John Dylan releases new single ‘Get Beyond’

Sunday 25th June 2017

Multi-instrumentalist and producer extraordinaire, John Dylan, has had music running through his veins before he was even born, his parents playing the likes of Elvis Costello, Bob Marley and Stevie Ray Vaughn whilst he was still in the womb. But now, after previously having exhibited his work through the vehicle of the genre-defying band Terrene, (who had their record produced by Phil Ek: The Shins, Fleet Foxes, Built to Spill), John has now gone solo, bearing the load on his reliable talents as a songwriter.

With the uniquely named Peripheral Drift Illusion album in the pipeline, John is releasing the record’s first single, ‘Get Beyond’; a spacey, effects-laden piece of shoegaze-pop that owes much of its style to the classic sounds of bands like the Beatles, a major inspiration for John. Dreamy vocals combine with a bright, bouncing guitar riff that drifts effortlessly over a wah-fuelled bass line, before wading through a sludge of distortion. As a result, John takes us on a sonic odyssey that stops off at almost every genre and style on the way.

To confine Dylan’s eclectic stylings to a single genre, or compare him to a single band would be a near impossible task. With a life revolving around music, John has formed some unique standpoints when it comes to his work. For example, whilst he may be considered a ‘rock’ artist, John enjoys flipping analog rock aesthetics on their head, using a completely digital workflow. Also, for each single, John is embracing his counterparts in the hip-hop, dance and electronic cultures by allowing the songs to be ‘open sourced’, holding a remix competition for DJs and other electronic artists to sample and rework his songs, with the chance of appearing on the widely released version of the single.

John was recently diagnosed with a chronic anxiety disorder, but in spite of this, he uses it as fuel for writing his songs. Although it can be difficult to deal with, John notes that “there are hopeful moments in the form of songs like ‘Get Beyond’, where I encourage myself to get out of bed and come out of hiding into the world. ‘Get Beyond’ was written after a string of bad events in my life – I got laid off from work, my car stolen, my house robbed and my house entered foreclosure proceedings.  I realized these were hard things to go through, but they boiled down to material concerns and my ego was choosing to take all of these things personally.”

Although John takes inspiration from a wide range of sources such as Nirvana, My Bloody Valentine and The Beatles, his style draws similarities with the likes of The Flaming Lips and Tame Impala. Back in the mid-90s, John was involved with underground math-rock band, Mars Accelerator, who played alongside Modest Mouse and released an album with the help of Steve Fisk, who coincidentally, had worked with Nirvana.  In the past, John has also supported experimental outfit, Of Montreal, and the artwork for Peripheral Drift Illusion is being created by John Lennon’s bandmate, Klaus Voormann, who also designed the cover for the Beatles’ classic record, Revolver.

Dylan can be considered the complete musician, playing all the instruments and singing on his records: “Through the influx of things I go through in life, I try to reverberate them right back out of my body, by playing drums, or guitar, or bass, or singing. Or if I need to change where I’m at in my head, the headphones come on, and I can feel the ground move beneath my feet.”

Connect with John Dylan via his Website, Twitter and Facebook.

Patent Pending – Other People’s Greatest Hits

Friday 23rd June 2017

Track Listing:

1. Wasted/Wake Me Up
2. Spice Up Your Life
3. Can’t Take My Eyes Off You
4. Never Gonna Give You Up
5. Shout Out To My Ex
6. Livin’ La Vida Loca
7. All Time Low
8. Mr Brightside
9. Shape Of You
10. See You Again

Patent Pending are a rock band hailing from New York, and are here with their 6th studio album ‘Other People’s Greatest Hits’.  Known for performing covers during live shows the band decided they wanted to release an album of hits for their fans to enjoy.

Talking about the release the band explained that “each song that we chose for this album really helps represent the many different sides of Patent Pending. We’ve always been a band that draws influence from all over the musical spectrum and this project really helped us encapsulate pieces from all of the different genres we love in a half hour of pop-punk chaos! As music can make you feel so many different things and form connections with many songs for various different reasons, the hardest part of the whole thing was deciding which songs to do and choose only 10. We started with a list of 173 potential songs and spent a full week picking away at them, so safe to say this was truly a labor of love…”.”

Now, I have to admit that I tend to tread lightly when bands and artists produce cover songs.  You never really know what you’re going to get, and sometimes it doesn’t feel as though much justice has been done to the original at all.  However, that’s not to say I completely rule them out, in fact far from it.  Some of my favourites in recent years include Black Stone Cherry’s cover of Adele ‘Rolling In The Deep’ and Lonely The Brave did a beautiful version of Pink Floyd’s ‘Comfortably Numb’; also Amy Winehouse did a fantastic take on the Zutons ‘Valerie’.

When I was introduced to Patent Pending and their latest release ‘Other People’s Greatest Hits’ I was a bit unsure what to expect at first, but I can hands down say right from the start that it is an extremely entertaining album.  It does exactly what it says on the tin; it’s a collection of other people’s greatests hits that have been given a new lease of life.  With a really catchy collection of songs, Pop Punk is probably the most fun genre out there, and that’s exactly what this album is – lots of high energy and fun!

During their Spring Break Tour the band have been unveiling tracks from the album each night.  One of my favourites has to be their mash-up of ‘Wasted/Wake Me Up’ by Tiesto/Avicii, and it’s sure to be a crowd pleaser.  The newly released video for the track is very amusing and includes paint, and lots of it.  There’s a nice assortment of tracks from different eras, although I can’t help thinking that of all the music the 80’s gave to us, did we have to get “rick-rolled” by the infamous ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’. I do really enjoy the intro to this one though, it sounds like the start of an 80’s sitcom.

If I had to select a track that I was most worried about hearing it would be the timeless classic Mr Brightside by The Killers.  The original track is so euphoric it’s difficult to imagine it in any other way.  Got to hand it to the band though, the keys at the beginning gave it the excitement that’s always anticipated with the song and it hasn’t let the original down at all.

Covering a track that’s only recently charted is always a tough call too, but Patent Pending aren’t out to trump anyone they’re just out for the good times.  Their take on ‘Shape Of You’ by Ed Sheeran is quite funky and has been given the upbeat rock treatment with a sprinkling of beatings on the triangle.  However,  ‘Shout Out To My Ex’ doesn’t sound too dissimilar to the original, there’s just a lot more guitar work which makes it sit well with the rest of the album.

Vocalist, Joe Ragosta comments that “the first time I heard this song I knew immediately that it needed to be covered by a rock band. The chorus is so catchy. It honestly reminds me of classic Warped Tour singalong songs. We wanted to beef it up with heavier guitars and push it further out from the pop genre. People we’ve shown it to so far are really excited that they don’t have to feel guilty about loving this tune anymore!””

So there you have it, a party starting album that’s sure to get you motivated and put you in a feel good mood. I have to say that it’s very hard for me to sit here and critique an album full of highly recognised tracks because you’ll already know what to expect, and what’s even better is you’ll already know all the lyrics.

So just buy the freaking album.  You’ll thank me for it.

Connect with Patent Pending via their Website, Facebook and Twitter.

City Of Ashes – Interview

Monday 12th June 2017

Now here’s an alt-rock band with a story to tell.  During the European leg of their tour with American rock band Orgy earlier this year, and after only performing a handful of nights in the UK, France, Switzerland and Spain, City of Ashes found themselves faced with the devastating news that the remainder of the tour had been cancelled, leaving them and their gear stranded in Barcelona.  Lead Vocalist, Ori explains that:

Nobody would hire us a vehicle so we had to leave all of our equipment in Barcelona. We then flew to London and picked up our van and drove to Germany to get our equipment back, this took nearly another week. I don’t know how much lower it can get than sleeping in the back of your van in Cologne surrounded by your equipment, not knowing what’s going to happen or how you’re going to get home. We had no money left after losing it all on a tour that got so dramatically cut short.”

Despite everything City of Ashes have remained positive, and it’s always great chatting with a band who have such determination.  ‘Save Me’ is the next single to be taken from their latest album RISE, so keep your eyes peeled for the video because a lot went in to make it happen. These guys certainly deserve your time, so make sure you check out their social channels below.

For those who are just discovering you please could you tell me a bit more about yourselves?  Where did you all meet, have you been in bands previously, and what has driven you to form City of Ashes?

For sure! City of Ashes was a name Ori came up with when he was living in London after moving from Canada to pursue his creative aspirations. It was a difficult period and those three words in a note book were Ori’s description of where he was at the time and what his relationship with the city of London had been like. After moving south and being desperate to get something creative going again, Ori and a friend began playing acoustic shows through which paths crossed with Freddie and Dan before James finally joined. Dan had been in a whole bunch of bands before whilst for everyone else it is still their first and only one.

How did you find the process of putting your latest album ‘Rise’ together; did you face any challenges and how did you overcome them?

It was definitely tough! James and Ori funded the entire thing themselves working minimum wage bar and kitchen jobs. It took nearly 18 months of hard grind and careful living to get together the money necessary to record. It was a really interesting process though as we’d learned so much from the first record about practice of recording and how we could work within it. That kind of gave us the confidence to incorporate different ideas such as the choral vocals of ‘Battles of my Youth’ or crazy effect driven tracks like ‘Iliad’.

Are there any tracks in particular that you’ve been most excited about getting out there? 

Ori: ‘Battles of my Youth’ release was so huge for us. After everything that had gone into it for such a long time behind the scenes and trying to maintain the vision that we had set out to accomplish, hearing Alex Baker debut it for the first time on Kerrang! Radio was a special moment. I was sitting in the kitchen praying for him to say anything nice about it and when it finally came I honestly sat their and cried. It was an incredible relief and sense of catharsis. On top of that, we’re so excited to get our new video to ‘Save Me’ released as it’s the first video that has really involved so many people we know in it and our first date in Germany. It was so cool to involve those aspects.

What’s the response been to your music so far and have you received any radio airplay?

Overwhelmingly positive! We’re so grateful for the amount of people that have gotten and remained involved with us. Airplay has definitely been great too. Kerrang! has played us a couple of times along with Amazing Radio and several others. It’s kind of nice when a DJ decides they’ll back you for airplay and you hear from people through social media later who caught the broadcast.

How do you feel you’ve developed as a band since your previous album, and are there any noticeable differences from your last release? 

Oh God, yes! As mentioned earlier, some of the confidence we had from working on ‘All We Left Behind’ really helped. We understood the process so much more and so were able to tailor our approach in writing to some degree to what we wanted to achieve. In use of choral vocals was another huge thing that we’d wanted to bring in.

Ori: Personally, I also think ‘RISE’ is a much darker record. I guess that kind of poetically juxtaposes the title, I was certainly flirting with some pretty dark areas of my psyche at the time.

What’s your writing process as a band and how do you come together to create the final track?

Usually it’s started with a sound. More often than not it’ll be either a riff or just a couple of chords from James. Once Ori has an angle, he’ll write a story and we’ll work to adjust the music to it. In the future, we may well try something new however. Who knows what’s coming next!

Who are your musical inspirations and how do they influence you as a band?  Are there any particular artists you listened to growing up that have encouraged you to make music?

For each of us their are so many. We’d literally be listing all day if we were to go through them. Suffice to say that between us we have influences from every genre any of us can name and some we can’t. From the heavy to the light, fast to mellow, the new to the classics. All of that has left a pretty rich tapestry to draw from. These days we mostly get compared to 30 Seconds to Mars, Finch or a few others.

The video for your latest single ‘Save Me’ has quite a story to go with it – a cancelled tour, stranded equipment, sleeping in the back of vans, no money, and then pulling off an acoustic show for your fans.  Has the experience changed your outlook on touring at all?

It was among the hardest experiences I can remember. We had to gamble such lot on the tours success and it hurt everyone to be in such a shitty situation from it. I’d say if anything it’s made us hungrier though. We honestly cannot wait to get back out on the road next week. It’s already been too long!

What’s the next step for the band following your live dates in June?

We have a couple more festivals during the summer and are in the stages of planning things of later in the year. Not to let on just yet but there’s reason to be excited!

Finally, what other artists are you currently listening to at the moment and do you have any recommendations?

Actually it’d be cool to give a couple of shoutouts to awesome people we have played with recently here: Estelle Mey, Venture and Avagrace all deserve your attention. Go follow them!

Connect with City Of Ashes via their Website, Facebook and Twitter.

Daisy Clark – Interview

Tuesday 6th June 2017

Daisy Clark recently became a YouTube sensation overnight with her cover of ‘Hopelessly Devoted To You’ which stacked up over 12 million views, and even knocked Ed Sheeran off the iTunes Singer Songwriter charts – twice!  Her channel is packed with an array of wonderful covers from the likes of Ella Henderson, Adele, Harry Styles, and The 1975; and after being picked up by Music Crowns and spending time in Mark Ronson’s studio, Daisy is now due to release her debut single ‘Worlds Away’.  Hailing from Cornwall and at the tender age of 18, Daisy has spent the majority of her youth emercing herself in music, and it’s easy to see why her talents are quickly emerging.  Being one to watch I speak with Daisy to find out more.

How long have you been singing and at what point did you realise you wanted a music career; was there anyone in particular who inspired you to pick up a guitar?

I’ve been singing since I can remember. I always participated in a lot of musical and theatrical things when I was younger, so I grew up always singing and performing and I loved it. Music was always my main focus though and I knew I wanted to be a singer. Throughout school I loved listening to Taylor Swift who is a singer songwriter… just her and a guitar which is what I wanted to do. She wrote all of her own songs which inspired me to do the same.  

Your debut single ‘Worlds Away’ has just been released, and was recorded in Mark Ronson’s studio.  How was the experience for you, and how are you feeling about the release of your single?

I love hearing songs come to life in the studio, the contrast between just me and my guitar and high quality recordings with other instruments added is amazing to see and hear. It’s been a great experience to be in such an exciting environment where amazing artists have recorded and gone on to do incredible things, so for Worlds Away to be released today on all major platforms is so exciting! I am known for my covers but I am a songwriter so being able to write my own original in such a prestigious place was so cool! I’m looking forward to hearing what my listeners think of Worlds Away as it’s quite different to my typical, mellow, acoustic songs.

How did you find the writing process, and were there any obstacles you had to overcome?

This was the first song I’ve co-written in the studio. 90% of my song are written at home in my bedroom with just me and my guitar so it was different, but it was fun to experience writing in a different way. Also, when I first started songwriting I was quite shy and didn’t like showing my songs to anyone, so to have to actually write with other people was quite intimidating at first, but it ended up being a great experience.

The single has been written through a personal experience.  How does it feel listening back knowing it represents a certain period in your life?

I wrote the song about a friend who was going through a tough relationship, and I really sympathized with this person, so decided to write some lyrics about it which I then took to the studio. A lot of my songs are written through personal experience but this one was inspired by a outside perspective. I like that as a songwriter I can write songs about other situations and experiences that listeners can interpret and relate to.

There are loads of great covers on your YouTube channel and they all sound fantastic.  Are there any personal favourites that you enjoy covering?

I recently did a cover of ‘Attention’ by Charlie Puth which I LOVE. The bass line is so funky and satisfying to play. I’m very into acoustic music, so I love being able to take and upbeat pop song, and strip it right back to show the simplistic beauty in the music and songwriting.

You covered ‘Hopelessly Devoted to You’ and it knocked Ed Sheeran off the top of the iTunes singer songwriter charts – twice!  How did it feel to become a viral hit over night?

It was very strange waking up to a LOT of notifications and messages. I pretty much spent the day doing interviews and watching the track climb the iTunes charts which was so much fun but very surreal! Especially to be next to Ed Sheeran who is such an incredible songwriting inspiration to me. I had people like Dawn French and James Arthur contacting me, it was crazy!

Music Crowns have really helped and supported me along the way by putting me on a platform which pushed my cover on a global scale was incredible! For anyone who doesn’t know what Music Crowns is, it’s a platform for unsigned, newly signed and independent music artists to get great exposure through social media and various online platforms, I would definitely recommend that if you are an artist yourself and are looking for help in getting exposure to get in contact with Music Crowns.

If you could pick a song by any artist (past or present) that you could say you wish you had written, what would it be and why?

Probably ‘Put Your Records’ On by Corinne Bailey Rae. It’s such a good song that everyone can sing along to, and I adore the lyrics. For example: “Summer came like cinnamon, so sweet”… it’s just so good, haha.

Are there any artists that you would like to collaborate with if you had the opportunity?

Definitely Taylor Swift, as she inspired me to start songwriting and learn guitar! That would be amazing, however I would be very star struck to meet her in person, but it would be an incredible experience.

It looks as though you’ve got a busy schedule over the summer with many live dates and festivals planned.  Are there any venues in particular that you’re looking forward to performing at?

I love local festivals… I just performed at the Great Estate Festival which was incredible. I’m also super exited to play at Boardmasters and Tunes In The Dunes! They’re amazing festivals in Cornwall which are right on the beach. I am also getting to perform at the Royal Albert Hall at the end of the month, which really is a dream come true, there have been so many amazing artists perform there so to follow in their footsteps really is so great!

Finally a random question, but when viewing your blog my cursor turns in to a jar of Nutella.  Is there any reason for that? :)

Because who doesn’t love Nutella?? Haha, there’s no particular reason I just really like Nutella… and just food really!

Connect with Daisy via her Website, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Daisy Clark is managed by Music Crowns, an online platform for independent and unsigned musicians. Worlds Away is available now on iTunes, Spotify and other major music distribution channels.

Camilo – Interview

Friday 26th May 2017

Camilo are an up and coming band hailing from Cambridgeshire, and bassist Adam Milton contacted me recently with their latest single ‘At This Moment’. Having spent time trying to piece the band together whilst writing and recording music, they’re now on the road to defining their sound and are ready to move Camilo on to the next stages.  Being in the early days of their career, I take a moment to chat with Adam to find out how it’s all going and what’s next for Camilo.  They’re out to not only spend every moment enjoying what they do, but it’s clear there is drive and passion to push the band forward.

Could you tell me about the band and how you came together; where did you all meet and at what point did you decide to form Camilo?

Initially the band started with Motey (vocals/guitar) & Scott (drums) wanting to start playing music together again after having a band together for a few years prior to Camilo, so they recorded and released four tracks in late 2014 with the intent to grab the attention of other musicians that would want to get on board. I then contacted the others having known their previous outfit and came on board from there.

What changes have you gone through as a band since you first set out, and how has this helped you develop?

The EP was written with the intention of being a four piece band but we found ourselves trying out different guitarists to no avail as they had other commitments at the time. This resulted in us, eventually, deciding that it made sense to go forward as a three piece as the three of us maintained the passion to get the project moving. We then had to essentially start from the drawing board again and since about June 2016 we’ve been locked away in our rehearsal rooms creating a set of new songs to carry us forward. With regards to helping us develop, I think really we obtained an understanding of one another as to how we saw the band moving on and really got into a routine for writing songs in a way that we could all bounce off eachother.

How would you describe your music to anyone hearing it for the first time?

This is such a difficult question. We’re always asked by friends/colleagues to name a band they’ll know that we sound like and I never know how to answer it. People that have come to see us live generally always comment on how big our sound is for a three piece so I guess there’s a bit of that. Otherwise, I would say we have a lot of melody mixed in with a heavy but atmospheric sound.

Listening to your new single ‘At This Moment’ and the B-side ‘Sweet Poison’ both tracks have a different sound to each other.  Who are your musical inspirations and how do they influence you as a band?

They are very different tracks yes! I guess what people will hear at the moment is really us finding and developing our sound as a three piece. We all grew up listening to similar bands but I would say we all have our seperate influences as well. Whereas there is influence from bands like Deftones/Thrice & Oceansize, what we find now is that we can pick up a lot of influence from new bands. The UK scene has a lot of talent coming up doing different things and it’s cool to sometimes be able to step back and take in what bands in a similar position to us are doing.

How are you finding the response to your music so far? You’ve been picked up by the BBC Introducing platform which must have been a great help raising your profile?

The response has been great so far. We appreciate that, although we haven’t put out music in a long time, people have given us an opportunity to play shows and the feedback has always been positive. Tom at BBC Introducing has always been good to us since day one and it’s great having someone in his position being genuinely interested to see what we come out with next.

How are you feeling about getting ‘At This Moment’ out there and have you set a release date?

It’s going to be such a relief! We recorded the B-side in August 2016 so we’ve been sitting on that one for a long time. It’s just going to be good to be able to take on feedback from people and see what aspects of each track they like the most. This will help us develop our sound for sure. Hopefully it’s going to help us get some more shows too. There’s not an official release date as such, it’s been sent to iTunes/Spotify etc so really now it’s just a matter of time.

Will there be a video for the single?

We kindly managed to get a bit of help whilst we were recording the single so we have a studio video to go with it of sorts.

Are you looking to release an EP and have you got any live dates planned?

We’re always on the look out for new shows yes. We have dates coming up in Norwich, London and Bedford but I’m sure we will be adding to that list soon. An EP would be cool but we’ve decided at this stage to try and release a single/B-side regularly rather than taking the time out to record a full EP. A lot of bands are doing that now, I think it’s quite cool to be able to have new music every couple of months from a band rather than waiting for a full EP or album.

Being in the early stages of your music career, how are you finding the process and have you been given any lasting advice?

Everyone in the band has either toured/recorded or gigged extensively before so we’re quite experienced (old) anyway. What we’re finding now is that the most important thing is to make sure we’re always enjoying it. We have a good understanding of how to approach certain situations for sure, but the main thing is making sure our live element is enjoyable and that we always give 100%.

What’s the ultimate aim for the band and where do you hope your music will take you?

I don’t think we’ve really discussed this to be honest! It comes down to enjoyment. We’re all passionate and believe in what we do but really music is our outlet. It’s important for us to have that getaway and I’m sure (hope) the quality of what we do will be enough to play some cool shows and meet some good people. Anything on top of that is a bonus.

Connect with Camilo via their Website, Facebook and Twitter.

The Firelight Opera – Interview

Thursday 25th May 2017

May is turning out to be a great month for new releases so far this year, and my latest discovery are Northern alt-rockers The Firelight Opera and their latest single ‘Alive’, which is taken from their forthcoming album ‘Communication Breakdown’.  What initially piqued my interest was that the band contains not one, but four vocalists.  Sounds like a bunch of very talented guys don’t you think?  Me too, and I’m already excited for the album release to hear more.  I caught a moment with the band to find out about The Firelight Opera and how they’re feeling about the release of their album.  Oh, and make sure you give ‘Alive’ a listen (link below), I promise you won’t be disappointed…

Hello! Please could you tell me a bit more about yourselves and how The Firelight Opera formed?

We are Chris Pettitt, Dan Foster, Lee Hardy, Ben Craigs and Kyle Martin. We’re an alternative/rock band from Sunderland which formed in the summer of 2012. We hit it off with songwriting and vocal harmonies instantly!

How did you come up with the name for the band and were there any other contenders?

The Firelight Opera came from a night of jamming and singing round a campfire. Also, like an opera we tell stories through our music. The lyrics are always deep and meaningful.

When did you all start playing music and have you been in bands previously?

We’ve all been playing music since school. We all performed in bands before The Firelight Opera was born. Chris, Lee and Kyle were gigging together since school but under a different name. Dan performed in another band and also did solo stuff and Ben also performed in bands.

What is your writing process as a band? How do you come together to create the final track and where do you take your inspiration from?

Generally, Lee and Dan write most of the lyrics and melodies then the whole band gets together and everyone puts their input in to bring the song to life. It works well.

Your album ‘Communication Breakdown’ is released on the 29th May. How are you feeling about the release and what can we expect from it?

We’re really excited for people to hear it! It’s got a bit of everything on it from huge rock anthems to stripped back acoustic tracks. All of the tracks have infectious melodies and catchy guitar riffs and there are plenty of vocal harmonies on there!

Are there tracks in particular that you’re most excited about getting out there?

At the moment we can’t pick a favourite. We were really excited to get ‘Alive’ out but we’re going to struggle to choose the second single. It’s a good problem to be faced with though so we’re not complaining!

With there being four vocalists in the band, how do you decide on who sings each part of a song and do you all get to take the lead on different tracks?

Having four vocals to play with makes songwriting really interesting! Chris and Dan have the biggest voices so they take most of the main vocals but Lee and Ben chip in here and there.

Who did you work with on the video for your single ‘Alive’ and who came up with the idea behind the story?

We worked with a local company in South Shields called Unified Media. Lee wrote the story/concept for the video and worked closely with the guys at Unified Media to bring it to its fullest potential. They were dedicated and worked relentlessly to make it work. We’d like to thank them along with Harry and Martin for their incredible performances.

What’s next for the band and will you be taking the album on tour?

This is something we’re currently looking into and hope to do soon. We’re excited to take our music further afield.

Finally, if you were invited to perform on the BBC Live Lounge, which song would you cover and why?

It would have to be House of the Rising Sun by The Animals. Chris has a huge voice and sings it better than the original (in our opinion, of course!).

Connect with The Firelight Opera via their Website, Twitter and Facebook.

Chey – Interview

Thursday 18th May 2017

Hailing from South Wales, Chey is an outstanding singer/songwriter who has been on the music scene for many years.  From performing at charity gigs in her hometown to working with artists and producers from around the world, Chey is ready to really push things further and make a career out of her music.  Her latest single ‘She’s Got You’ has quickly picked up interest, and rightly so; it’s a soulful and heartfelt track with a stunning video to match.  I was completely taken in by Chey upon first listen so I had to take the opportunity to find out more – I’m certainly itching for an EP release and can’t wait to hear what’s next.

Please could you tell me about yourself, where it all started and how you came to be a singer/songwriter?

I come from a small Welsh village in South Wales and I started singing at a very young age. One of my earliest memories was aged 5, in a Christmas Carol service in a local church where I sang “little donkey”, I felt quite at home on a stage even back then. About fifteen years ago I started writing songs by putting my feelings and experiences down on paper and then putting them to music. Recently I’ve been working with artists from all around the world, I love to collaborate with other songwriters, there’s something quite magical about two people from different corners of the world coming together to make something special.

Your voice is simply wonderful. When did you realise you could sing and wanted to make something of it?

Oh thank you! I’ve been singing as far back as I can remember, singing has always been a big part of my life, it’s something I really enjoy and I’m very passionate about too! I’ve always wanted to make a career out of music but sometimes life just happens and dreams are put on hold. I’m ready to make it happen and show the world my music.

What’s your writing process and how do you draw upon your inspirations?

Usually during the writing process the music comes first, well most of the time, and inspiration comes sometimes in the most unusual places, inspiration is anywhere and everywhere. Sometimes I can be in the studio for hours just catching up and having a good old chat with my producer and nothing happens. Then other times I can go in and he plays a chord and we write a song within an hour, that’s why I love music, it’s so unpredictable!

How do you know when a song is finished and is there anyone you can bounce ideas off to give you any advice?

Even when you think a song is finished there’s always something you can do to make it better. After a studio session I like to live with the track for a week or so to really feel the song, I play it to all my close friends and family to see what they think and then I go back to my producer and we bounce ideas off of each other to see if we can make it better.

Your latest single ‘She’s Got You’ has been released for a couple of weeks now. How are you finding the response so far?

She’s Got You was released on 27th April and was premiered in the Huff Post. So far the response to the new single has been amazing, it’s had over 41,000 streams on Spotify and I’m so grateful for all the support that I’ve had with it. I’ve also just released a club mix which is available to stream and download now on all digital platforms. There’s also a really cool lyric video to go with it, which you can check out on my YouTube channel now!

It comes across very expressive and personal as though it has been written from the heart. Have you drawn upon personal experiences?

When expressing a song the words and music must have passion and sincerity, even though this song isn’t from a personal experience I try and place myself in the moment and express how I would feel telling the story. People need to relate to the song and the best way to do that is to mean every word and sing it from the heart.

How did you come up with the idea with the video for the track, and how did it feel seeing it finished? It compliments the song really well.

First of all I got in touch with the guys from Video Ink, myself and the creative director then had a long conversation about the song and the meaning behind the song and how we could tie that into the video. We came up with the idea of contemporary dancers, which I really loved. All the choreography and shooting was done in one day, I think this brought out the best in the dancers and really allowed them to feel the song and just dance with the emotions they felt at that time, which I thought worked really well.

What’s next for you and have you been working on an EP or album release?

I’m back in the studio now working on new music and new ideas, and maybe an album release very soon!

Can we look forward to any tour dates? It would be great to catch you performing live.

There will definitely be tour dates coming soon, you can keep up to date with the latest news and performances on my social media.

Finally, what other artists are you listening to at the moment and do you have any recommendations?

I listen to lots of genres and lots of artists but my favourite at the moment is Rag and Bone Man, his voice is pure velvet.

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