The road you have travelled as a singer/songwriter has had joys and struggles. What has been the most memorable experience to date and what has been your toughest struggle?
I suppose the first best memories I have is playing the Cavern Club in Liverpool for the first time, as it’s the famous birthplace of The Beatles. I was playing bass and singing harmonies the first time with my last band.
We also shared the stage with Mike Badger, co-founder, and songwriter of The La’s from Liverpool. He came on stage with us and we performed a Ben E King number called Stand By Me. I think I was just overwhelmed by standing in the same spot as Paul McCartney.
The toughest time I had was being diagnosed with cancer and fighting to get my health back for nearly three years. I lost three-quarters of my left lung, but this pushed my own original songwriting. I’ve always been in bands as a bass player and harmonies, but to take the lead vocals and jump to acoustic was hard for the first time.
I did a few local open mics at first to build my confidence. As a pleasant surprise, the original recorded music I posted on my sites was gaining more and more interest from radio DJs to record companies, and then finally the BBC.
Even when I had cancer, I kept going, raising money for cancer support through my music. I had lost all my hair and was very weak from treatment, but my passion for music went on.
Over the space of two years, I was in two other original bands and a cover band. Both of the original bands came in 3rd in The Battle of the Bands in Lincolnshire and London. The first original band’s album was recorded at Ten 21 Studios with Sean Kenny, and the other one was recorded in my own studio, which caught the eyes and ears of Fran Ashcroft. At this point, I went on to work with him as a solo artist.
What has been a moment in your music career you are most proud of? Why?
To win any award for your own written songs is just incredible. It makes you feel like an accomplished musician. Also, to be taken seriously by a top producer, who has had number one hits, becomes life-changing.
It makes writing become your world, never giving up, always chasing that next melody.
I’ve never sat on one record thinking that’s it, but it gets tough when the producer fine tunes your last one and you try to beat that. But to win a performing arts award for my hometown, from the Community Champions for the Burton Mail, the local newspaper of Burton on Trent, was just amazing. I’ve never really rated myself, I just write what comes out.
You have received many awards. What do you feel has contributed to your success and becoming a recipient for the best pop/folk and best rock/folk from Akademia music and also winner for the Performing arts award from the Community Champions for the Burton Mail, just to name a couple?
I feel winning two awards from Los Angeles for Best Pop Folk with American radio airplay has been a huge contribution to my success. Being promoted by Michael Jackson’s producer and Alicia Keys, along with many more pop greats has helped me gain recognition in the music community around the world.
Are you excited about working with artists and producers in Nashville, TN in the USA? Tell me more about this.
I’ve been offered to work with two different producers in Nashville but the sad loss of one of my best drummer friends this year, Jim Hunt from Nashville, has left me a bit heartbroken. However, I have plans to work with country singer Kathryn Lucci, dates and studio time to be arranged for next year.
Please share some words of advice for anyone who is looking to pursue a career in music. How they can work towards making their dreams come true.
My advice to any songwriter or musician is keeping it simple.
If it sounds good, record it. If you believe in that record, release it.
A fan base is really important, and get as much advice from other musicians and listeners.
Don’t just promote in your own area. The web is global, and don’t go around in circles with the same five bands in your area. Get yourself out of it, try and play with touring bands from other countries, and the last thing, be yourself! Don’t dress it up like something you’re not.
Robert Arnold, from Automobila-UK, has promoted me and my music globally.
David Bash, founder of The International Pop Overthrow, has booked me multiple times at The Cavern Club. Thank you, David!
First single record: Smile In June