Hiya folks 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 guess lockdown had a lot to do with it. I couldn’t stand not being able to create to the same level and ease I could before, so I started teaching myself new skills. Producing, Djing, Improvising. I decided, and probably because I’m a bit of a control freak, that I would try and spend the year practicing to become as diverse and self-sufficient a musician as possible.
How positive are you feeling now restrictions are loosening?
It’s been inspiring seeing the bottom half of stranger’s faces again. Kae Tempest’s ‘People’s Faces’ hits in an even more prolific way now. I’m naturally a, well I’d say realist but all my mates would call it pessimism, so I’m sort of disbelieving and feel like if I get my hopes up it’ll all be taken away again, but my fingers are crossed this time. It’s been so gratifying being able to perform again, even in weird rooms with more camera gear than people.
You are really spoken and passionate about discussing mental health, talk us through your journey?
Well I’ve had problems with my mental health for over half my life at this point, and generally at a level that does impact me day to day, so realistically it’s just easier for me to be open than try and hide it, ‘cause I can’t really. I think it makes people think I’m far more confident and comfortable than I am. I mean, to be honest, when I published Other Tongues last year, it was sort of intended as a guide for anyone who thought I was a bit weird or had to deal with the impacts of my mental health (because it always affects more than just you), there was sort of an explanation out in the world that they could access if they wanted. I’m not necessarily comfortable with how much access anyone can have into my worst parts, but as I said, it’s easier than trying to cover it up.
What triggers would you look out for in someone that could be suffering?
First, I just want to say that all my writing and talking about mental health is purely born of my own experience, I’m in no way a qualified voice to be pontificating on modern psychology beyond my understanding of my own head. That said, sudden changes in actions, I guess. If you suddenly stop seeing or hearing from someone, if someone starts being overly nice and generous, if someone suddenly needs to be resting or working a lot. Over drinking is big in our culture. And don’t make a thing of it, it’s not a thing, it’s natural. Just ask if their okay, and always ask twice. That’s at least all I’d like.
Does your music help your mental health?
At times. Sometimes it’s destructive. I’m getting better than negotiating that balance and figuring out what’s good for me and what isn’t. Learning sound design has been huge for me. I’ve had sounds in my head for 12 years so it’s really positive distraction and quite meditative to focus on external sounds. If that makes sense.
What’s your favourite song right now from another band currently on your local circuit?
Can I have a band and a solo artist? That’s just so hard, there’s some damage music coming from Manchester right now that I’m choking to hear more of. Footslogger by Rivet City is as beautiful as it is incendiary, it’s like a 5-minute poetic build. And my dear friend SWEETS has just released a first of many new singles, I’m Not Coming Home, and it’s just monolithic. And pretty. And hard. He’s going to burn up the whole country soon.
Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories?
I don’t know if it’s a conspiracy theory but I think pretty much all illegal substances are kept that way because it’s easier for an establishment to create a ‘dirty’ scapegoat to stereotype. Of course, it’s entirely circumstantial, but if you tax and legitimise substances and safeguard them – while treating addiction with therapy and not punishment – then you could help the problem whilst creating a new area in the economy. This is obviously impossible and I don’t need to be tweeted the million shortcomings of this hypothetical.
But instead, addicts are easy to blame and dismiss, it feeds into the boogieman fearmongering of ‘benefits scroungers’ feeding of universal credit – which, if you’ve been on universal credit, you know it’s just about a full-time occupation to keep up in itself – and it stops big money needing to invest in treating ailments in taxes they already don’t pay.
What useless party trick /talent do you have/?
I do a pretty banging seagull impression. Though that doesn’t come up much.
What was the most fun you have had on stage?
Probably the headline we did with Incarnate. at Fuel Café. It was overcapacity and so sweaty and so beautiful.
What was the worst experience on stage?
I’ve had a few haha. Both on theatre stages and gig venues. I’ve gone into mania or psychosis on stage, especially when I used to be performing about trauma that hadn’t even processed yet. But also, just bad sound can ruin a gig. If you’re ears are getting hurt with protection in or the monitoring isn’t quite right it can sort of throw you off for the whole gig, even if the audience doesn’t notice.
What advice would you give someone going into the music industry?
If an opportunity comes up that you didn’t work your arse off for, it’s probably a shark.
Whats your biggest achievement as a Artist?
People tell me I’m quite unique as a musician and writer which is the best I could hope for.
What makes you stand out as a Artist?
I think I never do the same thing twice. I always try and blend different genres and try new things because I have to, I’m always hungry to create. A lot of comes out weird, but I think I keep a through-line for the most part, it’s all the same world. I think I steal from so many sources that there’s no formula, I just try and weld things together as closely as I see/hear/feel them in my head.
Right now, whats pissing you of the most? (Cant say the virus )
Lack of respect for workers in the arts. Lack of respect for our godsend of the NHS. Gesture Politics. Disaster Capitalism. The mainstream music industry continuing to be gentrified, white-washed and mechanical. Sexual Harasser’s, Child Abusers etc holding power in the world. Selective Overlooking. Climate denying. Cultural/Political Polarisation. I could go on.
Whats your favourite song to play live and why?
Right now it’s a track called The Blink, which won’t be released for some time but I’ve performed it a couple of times and it’s just energy. It’s like a 5-minute spoken word/rave/rap love story that starts at 80mph and keeps accelerating. It’s the first electronic track I wrote for GhostStory. actually.
I hear you have a new single brewing, what can you tell us about it?
I do! It’s totally different from everything I’ve released so far, again. It’s a nice summer vibe. It’s still poetic but I tried to be less pretentious. it’s sort of a quiet G&T in the garden and maybe a funky cigarette tune. What else? It’s partly about the sea.
What are your plans for the year ahead
I’ve got more music releases planned, some videos too and hopefully gigs if we keep moving in the right direction. I’m going to take a year to write and just enjoy life for a bit mainly. I’m going to be kind to myself.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
You should also be kind to yourself. That’s the most important one.
Thanks for doing us today folks, all the best and keep in touch.