Hello, Called My Friends
Released 7th August 2020
My new album was created and recorded over a three month period during lockdown 2020 and is made up of nine songs.
It's an album about growing up, not letting other people dictate who you are, and reflecting on the past without letting it define the future.
‘Hello, Called My Friends’ is now available on Spotify, Apple Music, Bandcamp and all other major streaming and download sites and features Steve Parker (bass), Jimmy Count (drums), Andy Bray (guitar/organ) and Nic Jones (vocals).
Released 7th August 2020
Here’s the opening track of my new album featuring some of the lovely people who joined the live-streams we did during lockdown.
After seeing a little animation my good fiend did on his instagram page I asked him if he’d consider doing something for one of my songs. He came up with this little beauty!
My fascination with songwriting has been with me since my mid teens. I taught myself how to play guitar during the summer of ‘96, sitting in my bedroom becoming a little obsessed with how to create a song from nothing. I was inspired by the confessional lyrics and musicianship of 'August and Everything After’ by the Counting Crows, and how Nirvana had performed their songs acoustically for ‘Unplugged in New York’. Before that summer, I’d been listening to a lovely mess of pop, indie, grunge, and rock music but the rawness of an acoustic song with good lyrics grabbed my attention in a different, more personal way. I knew then that I wanted to try to write songs that connected and hopefully incited an emotion or feeling - I was frustrated with songs that didn’t seem to have much depth.
A year later in the summer of '97, following a short battle with cancer, my dad sadly passed away, which proved to be a pivotal moment in my life. I wrote many a sad song in the years that followed, trying to understand what had happened and how it made me feel, as a kind of personal therapy. As life moved on and I got older, I kept writing and also started recording my ideas. Looking back, I had no real serious intention of sharing them, it was just a way of losing myself and dealing with how I felt. Some people work out in the gym to exorcise their demons, some go to confession - for me, music was (and still is) my go to.
Songwriting had accidentally become my little secret, the thing I did whenever I could, outside of the day job, until 2012 when my partner convinced me to attend an open mic night. I had a handful of songs I thought were performable, and so after a few drinks to ease the fear, I got up on stage at Maggie’s Mic In Bethnal Green and played to a packed room. I won’t lie, I didn’t think it would be as busy as it was, but the reaction from the audience was a good one, thank god! At the ripe old age of 32, I felt like I was joining the live music scene a little late, but once I got on stage and played, there was no turning back for me. So I made a little plan to record a few songs and contact some venues to see if they wanted to book me…
Over the last 8 years I’ve played a ton of shows in London, Brighton, Essex, Vienna, and Singapore, recorded and released a debut album and a handful of EPs, put together a band, worked with some excellent musicians, and shared the bill with both established and up and coming artists. I’ve been described as an ‘artist of great authenticity’ and ‘Jack Johnson at a much more affordable price’, and at a gig not too long ago, when I explained that I messed up a song on stage, a drunk guy at the back of the room shouted out, “But you’re winning at life!” Maybe, in hindsight, he had a point - things have just got better as time has gone on. I feel at home on a stage, I have a great band, and I’m able to write and play songs about things that matter, which is basically what I set out to do in the first place.
I’ve spent a big part of my life feeling like I had to prove something, and like I wasn’t good enough to be a proper songwriter or musician, but I’m done with that now - I write songs from the heart, and I don’t feel like I have to prove myself anymore. My new album 'Hello, Called My Friends' is definitely the most accomplished set of songs I’ve put out and I’m fiercely proud of what I’ve accomplished. I just hope that some of my songs connect, make you think, help you cope or let you escape.