Hiya folks thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.
What made you decide that music is a thing for you?
It was always the place where I found joy, either listening to and later writing music was where I could express myself and helped me discover who I was.
Introduce us to you and your musical history.
I am known for being the singer and songwriter with the UK band ‘Toploader’. This solo project has been a long while in the making and was a chance for me to explore new directions and musical styles.
The music industry is the hardest industry in the world to progress in, How do you feel you are doing?
I’ve been lucky enough to do what I love for most of my adult life so feel very blessed to be able to continue to write and perform.
How have your songwriting skills developed over time?
Your writing changes as your life changes. Yes, you can get better at skills and avoiding blind alleys but it still comes down to whether the song moves you or not. I’ve become much more self-sufficient in getting complete ideas formed which has meant learning more about other instruments and production techniques
As you develop as an artist and develop using socials what ways do you get new ears on your music? Any tips?
When I started in the industry there were no social media so I am still constantly navigating the pros and cons of it! Any tips are welcome…
What makes you stand out as an artist?
I just do what I want to do at this point. I’m not thinking of an ‘angle’ or a ‘demographic’. I’m just trying to create great songs that I can fully explore musically
I hear you have new music, what can you tell us about it.
I have written and co-produced my debut solo album. It’s what I’ve wanted to do for years but touring commitments had always stopped me doing this. The endless lockdowns in this country finally gave me time and space to immerse myself in a collection of songs that I could call an album. I’m super proud of it and can’t wait for people to hear the end result.
Talk me through the thought process of the new tune/s.
Can be anything from a catchy melody line hummed into an iPhone to an entire idea inspired by some book I’ve read. The instrumentation is like using a wonderful palette and always the fun part throwing lots of things around and seeing what sticks. Lyrics can sometimes be more tricky but on this album, everything seem to flow out very naturally which tends to be the best way.
What was the recording process like?
I took the tracks as far as I could in my own studio then collaborated with my producer who is, luckily, also an amazing drummer. He took the tracks to a place where they sounded like they’d be made in a room together instead of a box. We re-recorded some lead vocals and got a few lovely and talented people to come in and add a little magic.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?
For this record, I wrote all the songs for the first time on acoustic guitar so the tunes came out in a different way than the normal piano-led tunes I’d always written. It also meant that I had no idea what the chords were or any of the normal things I’d take for granted. That actually helped with string arrangements for example because I had to use my ears instead of relying on what ‘should’ work. It also meant getting good enough to record guitar parts pretty quickly.
Would you change anything now it’s finished?
Nothing, I loved the process and that’s as much a part of the album as the songs themselves
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?