Hiya Smith, thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.
Hello, and thanks for having me!
What made you decide that music is a thing for you?
I grew up around music and have long had a passion for creativity in entertainment (in particular music and film), eventually becoming hooked to listening and playing music whilst in my early 20s.
Introduce us you / all to the members and your musical history?
I’m the youngest of 6 siblings, and as I shared a bedroom growing up with 3 older brothers I was influenced by the music they listened to (The Stranglers, The Jam, Pink Floyd, Edwyn Collins, The Clash). I started developing my own musical tastes as a teenager, Guns n Roses, Metallica, Pearl Jam etc., before fully realising my passion for music at university when the Britpop movement took place and I taught myself the guitar. I joined several guitar bands over subsequent years, before eventually taking time out to raise a family. I came back to music during lockdown, when I started to write songs and sing in my home studio. I released a couple of singles for lockdown and the football world cup, before starting to collaborate with different songwriters from the UK and US, culminating in writing, recording, and releasing my debut album ‘For All Days’.
Name me your 3 favorite Albums?
Radiohead – The Bends
Pink Floyd – Pulse
Oasis – Definitely Maybe
What was the first song you heard that steered you into a music path?
(Everything I Do) I Do It for You. I watched Robin Hood a lot of times at the cinema, and the song was number 1 for such a long time I got hooked. I liked how the song and movie worked so well together to create a significant moment in entertainment.
The music industry is the hardest industry in the world to progress in, How do you feel you are doing?
Pretty much as expected! I was guitarist in a few different bands for several years, but I’m now starting off from the bottom as a debut solo artist, which is daunting and exciting in equal measure!
Im seeing a lot of debate about women not feeling safe at music gigs, any thoughts on what we need to do to help?
Work with event organisers and music professionals to (influence the) increase of security measures, educate/promote appropriate attendee behaviour through social media, posters, announcements throughout the event etc., increase support services, increase female representation to make events more inclusive and welcoming for women, encourage event organisers, venue management and local authorities to collaborate.
As you develop as an artist and develop using socials what ways do you get new ears on your music? Any tips?
It’s certainly one of the hardest aspects to crack, and gigs and social media are the 2 main methods I use to try and get new ears on my music. I also aim to create/edit accompanying videos wherever possible, as I feel the combination of both audio and video can make a significant impact.
Tell us Two truths and a lie about you.
I played football and missed a penalty at the old Wembley stadium
I sang on stage with Sting to save the rainforests
I worked on a Bollywood movie with James McAvoy
Whats your thought on spotifys monopoly on the music industry?
I’m not sure I would call it a monopoly, but Spotify’s domination should ultimately inspire competitors to work harder to create a superior product/service. Similarly, streaming services do make it ridiculously hard for smaller artists, but that challenge should make artists be more creative to find new revenue streams. It will be interesting to see how A.I. impacts music streaming and the music/entertainment/creative industries as a whole.
Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories?
I don’t sign up to any, but I keep an eye on them just in case 😉
Did you buy anything you don’t need in the pandemic?
No, I’m usually pretty careful when it comes to spending, even during a pandemic!
What was the worst experience on stage?
Playing in a band at the Cavern Club in Liverpool, stood on stage in front of a big crowd, waiting for our drummer to arrive as he had fallen asleep at home.
Tell us something about you / each member that you think people would be surprised about?
I’m aiming to write and produce a movie with original music within the next 10 years (give or take!).
What makes you stand out as a band/artist?
I’ve got a relatively high vocal range, and as I’ve only recently started singing there is a certain fragility in my vocals. I also collaborate with different songwriters from the UK and US, resulting in unique songs and arrangements.
I hear you have a new music, what can you tell us about it.
Most of the album ‘For All Days’ was written over a period of 12 months during lockdown in 2021/2022, with the bulk of the writing, recording and production occurring at my home in England and in a cottage in Wales, before final production in a local studio. Some of the songs were co-written with an ex-band member, and also with several different songwriters from the United States. Often the songs started out as instrumentals on either acoustic guitar or piano, before then adding a melody and, finally, lyrics. The video for one of the album tracks (‘Close to Me’) was created and edited by myself in my home studio.
Talk me through the thought process of the new tune/s.
The album was intended to portray a wide range of emotions and challenges that we experience throughout life, with an overall positive and uplifting mood underpinned through distinctive melodies and engaging music.
What was the recording process like?
I recorded most of the songs at home in my DAW, learning ‘on the fly’ how to record and mix at home, whilst simultaneously writing, collaborating, and producing. Certainly a very challenging process when undertaking the debut album, not to mention starting to learn to sing at the same time as well!
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?
Writing lyrics that are not cliche / not been heard before, and that are unique but still connect with a wider audience.
Would you change anything now its finished?
Maybe adding a couple of backing vocals here and there, but nothing major.