EP

Lectures – Interview

Thursday 12th October 2017

Experimental four-piece Lectures are due to release their next EP “Distraction Shades” on the 20th October; with the promise of hook driven melodies and addictive riffs, and taking inspirations from the likes of RadioheadFlying Lotus and Wild Beasts, I was intrigued by this unique band.  Forming during their school years, the band have continued with their aspirations of writing music and also decided to self-produce their latest EP.  Lectures are still finding their feet, but are already gaining support from BBC Radio 1, Radio 6 Music and Sofar Sounds, so I chat with the band to find out about the upcoming EP and how they’re feeling about the release.

Hello! How are you guys, and what have you been doing with yourselves today?

We’re great thanks – we’ve been rehearsing/writing today.

Where and how did the band meet, and what made you decide to form Lectures?

We’ve been making music together since school as Lectures but carried on after we left and gradually changed without choosing another name.

We’re only days away from the release of your EP “Distraction Shades.” How are you feeling about getting your new music out there, and how would you say it compares to your previous material?

We’ve been sitting on the EP for a while so it feels good to finally put it out. It’s perhaps less polished than our first EP, but musically it is more ambitious, and there’s definitely more of a thread running through the songs.

You produced the EP yourselves; how did you find the process?

We all have mixed feelings about the process – generally a lot of over thinking things or not thinking enough – but we ended up with something we’re all really proud of. We’ve strived to be self-sufficient for a long time and it feels like we’re kind of there now.

How easy was it to pick to final 5 tracks, and were there any that didn’t make the final cut?

These 5 were the only songs we completed, and they all felt worth releasing. Although “Morning Forms” didn’t come together properly until the last minute.

What’s the story behind your latest single “Your Whatever?”

Half of the ideas for “Your Whatever” came from an older song that we liked but couldn’t finish. The rest was just built out of that, but with a different lyrical vibe.

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

It varies from song to song, but this EP was a result of collecting lots of small ideas over time and then bringing them together quickly. Entry Point and Peaches came together easily in the room, whereas SAD existed for almost a year before we could complete it.

Who are your biggest influences and how do you draw upon your inspirations when writing and performing?

While making Distraction Shades we were listening to artists like Wild Beasts, Radiohead, Andy Stott and Darkside. We mostly try to copy artists we like and get it wrong, so we occupy the space in between the real deal and supermarket own brand. For example, making Entry Point we were aiming for D’Angelo but only managed Vanilla Ice.

I’ve recently discovered Sofar Sounds and noticed that you guys performed a few dates in London recently. How did the opportunity come about, and how was the session for you?

That came from us playing a show at Good Karma Club in London last November and someone from Sofar was in the audience, so we got chatting after the show and it went from there. We normally use a lot of gear live, so it was fun stripping the songs down to just the core elements and not worry about pedals or monitors etc.

What’s the furthest you’ve taken your music so far, and where do you hope it will lead you to?

The furthest it’s gone so far is having the EP pressed to vinyl, which makes it seem a bit more real. In terms of ambition, we just want to write music with each other for as long as possible and share it with people who like it and connect with it.

Connect with Lectures via their Website, Facebook and Twitter.

Huxtable – Change Shape Future

Wednesday 27th September 2017

Track Listing:

1. Don’t Do Anything Fancy
2. Super Toxic
3. You Got It To Go
4. Break It Hard
5. Act Of War

I was introduced to Huxtable off the back of their single “Don’t Do Anything Fancy” and I have been eagerly awaiting the release of their debut EP ever since.  The Scottish duo are making a name for themselves having already supported the likes of Biffy ClyroSlaves and Zane Lowe; and with each of the guys armed with drums and a guitar, and a huge bag of riffs over their shoulder, their storming EP “Change Shape Future” is due for release this Friday.

At first, you would be forgiven for thinking that you were listening to fellow two-piece Royal Blood, because their debut single and first track on the EP “Don’t Do Anything Fancy” has a hook at the start that sounds very similar to hit single “Lights Out.”  When the vocals kick in I’m then hearing elements of Biffy Clyro and with these comparissons, I feel it’s certainly good company to be in.  However, during the last minute of the track there is a kazoo solo.  Yes you read that right, a kazoo solo ladies and gentlemen.  It reminds me of that time I played ‘name that tune’ on the kazoo after a few drinks and not managing to make it through “Barbie Girl” without choking on laughter.  With that in mind, I wonder how many takes it took these guys to get that recorded…

Speaking with the band back in August, Huxtable assured me there would be some strange and wonderful instrumentation on the EP, with plenty of hooks and excitable tracks.  Well they certainly lived up to their word with second track “Super Toxic” which has the most arousing opening, and also has a quirky video which features the duo appear as their alter egos in puppet form.  The guys also told me as part of the interview that for them, making music was about having fun and that they were out to make music that excited them.  For me, “Super Toxic” sums that up nicely!

Talking about the album, Huxtable say that “’Change Shape Future’ is all about embracing change and how if you want something different out of life you need to make changes. It’s a pretty basic idea really, but one I think we need to be reminded of. Constantly adapt to where you want to be in the future – make the change that will shape your future. We’ve been writing for about 18 months, the original plan was to do an album – but we decided that an EP would be the best way to go – It’s quite a nerve racking thing having been in a little bubble for so long and now we are thinking – “this is the most confident record we have made, let’s see if people agree!” It’s an excited nervousness.”

“You Got To Go” is quite a hectic track, it sounds as though there’s a lot going on in the background, but there’s a funky little twinge of the guitar picking it’s way through, alongside a tasty riff that captivates the whole track.  The way in which this track develops is great, the hooks become rapid, the vocals gutsy, and then it ends quickly but softly with a tap of the high hat. Moving through, “Break It Hard” brings the ballsy rock and high energy, with “Act Of War” ending on a slightly poppier vibe.  There’s something about this track that actually reminds me of Greenday, which I would put down to it being a very solid track that has a well established sound to it.

Having spent 18 months writing their EP, Huxtable have proved they’re able to step up and give their peers a run for their money.  Being able to slot nicely in to a genre that is already rife with bands that are at the top of their game is something to be proud of, and here’s hoping that “Change Shape Future” takes the band to that well deserved next level.  It’s a fantastic showcase of what the guys can do, and here’s hoping a full album is on the horizon for the not too distant future.

Connect with Huxtable via their WebsiteFacebook and Twitter.

Sally Caitlin – Interview

Tuesday 19th September 2017

Rising electronic pop star Sally Caitlin hails from Manchester and has just released her single “Déjà Vu” from her second EP “Experiments.” The EP was written through personal experiences of a relationship breakdown; something which comes natural to many songwriters and is easily relatable to their listeners.  Sally has been writing music since she was 15 years old and knew following her graduation that she wanted to pursue music as a career.  She already has her first self-produced track lined up for 2018, as well as her next album release in the pipe line. “Experiments” is available now so I catch up with Sally to hear about the reactions so far.

For those who are just discovering you please could you tell me a bit more about yourself, where it all started, and what made you decide to pursue music as a career?

I’m a singer-songwriter from Manchester who makes electronic pop music with a bit of an edge. I’ve been writing songs since I was about 15 years old and recording for about four years now. I released my first single, Stuck In Limbo, in 2012 and have recently released my second EP, Experiments. I’ve always loved singing and song-writing but it wasn’t until my graduation from university that I knew I wanted to pursue it as a career, as I couldn’t picture myself doing anything else!

How are you finding the response to your music so far?

So far the response to my music has been great in general! I’ve been supported by a lot of blogs and local radio stations and I get many lovely comments on social media when I share material online. I love speaking to fans after my gigs too! I’m still learning and finding myself as a musician, so even the negative comments can be really useful from a constructive point of view. I’m lucky that most of the time I hear from people who love my music though!

You mentioned that your single “Déjà Vu” was born out of frustrations of being naïve and being played for a fool.  How does it feel listening back knowing the song represents a certain period in your life?

It’s quite a satisfying feeling to listen to a song and know that you used your pain to create something positive. For me, listening to my tracks reminds me of where I was in the past, so there is a nostalgia there, but also of how much I’ve grown. There is no better feeling than listening to a song about someone breaking your heart and knowing that you don’t care anymore!

Who did you work with on the video for the single, and how did it feel seeing it complete?

I worked with an amazing production company in Manchester, called Cosmic Joke. They were so fun to work with and had tonnes of really playful and creative ideas, so the whole process was a ball. Seeing the finished video for me is always nerve-wracking as I’m not a natural on camera, but I’m very happy with the final result.

Are you able to tell me more about your EP “Experiments?” What inspirations have you drawn upon, and how have they encouraged you?

With Experiments, I used people and experiences from my own life to influence my writing. I wanted to tell a story through the EP about a character meeting someone, getting into a relationship and then that relationship breaking down due to it being toxic from the start. Each song draws from situations I have found myself in, but not all from one relationship. It’s almost like a collage of my mistakes! In terms of production, I wanted to make a pop EP that had touches of other genres in it and a good amount of variation. In particular, I was influenced by commercial drum ‘n’ bass, tropical house and electronic artists like Chainsmokers and Cheat Codes.

How easy was it to select the final tracks for your EP, and were there any tracks that didn’t make the cut?

It was actually pretty easy to select the tracks as I knew how I wanted to tell a story. I wrote Take It All and You Are My Weakness first and then worked backwards through the narrative. There was only a couple of songs I wrote in that period that I decided wouldn’t fit on the EP, just as they didn’t have the right lyrical content.

Could you tell me about your writing process?  Being a solo artist do you have anyone to bounce ideas from, or do you just know when a song is ready?

I tend to come up with song ideas at really random times, so I record a quick idea on my phone and then work it out fully at the piano later. After that I look at a few reference tracks for production style and start putting down ideas on my iPad. At the moment I work with ‘The Producers’ in Mansfield to finish my tracks but I’m currently studying production, so in the future I would like to do it all myself. As I have been writing for a long time now, I tend to know when a song is ready. My confidence in song-writing has grown enough over the years that I trust my own vision and judgement.

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

It’s definitely not an easy industry to be in as everyone ‘makes it’ in different ways and there is no clear path to follow. The best advice I have been given is not to race ahead and try and do everything at once. I’m trying to pace myself these days and not put too much pressure on myself, as I do burn the candle at both ends sometimes. The key for me is staying organised and knowing what your immediate goals are, and ignoring the big picture most of the time.

What have you got planned next, and where do you hope your music will take you?

I have a collaboration that should be out before the end of this year, which is very exciting, along with my first self-produced track in early 2018. After that I will be promoting my album, Chemistry, which follows on from the Experiments EP. I have gigs booked in Manchester and London in the coming months, so I’m looking forward to performing live as much as possible. I’m hoping music will take me all around the world and that I can share my stories with as many people as possible. I can’t think of anything better than a crowd of people singing my lyrics back to me!

Finally, what do you get up to outside of music, are there any particular hobbies that you enjoy?

I’ve always loved sport, so I try and keep active as much as possible. Mostly I play tennis and golf, which I know is a little unusual! I also love to read when I get time, as I find it helps me wind down!

Connect with Sally Caitlin via her Website, Facebook and Twitter.

Rosedale – Again

Thursday 14th September 2017

Track Listing:

1. What We Started
2. Snapped In Two
3. This Dissonance
4. Space Mountain
5. Do It All Again

Rosedale started out back in 2004, when Mike Liorti was determined to chase his dream of being in a band; so he convinced his friends to get instruments so they could play together.  The name of the band was born from Rosedale Avenue, the street the band would walk down to the music store to practice the songs they had written on equipment they couldn’t quite afford.  Over the years, Rosedale went through 7 line-up changes, with band members deciding to move on; but Mike Liorti has continued the project as a solo career.  Mike is quite simply a self-confessed workaholic, but an extremely admirable one who continues to chase his dream, because it’s something he still believes in so strongly.

As a band they released 2 EPs together, with Mike continuing to release Rosedale’s debut album in 2012 by himself.  He then set out on a huge tour, starting with the aspirational Vans Warped Tour, before carrying on playing many states across the US and Canada.  Music and travelling are what Mike enjoys most, with him providing the ultimate DIY message “Commit, sacrifice, create, and above all… sustain. You really can do anything if you truly love it and nobody can represent you better than yourself. That really speaks to me.”

So you might be wondering how one person can now do the work of a full pop-rock band.  Well, Mike explains in the promotional video below how he performs whilst playing guitar and keys at the same time, but projects a video of him recording himself playing all the other instruments.  If that wasn’t intricate enough, he also programmes all the lights to be in sync with the show.  If you’re already sold on seeing Rosedale live before I’ve even got in to the review, then check out the promo video below which also talks about Mike’s upcoming North American tour.  I do enjoy writing about artists from the other side of the pond, there really are some great finds out there, but it’s even harder when you can’t get to a show!

Having drive and ambition is a good start to a successful career, but how does the music compare?  Well,  listening to “Again” and being instantly reminded of the likes of New Found GloryJimmy Eat World, and Angels & Airwaves, this release already sits nicely within my collection.  There’s certainly a gap in the market for a new act to push through, especially since the likes of pop-rock veterans New Found Glory are heading out on their 20th anniversary tour, and also Yellowcard recently decided to call it a day.

“What We Started” is a passionate opening track and I can’t help thinking that it plays homage to the band, since Mike explained in the video that the title of the EP comes from needing to continue to do things in life to succeed, and repetition is key to sustain.  That’s exactly what Mike is doing here, carrying on with the vision he had all those years ago.  “Snapped In Two” has a vigorous opening and is a melodic track, which provides heavier hooks and relatable lyrics.  The production of the EP as a whole is great, but this tracks stands out even more; with an intro that pounces straight in with beating drums that continue throughout, and the progressiveness of the guitar leading us along.  “This Dissonance” is the closest you’ll get to a slowed down pop-punk ballad, and provides Mike the opportunity to showcase his vocal talents.  In fact, the start of this track reminds me of Owl City as it has a beautiful violin to start followed by a light touch of the guitar, reminiscent of the soft sounds heard in “Fireflies.”

Carrying on, I’m not entirely sure whether the next track “Space Mountain” has anything to do with the rollercoaster, but it has taken me a few listens to get my head around it.  It’s a whirlwind of a song and I found it hard to keep up with the complicated lyrics working alongside the hectic track.  However, finishing off the EP is the very enjoyable “Do It All Again” which is an acoustic track thats starts off and continues with just Mike and his ukulele.  A very pleasing way to finish off an EP which continues to showcase Rosedale and what one man and his vision can accomplish.

Connect with Rosedale via Website, Facebook and Twitter.

Awake At Last – Life/Death/Rebirth

Thursday 3rd August 2017

Track Listing:

1. Purgatorium
2. Analysis Paralysis
3. Dark Waltz
4. White Rabbit
5. Constellations
6. Reflections

Awake At Last are a band that I always get excited about.  They first contacted me in 2015 following the release of their King of the World EP and I really enjoyed their sound.  It’s always great to hear about bands and artists from the other side of the pond so I had to interview Awake At Last to find out more.  Since our initial chat things have been moving forward really well for the band; they contacted me again in 2016 to let me know they’d just wrapped up their next EP following a successful Indigogo campaign, and here we are now less than a year later and we can get our ears around their latest offering Life/Death/Rebirth.

Initially when I first listened to the album it reminded me straight away why I really enjoy this band.  So much energy has gone in to the release and there’s a clear progression from their previous material which has been well built upon.  I remember when Never Be A Memory was released, their first single in a couple of years since the King of the World EP and at the time it was apparent how much Awake At Last were evolving.

Speaking with guitarist Imran Xhelili last year ahead of the release he explained that “We’ve definitely pushed ourselves more musically – the guitars are definitely doing a lot more as are the drums, bass and vocal melodies. There’s a lot more energy on the new EP and we’re all confident in the change of direction the progression of our sound, since we would never want to release the same CD twice. We all came together a lot more on the song writing as a full band and were able to blend our influences into this new direction of Awake At Last.”

Opening track Purgatorium provides a great opportunity for lead singer Vincent Torres to showcase the range and quality of his well-established vocals.  The chilling opening is theatrical, with a gradual build-up and a soft sound inviting you in, and then when the progressiveness kicks in all hell breaks loose and you’re thrown straight in to a journey of an EP that tells a story of redemption.  Analysis Paralysis has a dark intro with mighty guitar work and a tasty riff, and opens the way for realisation that you’re in for a much heavier release, and lyrically it’s very poignant too.

It can be really difficult trying to stand out in such a competitive industry, but to me Awake At Last have always gone beyond their ambitions to make the band work, and it’s clear they’re not scared to push in to a genre that others have yet to dare tread.  Dark Waltz and White Rabbit are forcefully vigorous tracks and fill the release with a display that shows they’re not scared to move out of their comfort zone.  I especially enjoy the expression in the lyrics for White Rabbit, with Vincent declaring that “I’m not heartless I just use my heart less” it’s commanding, powerful and relatable.

Constellations is a howling track, and possibly one of my favourites on the EP.  The way in which the drums and guitars work together creates an absolute storm, and how they work the different paces the track goes through is intricate.  I was once told by a friend that drummers don’t get enough attention in bands and this has always stuck with me, so I have to make sure I point out how the drumming really stands out and accelerates in this track.  Keeping up the pace, Reflections brings the grunge and is a lot edgier, but after professing that “we care to much or we don’t care enough, I’m sick of the concept of falling in love” it takes us on a steadier step towards the end of the EP.

Life/Death/Rebirth is a solid release that’s tightly polished and one that Awake At Last should be proud of.  They continue to go from strength to strength and it would be great to see a full album next, or even have these guys signed.  They work hard, tour hard, and do everything they can to make the band work and get their name out there; it’s time these guys were snapped up to a label!  So if you’re in the neighbourhood looking for something new to grace your speakers, give Awake At Last a spin, you won’t be dissapointed.

Connect with Awake At Last via their Website, Facebook and Twitter.

VISTA releases sophomore EP ‘Long Live’

Thursday 27th July 2017

Comprised of fierce front woman Hope Vista and guitarist Greg Almeida, VISTA is keeping their momentum alive with their brand new dystopian-themed sophomore EP “Long Live” which was released on the 21st July. Combining both arena and electronic influences to define their anthem rock sound, “Long Live” lyrically focuses mainly on forming an allegiance and finding an ‘oasis’ in a dystopian society. The EP’s concept was designed to mirror current political world events.

The 7 song tracklist includes previously released singles “Henchmen” and “Allegiance” as well as a new version of vocalist Hope Vista’s 2015 solo single “Dominance.” With this record cycle, VISTA also introduces the creation of The Oasis, a metaphorical safe haven for listeners to find comfort in through the band’s music and live shows. Talking about the EP, the band states:

“Growing into our sophomore release, we wanted to expand on our simpler beginnings and create a brand, instead of just being a band. The concept for ‘Long Live’ really stemmed from “Henchmen,” which focused on the idea of fighting against the face of oppression in a politically polarizing society. The words “long live” fight against the image of an apocalypse and also mirror where VISTA currently stands. ‘Long Live’ is the product of a lot of frustration and the examination of current events with one goal; to create a sound and concept that has both flare and remarkable depth. The result is something we are immensely proud of and put forward into the world with hopes that we can all fight against the grain in an increasing dystopian society.”

Conceived in late 2015, VISTA released their debut 4-track EP “VERSUS” shortly after, in which their debut single “On The Brink” debuted worldwide on idobi radio. Their name hasn’t been shy in the press since; the band has garnered praise from outlets such as Alternative Press, Rock Sound, Substream, and AXS. Since the start of 2017, VISTA has supported Fueled By Ramen artist Against The Current at Irving Plaza, sold out their first two headlining shows, was named one of “100 Women Kicking Ass In Music” by Alternative Press, and gained rotation on idobi with their January single “Henchmen,” an anti-oppression anthem. “Long Live” serves as VISTA’s sophomore EP, and the band will embark on their first headlining tour in August to promote.

Click here for tour dates and tickets.

Connect with VISTA via their Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Cameron Jay – Interview

Thursday 29th June 2017

Cameron Jay has been chasing her dreams of becoming a Singer/Songwriter ever since her first music lesson when she was 9 years old.  She is working hard to build herself a successful music career; from her early days of performing at charity festivals, to recording her debut EP, and  having the amazing opportunity to join Sam Bailey on her UK tour earlier this year, Cameron has been gaining continued support.  With such a story to tell I wanted to chat with Cameron to find out about how it’s all going and what to expect next.  Her single ‘I Want You‘ was released on the 4th April and has a great R&B vibe, with her debut EP providing a more emotional and heartfelt ambience to it.  I recommend you give it a listen!

Hello! Please could you tell me more about your early years and what inspired you to become a singer/songwriter at such a young age?

Well I had my first singing lesson at aged 9 years old at school and I knew then that singing was what I wanted to do. I did my grades 1-3 and took part in the festival competitions and I was always marked really well. Unfortunately, a year later I was diagnosed with a rare form of liver cancer which put all my after school activities on hold but soon after my recovery I took part in a charity competition which I would say paved the way for my whole career leading up to this point now.

I was only 12 at the time of winning the competition and George Walker who was running the show really took a shine to me and continued to support me throughout my early teens years.

The prize was to record and write a single and perform at the Emmerdale Annual Charity Ball that he held in aid of The Anthony Nolan Bone Marrow Trust. From there I joined the girl band with one of the competitions he hosted a year later and we went by the name of ‘Heaven Scent’. We recorded a covers album called ‘From Above’ and performed at the Emmerdale Balls and day time Extravaganza’s for a couple of years before breaking off to do our own thing.

I recorded my first solo covers album when I was 16 in aid of CLAN who supported my recovery after my cancer and then went on to record a single ‘Where Will We Run’ in aid of Just A Drop Charity whilst living in London.

I did a lot in my early years for charity but since then I have released my first EP which showcased my original material for the first time. I worked with so many amazing individuals whilst living in London and this journey has brought so many amazing opportunities from dancing in the Olympics, to performing at Brixton Splash, winning a singing battle, auditioning live in front of Fazer of N-Dubz, travelling to Nairobi, Kenya to perform and I am just so glad I never gave up on my dream to make a career from singing.

What artists did you listen to growing up, and how have they encouraged you and helped you to develop your sound?

Growing up listening to Lauryn Hill as well as getting into hip-hop at quite a young age I feel has definitely influenced my writing style but vocally I think Christina Aguilera, Dina Carroll, Carole King, Whitney, Mariah and definitely Celine Dion played a massive part in allowing my vocal range to excel.

My singing teacher left for Australia and I didn’t find anyone else that I felt I resonated with so I would say these artists were like my teachers. Of course, the Spice Girls had a massive influence on me as well which I think every girl aged 7/8 loved the Spice Girls at that time.

As I got older Christina Aguilera was someone who inspired me massively to sing songs that had messages of hope and speak of the things I have been through in life. Her ‘Stripped’ album got me through a really a dark phase in my life and I thank God my dad gave me this album as I would say it really brought me back to being me again after that horrible time.

You released your single ‘I Want You’ on the 4th April from your debut EP ‘Fearless’. How are you finding the response to your music so far?

The reception to ‘I Want You’ has been fantastic actually. So many people enjoyed hearing an upbeat track from me as the songs on my EP ‘Fearless’ are a little more serious and speak about my experiences of leaving my hometown and moving to London and the things I experienced whilst living there. ‘I Want You’ was written with my good friend Junaid who is based in London and was produced by two really cool guys from Derby who go by the name ‘Sound Junkeyz’ and we are looking forward to working on some new music over the next few months.

But to be honest it is extremely difficult being an independent artist because you are juggling so many things from writing songs, booking studio time for track production and recording vocals, whilst trying to liaise with venues and event organisers to book you for their shows and actually pay you for those shows. As well as making sure any new opportunities that arise you create a press release, contact all the media platforms in your local area, then have to chase them up via email and by phone before getting an answer on whether they will run your story or not. This doesn’t include the time needed on social media, meeting and greeting those you follow to show your appreciation and directing them to your music.

Then you have to create visuals for your songs and film directors are certainly not cheap. You are literally doing so much on a very small budget which means you really have to work full time to be able to pull this all together. We really need more hours in a day! So I am currently really needing some more support from radio stations, promoters, agents to support me in getting my music heard across the UK and further afield.

Will there be a video release for the single?

Yes, there will definitely be visuals created for this track. I am going to be holding auditions for dancers & dance groups to come in and dance for us in front of a green screen and their auditions will be used to help create the visuals for this song. Other shots will hopefully be taken outside on a nice sunny day here in Aberdeen which doesn’t happen so often, so we may need to wait until the end of July or beginning of August to film these parts.

How did you find the process of putting your EP together, and were there any obstacles you had to overcome?

Actually, this took a lot longer than expected. It took me around 2 years! I did a lot of sessions with Jay Inkz and Adryan Glysson whilst living in London and I really took my time getting the lyrics and production for each track exactly how I wanted them all before I left London, so that when I moved back home to Aberdeen everything was ready just for me to start recording with Ryan Curtis.

He is someone I trust with recording my vocals and the recording process was pretty quick to be honest. I then researched independent companies in Scotland who could help design my front cover and actually print the CD’s as well as upload them to iTunes and Spotify, etc. At the same time as doing all this I was creating and organising my EP launch for which I hosted a 2 course dinner for 200 guests along with entertainment of 5 support acts and a mini burlesque show. It was so much fun, my only regret was not having someone there to capture professional footage on the evening.

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

I tend to write a few different ways… mostly I prefer to work in sessions with other writers as I feel you can capture different views on how the story for the songs could go. If sometimes I’m working with a guitarist I can just freestyle what I’m feeling or thinking in the moment and record a voice note and go back and type the lyrics up afterwards. Living in London was great because you would spend a lot of time on buses and trains and lot of inspiration would come to me in those times travelling back and forward to work or to music sessions.

What did you hope to achieve with ‘Fearless’ and how does it feel hearing the finished record? You have a great voice, and there’s a notable difference in some of the tracks. Was that intentional?

My intention for Fearless was to ‘let my music do the talking’. That’s why I didn’t go for a front cover with a picture of me on it as I really wanted people to get to know me better through listening to my songs.

You recently supported Sam Bailey on her UK tour. How was the experience for you and what were your personal highlights?

Supporting Sam Bailey has to be the highlight on my year so far! I had heard about the opportunity in April 2016 and I was actually pregnant at the time and I was desperately trying to reach Erica Banks who was the point of contact for the opportunity, and finally when I reached her she said not to worry as the performance wouldn’t be until April 2017. So a year later after my daughter was born I received an email saying that Sam and her team were keen to hear my music and within 5 days they had got back to me to say they would love to have me support her at His Majesty’s Theatre in Aberdeen. You can actually see the footage on YouTube.

What other artists are you listening to at the moment, and what was the last album you bought?

The last album I bought was Emeli Sande ‘Long Live The Angels’. I love her music, I love her writing style and of course she is a massive inspiration to me with having came from Aberdeenshire as well. Emeli has a song on that album called ‘Give Me Something’ that I can really relate to because I have felt that after having my baby and becoming a new mum I just didn’t feel like I knew where my place in the music industry would be and really needed something to believe in. But after the opportunity to support Sam came along I released my new single and since then everything has just been flowing effortlessly which is such a blessing!

What can we expect from you next; do you have a goal, and where do you hope your music will take you?

I have been scouted for O’Neill’s Sound Of Summer competition which is sponsored by Jagermeister and I really hope I can get to the semi final in Liverpool. The prize winnings are £6000, studio time in a professional recording studio as well as slot on the Jagerhaus stage at Bestival this year. This is such a great opportunity for me and I really hope I can take it all the way to the final in London so I can see everyone I was working with whilst living there as it’s been over 2 years since I have seen everyone.

I am looking forward to getting back into the studio this year. If I win Sound Of Summer I will be using some of the money to record my first album. I will be performing at our local radio station Northsound’s ‘Little Black Dress’ event on 25th August which is a ladies event to raise money for Cash For Kids charity and I am currently working with Mastermind Promotion who are an award marketing and and PR company based in London and I’m really looking to seeing how our campaign for my new single progresses over the next 3 months :)

Connect with Cameron Jay via her Facebook, Twitter and SoundCloud.