Where are you currently based and what is the music scene like there?
I’m currently based on the Isle of Wight, the little island at the very bottom of the UK. The music scene is interesting, it’s very different to other parts of the UK I feel because it’s like a microcosm of the rest of the UK as there’s not one set sound but rather everything from rock to pop to country all in this one small scene with a few live music venues. There’s always new bands appearing and creating a buzz, and venues like Strings and The Blacksheep both really help to give new bands a way to cut their teeth and work on their craft before gigging on the mainland or further abroad.
How did you first start playing music?
I originally picked up the guitar in middle school and had lessons because I thought it was cool really, but I quickly got bored because all we were taught was little riffs like James Bond and Jaws not really any actual songs. Then randomly I got really into street magic for a while, but then in the summer of year 9 I had the urge to sell my Playstation and get an acoustic guitar and it’s been non stop since then really. I think it was better that I picked it up this way because I wasn’t trying to do it to look cool or any exterior motive, it was just an instinctual drive to pick it up and now it’s been a massive part of my life that has helped me through so much.
What’s been happening recently?
A lot has been going on recently, I’ve started an events promotions company called Diamond Collective with two of my friends Tim Bouman and Daniel Thornton with the aim to build a scene and platform through which we can promote artists we’re passionate about as well as ourselves. We’ve had two packed out nights at the Blacksheep on the Isle of Wight so far and are moving to Strings venue on May 29th for our next event. I’ve also released two singles (‘Valentine’ and ‘Smoke & Ash’) and am preparing for the release of another called ‘Honey’ in June. This year has been my debut as an artist with my new music so it’s been really nice to finally get the music I’ve been working on out there and all the visions that I’ve had circulating in my mind for years now!
You’ve recently released two singles ‘Valentine’ and ‘Smoke & Ash’, what influenced the sound and songwriting for these tracks?
I’ve been writing since I first picked up the guitar so have got years worth of songs, but my sound has changed a lot since when I first started. Last year I finally started to find the sound and songwriting I wanted to pursue and was leaning towards the more pop orientated sound. Smoke & Ash was one of the songs I wrote just before this transition, and it represented a lot of changes and events in my life and so it felt right to begin with that as my first release into the world and lay the foundation for what was to come. Then Valentine was me really honing in on the pop vibe and creating something danceable that I would listen to myself. I’m really proud of both of them and am so happy to have them represent my debut as an artist.
Where and when did you record?
I started recording in February of last year with the first single Smoke & Ash, and then went on to record the other three tracks from the upcoming EP in June of last year. I recorded with Hungry Hound Productions on the Isle of Wight, working with the producer Stuart Heath. This was my first time in a professional recording studio and it was such a dream to be able to work with another passionate creative and have him involved in the process of making my vision come to life. He’s such an amazing producer and I feel so privileged to have been able to work with him, if any artists looking to record soon are reading this please check him out!
How do you usually go about writing music?
I’ve never really had a set process to writing, I’ve found over the years I’ve developed techniques and ways of writing that I switch between all the time. Sometimes it’ll be messing about on guitar and finding a chord progression I like then singing random words over it until a melody comes about, or using apps on my phone to create sounds and songs that I wouldn’t usually come up with on guitar. One of my favourite techniques is to make a chord progression on piano or guitar, record it, and then come up with a vocal melody by improvising on guitar or piano as this leads to creating vocal melodies I wouldn’t usually come up with by improvising with my voice.
What programs/instruments were used during the recording and production process?
We used the Logic DAW in the studio during the recording and mixing process. We tried to blend the raw instruments we used such as guitar, bass and drums with more electronic elements such as sub bass and samples to give it a more modern/pop edge. It was so fun to experiment with this blend and make it fit with the songs and create something new.
You have a new track ‘Honey’ coming out in June 2019, what’s this track about?
I do! This track is probably the most vulnerable one I’ll have released so far, and alongside this it’s a stripped pop piano song so the lyrical content and emotion is much clearer. I wrote it about finding someone you feel is so perfect and you just want to be around them all the time and be surrounded by the happiness they make you feel, but then the harsh reality of long distance. It then also touches upon something I believe deeply in which is that before entering a relationship, the best thing one can do is to make sure they are comfortable and happy on their own and not in need of fulfilment and happiness from another person. And then when these two people come together the relationship is not the source of their happiness and love, but rather an extension of their happiness and love, and this I feel is the foundation of a relationship that lasts.
Where can we listen to your music?
I currently have two tracks out (‘Valentine’ and ‘Smoke & Ash’), both available on all major music platforms!!
You also have a 4 track EP titled ‘Sitting On A Bench By The Sea At Midnight, what can we expect from this one?
So this will feature my two tracks ‘Valentine’ and ‘Smoke & Ash’, my soon to be released ‘Honey’ and also one more song exclusive to the EP titled ‘Because’. And accompanying it will be a short film music video featuring all four songs!
How did this EP come about?
The EP takes it’s name from a line in Smoke & Ash, and it represents a turning point in my life when I, believe it or not, sat on a bench by the sea at midnight after a few major events and began the process of change in my life that has brought about a lot of changes and evolution in myself towards who I am now and have always wanted to be. It felt natural to pay homage to this moment in my life by incorporating it in my art and almost saying thank you to a course of events and people in each song that have shaped me and stimulated growth.
Please tell us about your new music video:
So the new music video is for my song ‘Smoke & Ash’ and it’s the first part of a short film I’ve produced with a video with Glasshouse Productions who are a cinematic film and photography business run by Reuben Mowle and Charlie Fennimore. I had the idea, rather than making a normal music video for each song, I’d create a short film format video that featured each song and tied them all together with an interweaving story. Making the film was such a beautiful experience for me and I’ve learned so much from it. Working with the lads at Glasshouse was truly one of the best experiences of my life, I’ve always admired what they do and so to be able to create something so personal with them and see my vision come to life has been an honour beyond words. The story of the film starts with the events explained in Smoke & Ash and then leads into a story line that’s loosely based on the growth and journey I’ve been through since then. I’m beyond proud of it and I can not wait to finally release it into the world!!
When and where are you playing next?
My next gig is on the 29th May at Strings Bar and Venue on the Isle of Wight for the next Diamond Club I’ll be hosting with Diamond Collective. This one is a pre-festival season bash and there’ll be five local bands who’ll all be playing on the festival circuit this year so it’ll be a proper party. Plus I may or may not be playing my next single ‘Honey’ that’ll be released next month…
What do you like to do away from music?
Music is a pretty massive part of my life and it’s always running through my mind in some form, but I’m also a massive fan of cinema. The cinema has always been my other safe space aside from playing music in my room or on stage. Whenever I go to a cinema to watch a film I just let myself be absorbed in it and then when I come out I find I’m in a different headspace where I can look at things in my life from a different perspective and change the way I’m feeling. That’s why I’m so passionate about the film I’ll be releasing and making cinematic visuals and videography a large part of my art as a music artist.
What’s planned for 2019?
I’m so hyped for what’s still to come this year, I’ve got a new single ‘Honey’ coming next month. Then I’ll be releasing the short film and EP in July, followed by some very special extra releases tied in with the EP and film. I’ll be appearing at Isle of Wight Festival this year which I’m so excited about, it’s always an honour to be able to play my home town festival. Then after the summer I’ve got planned a very special set of releases which I’ll be hinting at over the next couple of months so stay tuned to my socials!
Any secrets you care to share?
I may or may not have a screening planned for the short film in a very special location… That and my hair goes down past my nips.
Favourite food and place to hang out?
My favourite food is UNDOUBTEDLY peanut butter & avocado sandwich, honestly the best food combo I’ve ever taster in my twenty years on this earth, don’t hate til you try it haha! And favourite place to hang out is either in a cinema or by the beach with my best mates and said peanut butter & avocado sandwich.