With Regina Spektor lounging in the 29 degree heat of New York City, and I in the 26 degrees of the Midlands, both struggling, we convened to discuss one of the most exotic transitional periods of her career thus far.

Throughout our conversation, she talks of writing a new song 'You've Got Time' for Jenji Kohan's new TV series 'Orange is the new Black', the benevolent atmosphere of Edinburgh, her exclusive UK Festival appearance at Secret Garden Party and how, as the years creep by, she's morphing as an artist.

Regina comes across as the kind of woman whose heart would be unsullied by the coldest of frosts, let alone the warmest of months.

It's been eight years and you're back at Secret Garden Party and this time to headline the festival, how does that feel?

Oh, it's so cool.

Really cool.

Yeah, I didn't realise that the first time I played it was its first year! For some reason I thought, well, I always assume that I'm the new one to the party and I always think that everything has been around forever. But it's really great that it started then and has been growing, and what a cool idea?

Yeah absolutely. Was there anything that made you want to return?

It was just really great to be invited back and I'm glad that it worked with my tour. But I'm actually, obviously it's very exciting to get to come back somewhere after eight years, with eight years more knowledge and experience (laughs). I always relish the chance to do it again, hopefully better.

And then the De La Warr Pavillion too, which is stunning. Do you find it motivating to play in these picturesque places?

Oh yeah. I mean, there are definitely fun festivals, like I played Bonnaroo in Tennessee in the U.S. a bunch of times and it's a really fun festival but its fun because of the people, the bands and the vibe that they bring. But the place is just like a dustbowl and it's crazy hot (laughs).

Definitely when you play a festival, like I played a festival in Edinburgh and there's a castle, beautiful rolling hills, which brings that extra something. You don't just bring the vibes, there's beautiful nature everywhere. It has its own grandiose kind of gift that makes the whole thing more special for sure.

It juxtaposes anti-folk New York quite nicely, doesn't it?

(laughs) I don't know, I think it juxtaposes all of New York! Well, we do have central park and I'm very, very proud of the park but it's a recreation of all this craziness.

It's massive right?

Oh, it's giant, but thank God for it because it's so brilliant to make a park that giant in the middle of New York because you really are able to sometimes feel, if not completely alone, you really do have space. I think mentally it helps the city not go mad because I think just having it there is sort of a place for the mind to be like 'Ah, ok'.

Trying to trick your brain that you're not in the city.

'Yeah, I'm in the country!' (laughs) It is fun, especially when it gets summery. You can be walking in the city, then you take off your shoes and you're part of the Animal Kingdom and you're not some weird robot.

What kind of song have you written with 'You've Got Time'?

(pauses) I don't know how to answer that (laughs). I don't know, it just felt really right for the show that was described to me by Jenji (Kohan). We met in New York when they were still casting and I think the cast is amazing. One of my things with a lot of shows is that it seems like sometimes people are not interesting looking anymore. They just look like people who go and work out a lot, and they're kind of cut from the same cloth, and there's not a lot different personalities.

Like the Mom and the daughter will look kind of the same, and they have to qualify it with "Oh, Mom" then you're like 'Right, that's the Mom, not the other way around'. It's really weird, so, it's exciting to me when shows have really cool, diverse and interesting looking people in it. I think it's an incredible story, the Piper Chapman story. I was very interested right away.

The only thing that entered my mind was that it was in jail so it needed to feel really claustrophobic and kind of really, locked, heavy and oppressive. Jenji told me about this really cool moment, I don't want to give anything away about 'Orange is the new Black', so I'll just say she told me the story that's the incident with the chicken (laughs), if I put it cryptic. It kind of felt to me like, if somebody is really oppressed and trapped, you still have this ability to internally feel free and let your mind stay free and get excited, have fun and get swept up. You know? And so, I sort of think that was a big part of the song.

I think, from what I've heard about people in the situation of entrapment, a lot of the ones that are able to survive are the ones that are able to let their minds remain free and disassociate. To not just be brooded in their actual reality because that can be maddening, but your internal world is so vast. So I wanted that, in a strange way, to all be part of the music.

Yeah, I think the lyrics are very frank and it's great to hear the philosophical depth in the song. So, have your ambitions in music changed as you've gotten older?

Well I think that (pauses), at first I was just so starved for getting things out to people. When you've got so much music written and you haven't had the chance to sing or play anything to the public. You just really want to play as much as you can and get as much of the music recorded and out. Put tons and tons of on record. Then I think when you've done a bunch of that, your focus shifts and that running to catch up with your body of work slows down.

Even though I still have a lot of songs that haven't been recorded properly or released, I don't feel as panicked about catching up with my body of work as much. I'm much more excited about writing new types of songs for me. So maybe in that way it's kind of (pauses) the pressure that I put on myself is still there, it's just in a different realm. Before I thought 'I've got to get this new record' and 'how am I going to turn these twenty songs into one record that doesn't have twenty songs on it?' Now I'm much more excited about 'what songs do I want on this record?' or 'what songs do I want to write for myself?' or 'what production do I want to explore?' and it becomes less of a panicked speedy thing and maybe a little bit more thoughtful. You're always exploring, but maybe it's now a bit more explorative than before. I'm kind of excited about all the mysterious things ahead.

You've said before that you "write as life happens", what is happening now? Are you writing or too busy touring?

I've been writing, yeah, it's been really fun but of course now I leave to tour in a week or something? And I know once I get there I won't be writing anymore, but you do other things, you know? You take things in and I'm going to so many new places too. And that's sort of the time, at least for me, I know some people know how to write on the road but I really don't that much.

Mostly I'm really excited about taking things in and getting the chance to see new music that I haven't heard before. It's a really cool thing with festivals because usually we all live in our own little bubble, but with festivals it's really accelerated. You get to really hear and see your peers or, even if it's a crazy schedule you only get to hear bits and pieces. You can check out some band that you wouldn't get chance to, I get really excited about that and seeing new talent, travelling, taking things in.

Then in the fall I'll probably write a ton more with the whole summer's experience floating around in my head (laughs). It's gonna be cool, I can't believe I get to do it, holy shit! (laughs) But it's a cool fucking life, man.

Great to sort of meet you, Regina.

Yeah, don't get fried in the heat!


Tickets are available for Secret Garden Party from here. Head over to the official festival website for more information. You can also pick up tickets for the De La Warr Pavillion show by heading here.