Exclusive Interview with the incredibly talented Call Me Unique for ATI Magazine.
Q1: If you had the opportunity to get a inspiring message across to a large amount of people, what would your message be?
A1: Being called “Call Me Unique” taught me a lot about the power of a name. More importantly the power of words in itself. I would love to spread the message that: even though I call myself Unique that doesn’t mean I see myself as higher/lower importance than anyone. It quite simply expresses that WE ARE UNIQUE.
Q2: How did you get started with your music? And if you weren’t an artist/musician what would you want to be doing?
A2: I started in the most conventional ways of doing music; school, local events and youth clubs. I would sing “Titanic” to my friends in Primary School to make them cry. I can’t actually recall a time period of age where I didn’t sing. I started playing guitar in College as I felt frustrated that many people within my class under-looked the skill of singing as a career or a talent. They encouraged me to learn so that I could prove that there was methods behind my playing rather than just a “hobby”. Although if I weren’t a musician I can either see myself pursuing my 2nd love: novel writing or probably having the ambition to become a music manager. I always say that there are some people within music that I would love to see move further if only I had 2 of me.
Q3: What or who keeps you motivated and inspires you?
A3: Life motives me beyond all things. I haven’t had one of the easiest (both self inflicted and circumstantial) and for though’s reasons, plus the amount of beautiful people I meet as a creative encourage my busy mind to create art from the influences around regarding me.
Q4: What is the most memorable experience of your life/career so far? And what have you learnt from it?
A4: As far memorable memories, I think nothing has ever topped the experiences of living in a hostel when I was 16/17years old. It was a frightening and the reality check that life truly began as an adult for me from that point. It taught me about survival, saving and generally that necessities are called that for a reason. Quite honestly, if I didn’t go through that I think a lot of my writing and also my personal traits wouldn’t be the same. That and supporting Jools Holland and band in Shrewsbury Park (2014). Out of all the shows I’ve been support act for, I’ve never been more star struck by an instrument than when I stood next to his one of many piano’s while performing just thinking: ” If I touch this will I have his superpower talent?” lol.
Q5: Would you go back and change anything in your journey so far? (If no, why)
A5: If I could go back in time there’s so much I would change. I’d tell myself to get schooled up to the legal side of music. Tell myself to remember that not everyone is helping you to see you progress or go further, and understand the power of the title “up and coming” before the adrenaline wears off. I think most of all there was a really tough few times in music where I wanted to give up, if I could compile all that time moping around and feeling sorry for myself and give myself an extra hour of each day to get stuff done now, I’d be pretty balanced in life.
Q6: In the next two years what do you ASPIRE to have done?
A6: In the next 2 years I have big plans to execute the 1st Mental Health and Music Festival in Birmingham and to then expand over the UK. I am adamant that not enough is done on the ground level to support creatives within music. It seems the celebs are glorifying depression like its a new handbag. I’d like to continue my work of aiming to be the voice of the underdogs and bring awareness of the struggles of being artist from though’s aspiring to let their creative ideas loose, to though’s just about to make “it”… whatever it is.
Q7: How much of your life and background have influenced you to become a songwriter/musician?
A7: I think as expressed before, a lot of my life has influenced my singing and songwriting. From all the old school books covered with lyrics, to the way my living room is completely covered with gig posters over the years of me performing, There’s not a moment in life where I can’t hear some kind of soundtrack to a moment experienced. More importantly as I’ve grown older I also am very aware of the influence that it has and will continue to on though’s growing up through situations similar to mine.
Q8: What lyrics mean the most to you and why (ones you have written and or ones you didn’t write)
A8: I think my favourite line of one of my own songs (to date) is: “Asking for the sweet seed of my tree, you’re gonna have to, shake more than reality”. This is from my track “The Wife” which until I release my official album only has a demo version which is online. The line is the understanding of my power of reproducing new life, the awareness that the person to give me 1st child better be the superman to my action story. It came at a time where I was growing up and realising not just the power of a woman but the expectations of myself and my partner to achieve and provide greatness. A very “hippy” part of my life. My favourite line (which I always express that I wish I wrote myself) is from Rihanna: “We Found Love in a hopeless place”. Man, that line takes me to places I wish I could express with words. I always see myself falling in love with them lyrics as the sheer simplicity of such an emotive line always reminds me that sometimes you don’t have to cram 1000+ words into a chorus to make it powerful.
Q9: If you could collaborate with anyone who would to it be and why?
A9: If I could collaborate with anyone in the world it would for SURE be my favourite pianist and composer: Robert Glasper. I love so much of his work and so many of the artist;s he’s already worked with. I’ve met him a few times at his shows and I always vow that one day I hope the collab will be possible… someway.. somehow.
Q10: What is most inspiring message you have internalised in life so far?
A10: The most inspiring message I have learnt so far in life is simple; no matter what you think you are in control of… no matter how hard you think you are the most important thing in the world… you are just a ripple in a lake, near an river, connected to the ocean, upon a world that has so much water that although YOU MATTER, life goes on. I used to get so bogged down with how I could be the most important and influential artist of my time, but time changes… and now I’m just happy to let the Universe continue to teach me how to be humble, grow and teach and most importantly live in my purpose.
Q11: What is your motto in life/what do you live by?
A11: My motto in life: Always value your passport more than your luggage.
Q12: What is currently on your playlist?
A12: Actually while writing this I’m listening to a local artist who I adore called “Obi Rudo”. His Mixtape “Who Am I” is amazing. That plus the mixture of an artist called “Ed Geater” who’s song “Symmetry” always wonders in and out of my head. It’s nice to know there’s such a rise of great talent… oh and Hannah Brown. When I need a good cry and to think about life I listen to her (another Brummie).
Q13: If you could have a song to be the soundtrack to your life what would it be and why?
A13: The song that actually has been the soundtrack to my life since I heard it as a kid has been Fatman Scoop + Faith Evans: Love Like This. It’ been going round in my head for YEARS now and I always find myself walking to the beat when its playing in my mind.
Q14: What are your biggest dreams? and what are your biggest fears?
Q14: My biggest dreams are to achieve my target of 50,000 people attending a show to see me perform. I’ve had that number written on a paper in my bedroom for about a year or so just willing me to reach my target and to always be speaking my truth and speak honest when I achieve this. My biggest fear is to be of no use to this world. To simply do nothing. It’s a simple but huge fear for me. My whole life has been driven by such a beautiful sense of purpose even when I loose track and sway a little. I couldn’t possible see myself do that now. I’m far too driven to sit and watch life pass me by.
Q15: What is next for you/your plans for the next year?
A15: My plans for this year: Releasing my EP “Urban Gypsy 2” which is produced by the amazing Ed Geater, and to complete my UK and HU tour, not to mention to add a few more places abroad to the list of performances I have booked for the year.
Q16: What would your advice be to those out there who want to live out there dreams?
A16: My advice to anyone with the ambition to do anything: do it. What are you waiting for?
Q17: Lastly, for those who don’t know where can people follow your career?
A17: You can follow all things on // www.callmeunique.com