Hi mate thanks for doing us in the RGM lounge again, so what made you decide to become a soloist?
The passion to create all the sounds that go into a track myself (and obviously having the final say in it, haha). I have played in a number of bands over the years, but my true enjoyment comes with the writing, recording and production side of music, holing myself away in my home studio and hashing out a complete song from inception through to the final product.
How positive are you feeling now restrictions are loosening?
Very! It’s been a tough time for so many people, but now the end is in sight, the vaccine has been rolling out quickly, and now restrictions are lifting normal life is now within sight, I hope. When gigs and festivals become a regular thing again I will be a very happy man.
We recently reviewed your last single. How did you feel the review went?
I felt blown away by it actually! The review was extremely positive and seemed to understand and fully appreciate what I was attempting to do with it. I hope that my complete album will have the same impact!
I hear you have a new album brewing, what can you tell us about it?
It is called ‘Ruminations & Adaptations’ and it has been several years in the making. The writing process and production even started before Covid was a thing! It has been a complete passion project, with lots of love and time put into it, despite being very frustrating at times.
Talk me through the thought process of the album?
The title of the album has come from me being a huge overthinker and has come about after going through big transitions since starting it. All the lyrics and emotion I’m trying to convey has come from this. It circles themes such as love, desire, despair, passion, embracing negativity, absence, time, arrivals, departures, hesitance, grey areas and dualities. So it touches on quite a lot and is very personal to me, the only way I seem to be able to write.
What was the recording process like?
Lonely, just the way that I like it! I work as a composer and sound designer as a day job so have a decent home studio setup where I will write, record and mix all of my material. As a solo artist I have no-one to bounce off. I can write in quite a few different ways, but the most common would be coming up with a guitar or piano part, and perhaps an idea for melody and lyrics. Once this is roughly recorded I will hash out ideas of extra parts, creating layer upon layer until it starts to take direction. I will keep adding until I find out exactly what makes the song tick and what it needs and means, and the emotion and feel I’m attempting to convey. At this point I’ve usually added far too much and need to strip it back again or start completely anew with a fresh approach. It can be incredibly painstaking at some points, but it’s what I love! When I have something I consider to be nearly done I then passed it onto a fantastic mixing and mastering engineer at Big Boys Studios to finalise the songs.
Why record an album? A lot of artists are going down the road of regular singles, just interested in your thoughts on committing to an album right now.
I have catered to the modern trend of single releases and brought out four singles in the run up to the full album along with music videos, but inevitably what I want as an artist is to produce a complete body of work. I have always been an appreciator of albums and love listening to a complete work as this is how they are intended, and so much work goes into the overall product. Before streaming and playlists were a thing, full albums were such a big deal and I count myself lucky to be a person happy person to pick up a Pink Floyd record and listen to the whole thing on headphones, as opposed to finding a spotify playlist and sticking it on shuffle. I won’t allow myself to turn into a bitter old man though…
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the album?
Just how much goes into it when you do it by yourself. Mainly the planning. I’ve had these songs complete for some time, but when planning single releases, music videos, getting the songs mastered, posting regularly on social media etc, you need a solid road map set out of what’s happening and when. My passion comes from being creative, and it’s what I enjoy the most, but at the same time I really like other people getting enjoyment from what I have produced. So this is all incredibly important in trying to get and keep people’s attention to try and reach out as much as possible.
Would you change anything now it’s finished?
Haha, there’s always things I would change, and I don’t truly think I’ve ever completed anything. But if the songs stayed in my hands I would have happily tweaked, re-recorded and played with them for the rest of my life! I think it’s the same with anything creative; no piece of art is ever actually complete, it just needs to be taken off your hands at some point to stop you going insane.
What’s your favourite song right now from another band currently on your local circuit?
A fresh track by a bright young talent called Torrin. She has just released an awesome little number called ‘Picture Frame’ available on Spotify. It captures the beautiful tone of her voice so well.
Tell us something about you that you think people would be surprised about?
That I struggle through life and my surroundings at the height of 6ft 7…
What’s your biggest achievement as an artist?
The enjoyment of what I do, and being able to make a living from being creative.
What makes you stand out as an Artist?
I’d like to think it would be the diversity in my style. I struggle to pigeon hole my music into one specific genre, and hope that there’s something there that anyone could appreciate.
Right now, what’s pissing you off the most? (And you can’t say the virus)
To be completely honest, I don’t think anything is! Trying to be positive…
What are your plans for the year ahead?
All my attention has been turned to the release of this album on the 30th of July, but I have been working on a lot of new material in recent months. I have a remix of a song for a local artist in the pipeline this year, as well as more singles and music videos leading to another album release at some point in the near future… Stay tuned.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
When you can, go out to gigs, go out to festivals, support the arts and enjoy yourself.