Congratulations on the release of Free how does it feel?
It’s been a journey I have to tell you. I’ve been working on these tracks for years and to have 7 out in one year is a weird feeling!
It’s your seventh single, what’s the story behind it?
Free is a song a about breaking away and finding your own feet. Which is a bit how I feel about finally releasing all this music. It’s not until you’re actually out the door that you really start to get a feel for what it means to you. That’s what the song’s trying to convey.
It comes from your forthcoming album due out in March, what’s it been like recording it?
It’s been a process for sure. I was just making my music with producer, Tony White, over the past few years, then out of the blue Mozez, from Numen Records, pops up and ask if I’ve got any material to release as he’s looking to develop some artists, and away we went. I’ve got a vault of tracks that are ready to go, so each time we come around to a release we have a trawl through the vault and Mozez picks one that gets to him and then we work on the video etc and get going with it. It’s a nice way to work and the album is kind of making itself from the that process.
What were the challenges and positives you’ve faced recording it?
Tony White and I have had a way of working for years now whereby I give him the demo, or even just the guitar and vocal version, and he gets time alone with it to work it up into the track. As our method suited remote interaction, Covid has sort of validated it and made us get deeper into giving each other space to do our own thing with the music. Drawing a positive out of a pandemic feels wrong but this at least has been something good to come out of it.
You’re a singer songwriter from London who doesn’t like to show your face, how did it all begin for you?
I started making music years and years ago and had to give it all up to look out for my young family. By the time I came back to it properly, I’d developed another life and it didn’t really sit with the music, so I just kept myself out of it. Now it’s become a thing and I like that the music gets to speak for itself. We live in such a face centred world, the Me & I of everything, it feels good to take a personal step back.
What did you listen to growing up?
I have a kind of Bowie meets Funk thing. When I was young, I had two distinct groups of friends who didn’t really mix, one into Bowie & Indie, the other into soul, funk and jazz. So I feel like everything I do is pulling in both directions. As I’ve got older there’s a more mellow vibe to everything I do, which I hope is some sort of maturity finally finding me, but that may be wishful thinking.
Tell us about your artwork, you don’t use your own face in your covers, what’s the inspiration behind it?
It’s from that sense of not wanting to be the focus. Sometimes it frustrates the label but mostly it just makes us have to work a bit harder on trying to match the image to the song.
COVID has impacted the creative industry in a big way, what kept you motivated?
I got a label during Covid, so in a way I’m more motivated than ever. I made music when I knew it was just going to sit on a hard drive, I guess because I couldn’t not. Now I’ve got a purpose, it’s easy!
2020 was a time to reflect what did you learn about yourself?
That I keep making the same mistakes, in life, in music, in relationships, so I have to keep working at it!
Did you pick up any new skills?
I think my guitar playing got better (it had a long way to go!) which is more progression than new, but still good. Having to be at home all the time also meant having the guitar to hand all the time, which must have helped.
What are you listening to at the moment?
Burt Bacharach! I’ve gone crazy for him for some reason. It was through the Elvis Costello album ‘Painted from Memory’ from 1998, which just came onto my Spotify for some reason and now I can’t leave it alone. Like most musicians, I obsessed over something then move on. But Bacharach is such a genius I’m hoping it won’t pass too soon!
What are you looking forward to most in 2022?
The album, more singles and some gigs!! What else is there!