How'd you get started in music?
It all began a long time ago in a galaxy far far aw- wait no that’s not right… that’s my Star Wars audition answer! Haha! I was 9 years old and I was watching Live Aid, that concert changed my life. It gives me chills thinking about it because my heroes were on that show, and all I wanted to do was make music. So for Christmas I asked my mum for a keyboard she thought it was a fad, I loved listening to music but to make it was a brand new thing. She bought me a Casio keyboard a PT-1, and I just stayed with it, I never took formal lessons I just played by ear literally everything I heard. I started playing in church at the age of 11, performed in my first school concert at 12, and led my first band at 15. A heavy metal covers band of which I was the drummer.
Who are your inspirations or influences?
Well, a lot has changed since I was 9! I wanted to be a Pet Shop Boy, Chris Lowe because I wanted the bank of keyboards, but then I discovered producers like Tom Brooks and I wanted to learn the intricacies of gospel music arranging with harmonies and musicianship. My main influences nowadays are people like
Nile Rodgers - incredible musician, so many hit records to his name, a businessman, arranger, conductor, storyteller
Quincy Jones - for the same reason, his daughter calls him Ghetto Gump. He is a true legend, and he’s still like the Godfather, mentoring artists.
Paul McCartney. His music is sacred text. You cannot create music like he did with the Beatles and cause a ripple like he has.
What advice would offer aspiring performers?
Never rubbish an idea. Work on it until it sounds good. Don’t compare yourself to others. If you do that you will never succeed instead ask them why they did what they do. Why did they play that chord. Who was in the room when you wrote that song.
How do you set yourselves apart from other bands or singers?
This is an interesting question because I try not to, there’s always space for everyone, I don’t perform much anymore even before covid but what I do is to make sure that while you know a song I’ve written is mine, you wouldn’t guess it. I wrote “Night Train” with Clyve as a funky disco record that he could perform live with his full band, and it’s still a crowd pleaser for him, but then I wrote a spoken word afrobeat with my mum who’s in her mid 60s! I don’t see her coming out on gigs with me surrounded by multiple percussionists haha!
Any new gigs or albums in the future?
No gigs for now but I am working on tracks for future release which are collaborations with artists I have met in 2020. I’m also working on a virtual festival with my dear friend Matt called everyone+everything it’s to raise awareness and funds for mental health charities in London. I’m also writing reviews and developing my blog further as well as working with Fresh On The Net - a great team of people led by Tom Robinson of 6 Music and Songbird HQ, they run a music blog reviewing music as well, and I’m getting inspired a lot by what I’m hearing!