RGM Introducing – ERNIE

Thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.

What made you decide to become a soloist?

I’ve been playing in bands for years and I love playing with other people, that’s why my first two singles have been collaborations. ERNIE started as a home for all of the songs that I’ve written over the years that never found their place in the bands I’ve been playing in. Being a solo artist allowed me to take those songs in any direction I wanted and it got me to the point where I’m making the music I make today.

How positive are you feeling now restrictions are loosening?

Really positive! I can’t think of anything better than playing and going to gigs again. I can’t wait to feel that nervous excitement as you’re about to start your set or the anticipation of waiting for a band to come on stage that you’ve waited well over a year to see.

How much are you looking forward to tramlines season?

Tramlines season for me is better than Christmas! I can’t wait to spend a whole weekend jumping from stage to stage seeing all my friends’ bands play all over the city and playing sets myself. The city comes alive every year for Tramlines and I can’t wait to have it back. 

What’s your favourite song right now from another band currently on your local circuit?

Right now it’s got to be Sweet one by Chloë Beth Rogers, she’s got an absolutely incredible voice and I’ve been listening to it all week since it came out.

Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories? 

I’m pretty sure we’re living in a simulation. Lately, I’ve seen far too many green cars for them not to be randomly generated, who’s buying them??

What support is out there for new artists in Sheffield?

When I think of this question West Street Live immediately comes to mind. Whether you’re just starting out or whether you’re looking to put on your first headline show, the guys at West Street Live are always so accommodating and willing to give new artists a chance.

I’d also like to mention all the people on the scene who go to regular gigs regardless of who’s on. They’re the real heroes and chatting to them at gigs is always a pleasure.

Who is inspiring you at the minute on the Sheffield unsigned scene?

The collaboration I’ve had with Franz Von for my new single has been such an inspiring process. The first time I heard him on the track my eyes lit up and I was in awe, it was incredible.

My favourite bands/artists out there in Sheffield right now are Jumper Boy, Ten Eighty Trees, Sobriquet, and Chloë Beth Rogers.

What useless party trick /talent do you have/? 

I can say llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch but I had to Google how to spell it!

What was the most fun you have had on stage?

The first time I ever played as ERNIE was in a basement in Sheffield, with my friends Jumper Boy and Alska. It was tiny and cramped and everyone was squashed in like sardines but everyone loved it and it was incredible.

Tell us something about you that you think people would be surprised about?

I really like black metal.

If you had to describe your sound to an alien how would you describe it? 

I think I would describe it the same way as I would describe it to any one else. Bleeps and bloops but kinda sad.

Name a four piece band made up of legends – who would be in it? (drummer, bass, lead singer etc)

I think about this all the time and it changes all the time! But for me right now it’s: John Mayer on guitar and vocals, Stevie Wonder on keys and vocals, Nate Smith on drums, and can I put myself on bass? Does that count?

What’s your biggest achievement as an Artist?

Releasing my debut single Cycles was a real highlight. It started as such a little idea but I knew from the moment I started building on it that it was going to be something special and the perfect release for my first single.

What makes you stand out as an Artist?

I have a penchant for vintage tech, repurposing obsolete music tech for my live shows. For example, I have a Tascam Pocketstudio that I got off ebay for chips because I thought it looked cool but didn’t know what I was going to use it for. Now it’s at the absolute center of my setup and I love it. If you’re a person who loves to nerd out on the gear someone uses then you’re going to love me. Equally, if you’re not into that and you just want to hear some chilled-out synthpop you’re also going to love me.

What’s your favourite song to play live and why?

It has to be my song Lipstick. I originally wrote it as a bluesy-pop love song but then when I started dabbling in electronic music I took the riff from it and ran in a completely different direction and it took me to where I am today so as soon as I play that riff I get excited.

I hear you have a new single brewing, what can you tell us about it?

My brand new single Rise, Hustle. Is a collaboration between me and hip-hop artist and MC of K.O.G and the Zongo Brigade FRANZ VON. The track is a dreamy combination of nostalgia-driven synth sounds and modern hip-hop, with Franz Von’s fierce vocal performance tying it all together.

It was an absolute pleasure to work with Franz, he was incredible from the start. I can’t wait to get it out into the world.

What are your plans for the year ahead? 

I want to get back into gigging. I’ve missed it so much these past 18 months and as I said earlier I love playing and collaborating with other people so like Franz Von and Jumper Boy I want to reach out to more and more artists in Sheffield and collaborate with as many people as possible.

Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?

Get the jab, wear a mask, wash your hands and stay safe because I know we all want live music not to go away again!