stopping off at Brighton’s The Haunt.

“I’m so nervous, but excited too, so they’re balancing each other out,” she says on a break from tour rehearsals, awaiting a Nando’s delivery.

“I’m so looking forward to it – we’re getting everything together now.”

It was performing with Magnetic Man on the Annie Mac Presents tour which led to Anne-Marie first hooking up with Rudimental.

She performed on the single Rumour Mill and shared vocals with Dizzee Rascal on We The Generation album track Love Ain’t Just A Word which she co-wrote.

“Rudimental have helped me in nearly every way,” she says. “I grew as a performer on tour, even my music and the sound on my album changed thanks to them playing all kinds of different music after gigs. They taught me a lot.”

Having released a handful of singles under her own name – including the electro-martials arts anthem Karate, and the poppy old skool handclapping street smarts of Boy – Anne-Marie is now putting the finishing touches to her debut album.

“It’s a good feeling, but it’s also scary,” she says. “We’re getting the artwork done now – that is crazy.”

The singer had been writing songs for nearly four years before she hit on the right sound halfway through the album sessions.

“The song Breathing Fire was the start,” she says. “Apart from a couple of ballads all the rest of the songs were written in six months of hard work.”

With the as-yet-unreleased Breathing Fire she says she had created a song that sounded completely different to anything else she had written up to that point.

“I love every song I have written,” she says. “They are all personal to me – but this one sounded like it would stretch some more ears. It was a song you could play to a young audience and an older audience in any country or any place. I had to up my standard!”

Her links with Rudimental haven’t ended – they are producing some of the tracks on the album, alongside Ellie Goulding collaborator Johnny Lattimer and Two Inch Punch who has previously worked with Ella Eyre, Sam Smith and Years & Years.

Using Breathing Fire as a template Anne-Marie was able to help craft the future sessions to create a sound for the coming album.

“I like every type of music,” she says. “Since Breathing Fire I had to go into the sessions with pointers and specific things for what I wanted. All the producers who worked on this record picked up on it.”

She is now looking towards the live shows – and is stunned how good the new songs sound on stage.

“In future my aim is to play songs live before I record them for an album,” she says. “To me they sound even better live – a little keyboard thing or a guitar lick that someone adds makes me think I should have put that on the song!

“I’ve got some really great musicians around me. It’s me telling a story to everyone – I don’t just stand there singing a song. I feel the song, and hopefully the audience will feel that from me. It will be like an emotional rollercoaster.”

Her first experience of making an emotional connection with a song of her own came when she played a show at Hackney’s Oslo.

“I did Stole from my first EP and was getting tears in my eyes,” she says. “I didn’t expect that to happen. The good thing is not to hide anything on stage – if you’re feeling a certain way you should let it come out.”

From being on tour with Rudimental she has learned some coping strategies for being on the road.

“It’s about going with the flow,” she says. “Eating whenever you can, sleeping whenever you can, interacting with people, and keeping each other emotionally stable.

“When you’re gigging every night, getting to sleep really late and waking up early in a different country you need the right people around you, and you need to look after your body as much as you can.

“I’ve got a few friends who live in Brighton – Tommy Jules the singer from Rudimental lives there. I remember when I was younger filming a video on the Palace Pier – I don’t think it’s online anymore. I’m just hoping it will be a little sunny when we come!”

Starts 7pm, tickets £6. Call 01273 606312.