Q1: If you had the opportunity to get an inspiring message across to a lot of people, what would your message be?
A1: The world is a very divided place at the moment. If I had the opportunity to get an inspiring message across to a lot of people, it would be: don’t forget our common humanity; that which unites us is far more important than that which divides us. Tolerate those who have different opinions to you, don’t write them off or spurn them because they disagree with you. By embracing liberty we by definition embrace a diversity and plurality of opinions. Together we must find a way forward which takes account of all those views and opinions.
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 got started with music as a kid, always singing, in the school choirs and even in a couple of operas. When I was 13 I got a guitar and then started playing in a number of different bands. I was in a 10 piece folk band called Captain Kick and the Cowboy Ramblers in the early days of the West London Folk Scene, which is what began my love of folk music, and influenced the direction I went in. If I wasn’t a musician I would be doing something in the security services, because I like to protect people.
Q3: What or who keeps you motivated and inspires you?
A3: My desire to fulfill my potential, and the fact that we only get this one, short existence keeps me extremely motivated. I am inspired by artists whose music has great emotional depth and brings color to our lives, at the same time as pushing artistic boundaries further and further.
Q4: What is the most memorable experience of your life/career so far? And what have you learned from it?
A4: I spent 4 years in the Royal Marines before starting my career as a musician. Deploying on combat operations with very close friends who you know would give their lives for you, and you them, was the most memorable experience of my life so far. I learned that bonds of brotherhood and friendship can sustain you through any challenge, no matter how tough. Musically, the most affirming experience has been the positive reaction people have had to my music, and the messages and support I get from people who have been touched by it.
Q5: Would you go back and change anything in your journey so far? (If no, why)
A5: I can be quite stubborn at times, if I could go back and change anything, I would have listened more to advise and constructive criticism from people with greater experience, rather than thinking I knew best. At the same time, learning from mistakes is a very important part of life and growth.
Q6: In the next two years what do you ASPIRE to have done?
A6: In the next two years, I aspire to have spread my music to many more people, to be touring regularly with a full band, and to either have recorded or be in the process of recording my debut studio album.
Q7: How much of your life and background have influenced you to become a songwriter/musician?
A7: Being a songwriter/musician comes from a subconscious, instinctive urge to write and play music….it is a calling. That said, there is no doubt that being raised in an environment where I was encouraged to believe I could be whatever I wanted to be in life, has helped a great deal.
Q8: What lyrics mean the most to you and why (ones you have written and or ones you didn’t write)
A8: The lyrics that mean the most to me that I have written, are those to my song ‘Ocean’ especially: ‘I’m alive to your pain/ Feels like the ocean drives us down/ I’m consumed by flame/ Under this mask lies a frown’. I like the imagery these lyrics evoke and the fact that they describe my own struggles whilst empathizing with those of the listener. They also came out spontaneously without me having to think about them, which is how the best lyrics are written.
The lyrics I like most by another artist are those from The Beatles’ song ‘Across The Universe’, especially: ‘Words are flowing out/ Like endless rain into a paper cup/ They slither while they pass/ They slip away across the universe’. These lyrics are pure poetic beauty which alludes perfectly to the wonderful, vast nature of the universe and the inconsequentiality of man’s place within it.
Q9: If you could collaborate with anyone who would to it be and why?
A9: If I could collaborate with anyone, it would be between Paul McCartney and Brian Wilson. I think I would have to choose Paul McCartney because The Beatles’ music has been such a huge part of my life, however on ‘Pet Sounds’, Brian Wilson achieved a level of songwriting of such melancholic beauty that it would be very hard to turn him down! If I could collaborate with a more contemporary artist it would be Kevin Parker of Tame Impala. Aside from the fact that I love his music and we share similar influences, we approach songwriting and recording in the same way. We both play and record all the instruments/vocal parts in our songs, and add lyrics once we have written the melodies, so it would be very cool to work with him.
Q10: What is the most inspiring message you have internalized in life so far?
A10: For me, the most inspiring message that I have internalized so far would be, the meaning of life is love. Love is the most important, and most defining human emotion. So give as much love as you possibly can, and you will be happier and more fulfilled because of it.
Q11: What is your motto in life/what do you live by?
A11: “Whatever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might”
Q12: What is currently on your playlist?
A12: I am currently listening to the album ‘Pure Comedy’ by Father John Misty a lot. It has amazing, insightful lyrics, great melodies, and is so well produced. I am also listening to the new Fleet Foxes songs, and very excited about their new album.
Q13: If you could have a song to be the soundtrack to your life what would it be and why?
A13: If I could have a song as the soundtrack to my life it would be ‘England’ by The National. It is such an incredible song with an amazing, life-affirming climax which inspires me every time I hear it. Also, the lyrics are about someone ‘somewhere in London….loving your life in the rain’, so remind me of home.
Q14: What are your biggest dreams? and what are your biggest fears
A14: My biggest dream is to write the best music I can write, to bring all the musical ideas in my head to reality, and in doing so to have a career in music with a lot of touring and albums. My biggest fear is to fail to fulfill my potential.
Q15: What is next for you/your plans for the next year?
A15: I am about to release a new song called ‘Redemption’ and shortly after that will release a remix of my song ‘Ocean’ by the amazing DJ, Polar Bears can Dance which I am very excited about. Beyond that, I will be focussing on live performing and gigging.
Q16: What would your advice to be to those out there who want to live out their dreams?
A16: I haven’t achieved my dreams yet, but my advice to anyone out there who wants to live out their dreams would be to believe in yourself no matter what anyone tells you, to never give up no matter what the obstacle in front of you may be, and to work as hard as you possibly can.
Q17: Lastly, for those who don’t know where can people follow your career?
A17: Follow me at Spotify/Soundcloud/Youtube: Pilgrims’ Dream