Following a popular tour of UK universities, the Hertfordshire singer will continue to deliver freshly brewed music on his March Caffe Nero tour. He tells Big Issue North his worst lyric, then instantly regrets it.
What informs your music and songwriting?
My music playing style draws inspiration from a culmination of lots of artists, ranging from Jimi Hendrix to System of a Down and Donny Hathaway, so a varied bunch! I feel you can take inspiration from any artist and any style/genre of music. The songwriting is usually based on music first and melody lines, with lyrics fitting after the basic structure of the song has been set. My lyric writing style is usually about life experiences or my perception of the reality that’s around me.
How have you evolved as an artist over the years?
I started playing guitar at 14 and have matured/grown as a person and artist throughout this time. When I first started, my view on music and performance was very different to how it is now, I feel I have grown, understood and learnt more about myself musically and personally, which has helped me to keep focused on becoming the artist that I aspire to be. This is not something that happens overnight and I am continually trying to put myself out of my comfort zone, which is a daily, weekly, monthly process. For me the whole purpose of being an artist is about learning constantly and becoming the best you can be at what you do and also, trying to connect with people on a wider scale through my music.
What are you up to at the moment artistically?
Well, the last year has been the busiest and most exciting yet. I have been in America (NJ) recording my next EP, Still Good For Nothing with Grammy-nominated producer Steve Greenwell, who has worked with Joss Stone, James Maddock and Jonas Brothers. The EP is actually live now on my Spotify so check it out and give me a follow! The single, Warm Your Bones is out on 17 March so keep a look out for that and the video will be getting its premiere very soon with a great publication. But you will have to follow my socials to find out who and when. For the time being my lips are sealed!!
What’s it like to operate in the music industry today?
Haha, that is a great question! I feel that in today’s music industry it’s a lot harder than ever before to make your mark in a big way. I believe it’s a mixture of extremely hard work, good social media, good tracks and a great team around you. Oh, and definitely a bit of luck!
What’s on your rider?
Ha, another good one. My rider is usually a couple of beers, some water and some Vocalzones. I know – low maintenance, right?! I am generally quite easy to please. The main thing for me is being able to perform to an attentive crowd, and good feedback from the listeners is always nice too.
Tell us your most embarrassing or surreal experience.
Ah, well, I have a couple of these. The first would be getting presented my award for winning Rock The House 2015 at Winfield House, which is the US Ambassador’s residence in London. The award was presented by a hero of mine, Rick Wakeman, and it was pretty amazing shaking hands with him and hearing him tell me he liked my music. The second would have to be a more recent encounter whilst in America. I was lucky enough to have Jack Daley playing bass on Still Good For Nothing, and just being in the same room and watching him work was a very special experience that I will never forget for as long as I live.
What’s your worst lyric?
I will admit I have written many bad lyrics going back to my early years. The worst that springs to mind would be one that I wrote at the age of 15 and it read as follows: “How many times do we go back to the start, how many times can you break my heart?” Sorry about that – it makes me cringe thinking about it. I will never mention that again. But thanks for that!