Tell us about yourself and your music
I’m a 51-year-old singer/songwriter from near Manchester in the UK, I have had an interest in music all my life starting out playing the cello but have always had a guitar to hand, 6 years ago I discovered my ability to write songs.
My influences are wide-ranging, not just drawing on musical inspiration but observations of life and my own journey and change that has happened with me. Around the same time (6years ago) I had a spiritual awakening and I think the universe was saying you’re not following what’s right for you (i was working in a very non-creative career) try this instead, and I found creating music was something I got a real buzz from, and to share that music can be a force for good. So I trusted what I felt and followed the path to try and create something which is as true to me as musically possible, that does mean variation in my case as my influences and likes are diverse so that has led to doubts from others about having to followed specific genres, etc but I believe that in breaking those shackles you create something true to you.
Talk to us more about your latest release
“Clouds” was really about the awakening process, or rather the end of it, quite a destructive change takes place within you, you question everything you have ever believed which leads to a great deal of soul searching and having to face your own deepest fears and anxieties the biggest, of course, being that we will all one day leave this world and to a certain extent you have to get comfortable with that fact in order to shed the fear of living, So really the song was about the end of that questioning process the final realization that you don’t really have to have all the answers whilst we are here, happiness really comes from letting go of the need for answers, hence the lyrics “why do butterflies fly” well they just do, marvel at that and don’t sweat the reasons why.
What inspired you to write this release?
I think it was inspired by events within me and a letting go to just be myself, hopefully, it offers food for thought for others as I’m sure I am not alone in what has happened to me, I think a great many people are going through similar changes and with luck, it offers some comfort to those that it’s alright not to have all the answers, we came to this place to be happy and that should be the goal really. It’s ok to change, it’s ok to be vulnerable, and it’s ok to opt-out of the consensus view that everything must be structured and ordered.
Describe the writing and recording process
I always feel like I don’t find songs they find me, its really about me putting myself in a quiet place, and it’s quite surreal in that I tend to have ideas for melodies and guitar, etc but the actual writing of the lyrics really feels like it comes from somewhere else, I just put a pen in my hand and they appear, I actually commented when I first played it to my producer Si that I don’t remember writing it. So armed with some lyrics and guitar parts we both sit down and think about how we record it, I used to think that idea was the song but have learned through working together for 3 years now that the idea is just the seed of a song, you have to be fluid enough to let it evolve and go where the song wants to go not where you think it wants to go. Clouds actually started life as a dance track and we both thought wow great! only to realize a few days later that it wasn’t something original to me, so I picked up an electric guitar and played a rhythm track to it and suddenly it made sense, the initial guitar was done first take and it just grew from there.
Any plans to release a video?
Any plans to hit the road?
I have some shows coming up, due to the current limitations these are online, but hopefully the situation will improve and I can get out and see real people again, I miss that enormously as a musician.
As an indie artist, how do you brand yourself and your music to stand out from the rest of the artists out there?
I would like to brand myself as “me” I want to do something different, yeah I’m influenced by the music of others as I’m sure we all are, but I’d like people not to listen to my songs and find bits of somebody else in it, but to think “that’s like nothing else I’ve heard “I think that’s the key.
Who have you been listening to lately?
I listen to a lot of music and I just love listening to people doing things differently, the upside of streaming is that it has opened up a world of artists that otherwise would not be heard, I always have my old favorites of things that have shaped me, I loved the era of the late ’80s 90’s when pop made its way into punk and then all the indie bands. If I had to pick one album recently it would be very uncontroversial but I downloaded “Folklore” by Taylor Swift and couldn’t stop listening to it, i think it shows her roots in the country its magical, I listened to “last great American dynasty ” and you think what’s this about ? so I ended up spending hours reading about Rockerfeller, that to me is what music should do, it should make you feel something but also it should make you think, to take you away from the everyday things and escape.
Who are your biggest influences?
Probably unusual for a man but I have to say my biggest influences are female, right back to the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, through to modern artists like Fiona Apple, Alanis Morisette, Florence, and the Machine, Kate Bush too many to mention really there’s just something higher and more melodic in it much more of vulnerable honesty, I don’t think you can ever be that or recreate it as a man but I think you can try and understand it and be inspired, whilst the idea of creating things which have people bouncing around throwing beer at each other will always appeal, I think real bravery is to bare your vulnerable self.
Tell us about your passions
Aside from music, I love traveling and meeting people, I like to understand about history, reading although I’ve read parts of many books it’s very rare for me to actually finish a full one, food and just generally being involved in life be it stuck in the hustle and bustle of the City but also away from it all in nature, it’s all about finding a balance really if life’s all one way its a very straight road and you can see what’s coming up which takes away the fun really.
What else is happening next in your world?
probably like many others in the world at the moment, not as much as I would like, but I’ve used the time to write songs, currently, I am working on recording an album’s worth of material, it’s still to be decided how that’s released be it to succumb to the pressure to be constantly creating new stuff, or whether I just take some time and pop up with an album and say “hey look what I made ” in the meantime, I’m also playing some live shows which will be online streams for the time being.
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