Where’d you grow up? How’d that environment shape your musical identity?
I grew up in Islington, London going to primary school in the area and then secondary school in Finchley. But the music influence really came alongside growing up skateboarding in Camden. I’d say that was a place I discovered a lot of new music.
Did/do you have other passions outside of music? Have they influenced your music?
Design is a big passion of mine, specifically furniture and interior design. They definitely influence one another by allowing me to think creatively in different perceptions. What colors fit sounds and moods, etc. Weird but it works, haha.
When was the moment you’d say you first fell in love with music?
From youth I was in love but the defining moment happened twice, once when I picked up my first instrument of drums, learning Paramore songs day in day out! And secondly which was the kickstart to me making my own music was a Pub jam session. I was playing cajon and didn’t know the song at the time but just played along with everyone. That song was “Old Pine” by Ben Howard and was one of the greatest memories I have in music.
Which bands/artists have been your biggest musical influences?
Bon Iver, Ben Howard, have always lurked around and been influencing me, but recently Sleep Token, Novo Amor, Sigur Rós and more.
How would you describe your music?
Atmospheric. Like you are standing atop a mountain, arms out wide and blissful.
When’d you first start songwriting and making your own music?
2015 was when I started to slowly start to develop as an independent artist, small gigs, building gear over the years and writing more and more.
What’s your general creative process when it comes to crafting a song?
I would always link a song to a place, so when I am away on a camping trip, or staycation somewhere beautiful If there are no instruments to write on I will try and get some melody in my head and lyrics down. Then I take it back to my room to demo and then into the studio. It’s the best way I can write truly and honestly.
What do you think of the current state of music?
I think the best music is always hidden or not as well represented to the masses as it should [be]. I have heard, know some absolutely phenomenal artists that deserve the world. The best music is always like a little gem that is found which is also part of the excitement.
Do genres and those labels even matter these days?
My own music likes to flow along multiple genres. So I think if you are describing music it’s hard to pigeon-hole it into one genre.. But that’s not to say genres and labels don’t matter because I can definitely say an overarching genre that I love or am listening to and then within there are elements of others.
It’s been so humbling and heartwarming to see people describe my music as ‘beautiful’. I always thought because my voice was very low I couldn’t make the type of music I considered beautiful but I was mistaken. I’m just happy to finally have the stories out in the world for others to enjoy.
What are some of the driving themes in the EP? What do you want listeners to take from it?
I’d say the main themes and flow of the songs are Ignorance, Arrogance, Pain, Grief and Acceptance. It starts off very prideful and slowly goes through the motions of acceptance.
What was the experience like crafting the EP?
So fun and different to how I thought it would be. We recorded it all in the crypt of a Church which already was crazy but some of the best memories were made and baked into the songs. An example was when the pick-ups of an old vintage guitar we were using whilst recording “Journey” was picking up the organs and baptism happening above. It was so warming and calming.
I definitely picked up on some musical similarities with Bon Iver (who’s one of my favorites), was he an influence here?
Absolutely. Funnily enough Bon Iver Bon Iver was the first record I ever bought myself on vinyl. The way Justin writes and the instrumentation is out of this world.
Do you have a favorite track (or tracks) from the album? Any tracks that have seemed to resonate the most with listeners so far?
Everytime I finished recording one, it became my favorite. Right now my favorite is “Journey” but beating that; the ending of “Glas” will always be emotional for me and gives me that hair raising faithful feeling that I think has resonated the most with others.
We like to say to be a creative and put yourself out there to the public eye that you have to be fearless. Do you agree with that?
Absolutely, though everyone may not have the same way you ‘putting yourself out in mind’. But the amazing thing is that you already do that if you write the kind of music I and my friends write. Folk, Alternative, Emotive music always feels like you are putting your heart on your sleeve and doing that on a record and taking that same drive to the public is the best way I like to do it.
Any special plans for the future? Album? Tour? Shows? Festivals?
EP2 Is already in the works, and I’m already so excited. For now, I plan to do some very very special live shows mixing audio and visual experiences, as well as some special live performance videos and hopefully the festival circuit for the next year!
CULTURE (counter, pop, and otherwise) and the people who shape it.