Solo Artist

Tom Lumley – Interview

Tuesday 26th September 2017

Cambridge born Tom Lumley has just announced his next single “Just Like The Light” and being fortunate enough to have an advanced preview, Tom has instantly been added to my list of artists to watch out for.  This year has seen some great new music from up and coming artists, and I already know that we are going to be hearing a lot more from Tom over the coming months. It’s been an exciting year having already performed at a string of live dates, being picked up by BBC Introducing Cambridgeshire and winning Best Male Solo Artist at the NMG Awards; but Tom isn’t stopping there.  His next single “Just Like The Light” is due for release this week and he has further tour dates lined up to see the year through.  I couldn’t let such amazing talent pass me by so I caught up with Tom to find out how he’s feeling about his release and upcoming tour dates, and what we can also expect from him next.

Your next single “Just Like The Light” is due for release on the 28th September.  How are you feeling about getting your new music out there?

I’m very excited. It feels like it’s been a while since I released ‘Dream City’ and it feels like people really can’t wait to hear it.

What’s the single about?

The singles about the type of people that will soon turn on your friendship and stab you in the back to be part of a more popular group of people.

How does the single compare to previous material on your debut EP “Dream City,” and how would you say you’ve grown as a musician? 

I’d definitely say it’s another step up. I don’t really know how to explain how but it just feels like as a band we’re moving forward all the time.

Congratulations on winning Best Male Solo Artist at the NMG Awards!  How was the event, and what did winning the award mean to you?

Thank you! It was an amazing night. The event has grown and grown, the likes of Mallory Knox, Lonely The Brave and John Kennedy were involved this year in handing out awards. Best Male Solo is an award I’ve always wanted to win but to be honest never thought I would. It’s such a hard category so to be chosen by a judging panel made up of well respected industry professionals is mad.

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

I start my songs off on my own with an acoustic guitar. I tend to get them to a point where I feel happy then pitch them to my guitarist Jake Day. He’ll help with changing a few bits then we demo them in his studio.

You’ve been picked up by BBC Introducing Cambridgeshire, which is fantastic.  How does it feel hearing your music on the radio?

It still feels weird. It’s just nice to know people are liking my music enough to want to play it. BBC Introducing Cambridgeshire have been so supportive of me and I really can’t thank Tom Simkins enough for that.

Are you looking to release your next EP or album in the near future?

At the moment I’m going to stick with singles. I have a locker full of songs but I don’t want to rush it and just chuck them out there. I’m going to try and keep building the fan base whilst releasing singles until I think it’s the right time for an album.

How are you enjoying being on the road and touring? You’ve got a jam-packed tour schedule for the rest of the year.

We’ve just had a month and a bit off after festival season which to be honest has been horrible. We all felt we needed a little break but I’ve hated it, I just love being on stage. It has been nice to get a lot of writing done and add some songs to the live show though. We can’t wait to get back on the road.

Who has been your favourite band or artist to tour with so far?

We haven’t necessarily done a whole tour with one band yet so I can’t really say. Playing shows with The Hunna was mad though, they’re top lads. We tend to play a lot of shows and festivals with a good mate of mine Oscar Corney, so we always have a good laugh with him.

If you were given the opportunity to perform in the BBC Live Lounge, which song would you cover and why?

Oooo hard question. I’d want to do something completely different to my music and try make it my own. I’d probably go for a Britney Spears or Girls Aloud song to be honest, change it up a bit.

Connect with Tom Lumley via his Facebook and Twitter.

Natalie Alexander – Interview

Tuesday 8th August 2017

Natalie Alexander is a Country songstress hailing from the beautiful Santa Cruz in California.  She has just arrived on the music scene with her debut single ‘Cruel’ and her self-titled EP, which brings us the promise of powerful music that evokes a range of emotion.  Armed with her guitar, Natalie is inspired by the likes of Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift and hopes to continually evolve as an artist.

Speaking about her debut EP, Natalie says that “There are countless talented people in the world but what sets apart the best from the rest is artistry. I don’t know that I’m there yet but it’s going to be in the front of my mind as I continue to grow artistically. There’s a song on my EP for every kind of 2017 country fan.“

Listening to ‘Cruel’ it’s great to hear Natalie making something of her talents, and I hope this is the start of something glorious to come.  So as she steps out, I grab a moment with Natalie to discuss how it started and how it’s all going so far.

Photo Credit: Brandon Showers

You’ve recently found your love for song writing and playing guitar. Has there been anyone in particular that has inspired you to take the step in to music, and at what point did you know you wanted to make a career out of it?

Music was always a huge part of my life, but I think it came to a point where I realized it was what I wanted pursue, not just a hobby. That moment came my junior year of college. I had been taking voice lessons for fun and recorded myself singing over a karaoke track, just to track my progress. The producer of my EP ended up hearing it and called me saying he wanted to meet, and that’s really where it all began.

Your debut single ‘Cruel’ has just been released. How are you finding the response to your music so far?

The response has been overwhelmingly positive, it’s unbelievable. I’ve been contacted by so many people who love my music and are asking for things like signed photographs. When that happened the first time I was shocked! I’m so glad people are responding so well to “Cruel” and the other songs on my EP. It’s definitely motivation to keep creating music they want to listen to. 

Will there be a video release for the single?

We’ve been talking about a video for “Cruel.” While no formal plans have been made as of yet, it’s definitely a possibility here in the near future. That would be such a fun video to make.

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’m still very new in the writing department, but it thus far has been a very private process. I like to keep a note on my phone of little things I hear or come up with, whether that be a short phrase or sometimes I’ll come up with a whole verse or chorus. I’ll then sing it into a voice memo on my phone and I can build off of it from there. I’m really looking forward to working with other writers on my own songs. The collaborative nature of music was something that drew me to it in the first place, so I’m looking forward to that next step.

What can we expect from your new EP, and how did you find the process of putting it together?

This EP happened very naturally. I knew almost from the second I heard those 4 songs that they were the ones I wanted on my EP. I think the songs I recorded are each unique and collectively they provide a taste of the different things I’m capable of. I hope there is a song on there for each type of country music fan and I’m looking forward to continuing to develop as an artist and experiment more with my sound and what I like to sing.  

Who are your biggest musical influences, and how have they encouraged and helped you to develop your sound?

Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift are at the top of that list. I’ve always admired them both, my voice and style of singing has definitely been influenced heavily by Carrie, and Taylor Swift’s writing is next to none. Having people in the industry that I idolize gives me something to reach for which is crucial, I think, in my growth and development as an artist, so I thank them for that.

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

I’m loving it! It’s really fun and getting to create something for people to enjoy is incredibly rewarding. Probably the best advice I’ve received is to make music that I like, not what I think will sell. Being genuine is incredibly important to me and I think that’s really rule number one to being genuine as an artist.

What other instruments do you play? It sounds as though you have quite a musical family, and your love for music started at a young age, so I’m guessing you know how to play more than just the guitar.

I actually started playing the piano when I was 8, that was my first instrument. Guitar is something I’ve picked up more recently for songwriting and performing. My first music love was definitely the piano – it’s a beautiful instrument with such a rich sound and it’s so fun to play.

You’re passionate about protecting women, children and animals.  Are there any charities in particular that you advocate, and what has drawn you to these causes? 

When I was in high school I saw a number of my friends raising service dogs with Canine Companions for Independence. I think that is such an amazing cause. I love my two dogs and the joy they bring me, so what a beautiful gift you’re giving someone in need of a service dog!

Connect with Natalie Alexander via her Website, Instagram and iTunes.